Baby F (Part II)

It’s Day 12 in the Baby F household (Day 9 since we left the hospital) and all is well. We’ve worked out a pretty good routine of feeds and sleeps and nappy changes and baths. Baby F is gaining weight and her parents look only slightly dishevelled and worn out! We’ve also discovered the strategic value of an evening bath 🙂 It’s all about sleep.

I was telling you about the birth, wasn’t I? There we were at 7pm on a Weds and the operation was about to begin. I was a bit thrown by the boom incident and also thinking I’d lost my ring but I soon got past that. I think we were both feeling a mixture of anxiety and calm. L had a spinal and so was pretty calm and a bit drugged-out. Looking at the two gynaes that were doing the operation, I felt very reassured. They are colleagues of L’s and are both excellent doctors. We were in good hands. (So relax and enjoy the show.)

But there’s something about an operating theatre that puts me on edge. This one had an odd (to my mind) mix of clinical precision and almost DIY. You need a plank for your arm to rest on? The anaesthetist whisks one out from behind a trolley and it almost looked like he’d made it earlier. At the same time it’s a very sterile and high-tech environment. Instruments beeping and sucking, surgical masks everywhere, packs for this and that. Drips, trays, gurneys. A very far cry from the birthing pool that we saw on the DVDs in antenatal class! No russian gymnasts here having orgasmic births and catching their own babies under water.

I wasn’t paying much attention to what was happening ‘down there’ but the medical staff were all focus and concentration. After 25 minutes there was a sort of ‘schloop’ noise and some lifting and moving of bits around and the baby was out. Looking a little vexed and covered in vernix. And giving a healthy cry!

The paediatrician took her off to the trolley to do the APGAR score and then she was wrapped up tightly and given to us. L said she looked exactly as she imagined her from the scans. But since my imagination had seen her as both a turtle and an alien baby, she looked surprisingly normal. A little frustrated bundle of waving arms that was none too happy to be out of a warm uterus and into a busy operating theatre.

But what a relief to have such a cute healthy baby and a healthy L! We took a few cellphone pictures and then it was off to the nursery while L got stitched up. I was worried that Baby F might have been traumatised by the operation and so was trying to ensure that we got her back to L as quickly as possible. The nurses, however, seemed to take their own time and were blissfully unaware of any urgency to get her back for some skin-to-skin contact. So off we went to the nursery, Baby F and the nurses and I. On the way we passed the glass to the waiting room and I gave a relieved thumbs-up to the grandparents and L’s brother.

And then the nurses were weighing and measuring her and making their notes. And I put my hand into the incubator and tried to soothe her by checking her rooting reflex. Which promptly got her to start sucking quite determinedly on her wrist. And she waved her little arms and legs around as if quite relieved herself to finally have some wriggle room.

After what seemed like an age but was more like five minutes, we could wheel her off to L in her recovery room. It was heartening to see how easily (after a few attempts) Baby F was able to latch and start sucking. The next few days are a bit of a blur: feeds, visits from family, balloons, gifts, nappy changes, endless hours of baby-gazing, fussing, help from the nurses, meals, catering evaluations and, most valuable of all, SLEEP. And just as we were comfortable in one room the nursing staff would whisk us off to another one. L started off in a 4-bed room and gradually made her way to a private room where she stayed for about a day and then it was back home.

Where, incidentally, I finally managed to finish a book (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society). That’s a discussion for another day. Thanks for all the good wishes 🙂

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29 Responses to Baby F (Part II)

  1. David says:

    I am very glad that the little one was neither a turtle nor an alien. Your description of the operating room was hilarious, and made me quite glad I have always been unconscious when in one.

  2. Congratulations! I’m glad to hear the end of the story and that you’re all managing just beautifully.

  3. litlove says:

    So glad it turned out to be a relatively straightforward delivery in the end, and isn’t it extraordinary when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time? Somehow, holding an alien might seem more appropriate because it is all so bizarre. It sounds as if you are coping wonderfully well now you are home! Take care and love to all.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Litlove. (And hugs back to you.) Yes, holding that little one for the first time was amazing and quite bizarre. The first time I think I was still in crisis mode but since then … a lovely feeling. We’re not out of the crisis woods yet though since moving the rest of L’s possessions has been an ordeal!

  4. I remember the baby-gazing! Staring in wonder at your very own little darling.

    So glad that all went well, that you are now safely home and finding your feet. Good luck!

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Charlotte! I can see that I’m going to have to stop this blog from turning into a baby blog since I could probably prattle on for an annoying amount of time on the subject of baby cuddles 🙂

  5. doctordi says:

    The orgasmic Russians catching their babies underwater really made me laugh – and all this leaves me with a big goofy grin on my face!!! So glad everything is going so smoothly!

    • Pete says:

      I’d be interested to hear what other parents-to-be watched in their antenatal classes because the orgasmic Russians were extraordinary! Our facilitator did say they were the exception though. And yes, big goofy grins all round! Hugs to you and yours too 🙂

  6. Ah the value of the evening bath! It occurred to me when my firstborn daughter was a couple of weeks old that I could avoid the back-bending over a baby sized tub (not to mention the anxiety of accidentally dropping a slippery, wriggling little body) by simply bathing together with her in an adult bath. We wallowed happily in warm water, enjoying the skin-to-skin contact. It became the evening ritual with her and my next daughter, and remains one of my happiest memories of their babyhood.!
    It sounds as though you are both coping like pros. And orgasmic Russians? There was never such excitement in my ante-natal classes!

    • Pete says:

      Karen – We’re also keen to try it (although L has to wait a bit because of the C-section). At the moment we have a baby bath with a little seat in it and Baby F seems to like it although she’s a little wary. I wonder if they need some head control first? But anything that makes bath-time fun would be welcome 🙂

  7. DoctorDi says:

    Pete, I wish we’d bought the swinger right at the beginning. Just saying. Xx

  8. Grad says:

    OH..My…God…When did this happen? Where was I? Yipes! I’m doing the Snoopy Dance over here, Pete and L!! I am so happy for your and your precious little one. Best love to all three of you from Old Graddikins.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Grad! I can safely say that the shock of being a parent has worn off and now we’re (mostly) enjoying it. I’ll have to send you a pic. So cute 😉

  9. Ella says:

    Congratulations, Pete! The no-sleep thing gets better, don’t worry 🙂

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Ella! Most of the parents I’ve spoken to have said, “Yes it gets better … in about 25 years!” Not quite the reassurance I was looking for. But I guess it’s baby steps.

      • Ella says:

        Oh good Lord! 25 years!

        I meant, in a few months you should be over the shell-shock. It took about a year to even get used to living with my kids when they were babies. At first they were more like cute but thoughtless roomates: up all night…barfprone…constantly complaining…

        Then we all got used to each other, and things improved. I hope that time comes soon for you and L! Congrats again.

  10. courtney says:

    oh,congratulations! Our babies are only two days apart in age! I can’t believe you’ve found time to blog – I am terribly impressed! I am just now catching up on blog reading…hope to be blogging regularly again within the month. Congrats to both you and L – I am so happy for you!!

  11. Pete says:

    Thanks Courtney! And congratulations to you and S! I’m dying to hear all about your little one but I know how hectic life with a young baby is. Look forward to reading all about it 🙂

  12. blogbehave says:

    What wonderful news! Congratulations to you and L. These days of infancy are pure magic .. or is that sleep deprivation delusional disorder? LOL

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Sandy. I think sleep deprivation delusional disorder could explain a lot of things! And as much as we love the little pie, pure magic doesn’t quite describe the state we’re in when she just won’t sleep. But I also know we’ll probably miss these days when she’s so tiny.

      • sandy says:

        Uhh..overall, I do not miss those days. Those sleepless nights and (occasional) endless fussiness have etched into my brain. This is where video cameras are really nice. I can plug in my VCR and look at my precious babies sleep and smile and laugh — helps with the not-missing-infancy thing.

  13. doctordi says:

    Need an update. Going mad here without one.

    • Pete says:

      Hi Di, yes I definitely owe you guys an update. Things fine here (apart from the relentless wave of bodily events!) I will post something this weekend. Hope you’re having a good one. 🙂

  14. smithereens says:

    Just caught up with the events, so late! Congratulations again and welcome to the world for little baby F (February, I guess). Take care of your family and don’t worry, we’ll be there when you’ll post again!

  15. Popping past in hope of more news. No pressure, mind. Just hoping that all is well and good in Babyland.

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