How it all began: 16th August 2016
Laying in delivery suite having just persuaded a small human to exit my body via the narrowest possible escape route. Place looks like a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie. How did I get blood on the ceiling? Goodbye old me… have just become Mummy.
Being Mummy is so far good. You don’t have to get up, and people bring you tea and drugs. Daddy is having a much harder time of it. He is rocking in the corner, stroking his hand and muttering something about possibly fractured fingers. He also looks a bit scared of Mummy. Poor Daddy – nobody has brought him tea.
“She is the most beautiful newborn baby I’ve ever seen!” gushes Mummy for the umpteenth time in the last nine minutes. Mummy feels the need to add the ‘newborn’ caveat as actually, she is the only newborn baby Mummy has ever seen and this lends a smidgen of truth to her hormone-fuelled ramblings. Mummy is also trying to work out which character from Lord of the Rings it is that the baby reminds her of, and wondering if the ears will need surgery.
Mummy checks again that the baby is definitely a girl. It was the first thing Mummy wanted to know when it came out, but Daddy hesitated a bit too long, squinting in confusion, and the midwife had to answer. Even then, Daddy didn’t look convinced. It’s still not brilliantly obvious, but hopefully the swelling will go down.
“Time for stitches!” announces sadist midwife. Mummy tries to look busy but Baby promptly falls asleep. Little traitor.
“Hmmmm… Ah… Oh dear… Right…. Hmmmm….” mutters sadist midwife busily, then eventually decides that a supervisor needs to come and check the stitches as they are a bit ‘unusual.’ Mummy is all for individuality but was quite happy with a very ordinary and conformist lady area, thank you very much. Mummy is now a little worried, but drugs and hormones are taking the edge off.
Supervisor is mightily impressed with the ‘unusual’ needlework, and sends for more colleagues and student doctors to admire it. Before long, half the hospital staff (and possibly a few visitors) have been paraded before Mummy’s lady area. Student doctors are especially interested, ask a lot of questions, thank Mummy heartily and compliment her on how beautiful it all looks Down There.
Mummy is a bit confused while strangely flattered, and begins to wonder if sadist midwife has embroidered butterflies around the edges. “Can I have a look?” asks Daddy. Mummy looks at Daddy, and Daddy has the good sense not to ask again.
Mummy has been wheeled to the recovery ward with the Bundle of Joy. It is full of other Mummies who all look a bit broken and hobble around, leaking from various body parts, wheeling their own bundles in tanks. It is a strange place.
People are very keen to talk to Mummy about contraception. Contraception is not necessary because Mummy is never letting Daddy near her lady area ever again, however many butterflies it may have. This could be problematic, as hormones have already caused Mummy to declare she wants to have ten more babies, but that is neither here nor there.
Too many people come and check ‘The Latch.’ Mummy did not know what The Latch was until this afternoon, and now it is suddenly a Very Important Thing Indeed. It is also a word that if you say it too many times, it sounds like not a word. Latch. L-a-t-c-h. Latch, latch, latch. Mummy has heard it too many times now. Apparently the little one has an excellent Latch and doesn’t need any help. Mummy is very proud indeed and starts thinking about Oxbridge applications.
Daddy left some time ago and Mummy has been left all alone, gazing at The Baby who has thus far been asleep, and thinking what an absolute doddle this mummying is. The midwives insist the curtains are left open, which Mummy assumes is so all the other people in the hospital can see how beautiful Mummy’s baby is and what a marvellous job Mummy is doing, gazing at it so proficiently with no prior experience or training whatsoever.
An unnaturally happy lady arrives with a big trolley and a camera, and wants to take pictures of The Baby. Naturally, Mummy assumes this is because The Baby is so beautiful and possibly the lady is short-sighted. The fact that Daddy just left, so Mummy is alone, drugged-up, emotional and vulnerable, has nothing whatsoever to do with the nice lady’s timing. The lady takes some very average photographs of The Baby from questionable angles, which Mummy immediately declares are the most beautiful photographs she has ever seen in her life and of course she will remortgage the house to pay for them all. She calls Daddy immediately, demands that he brings All The Money in the morning, and reminds him that she just had his baby so she gets whatever she wants. Mummy is going to play that card a lot.
The Baby is hungry. Excellent – Mummy knows exactly what to do.
The Baby is hungry again. Must be because Mummy’s milk is so delicious.
The Baby seems to be hungry again. Hmmmm…
8:49, 9:20, 10:17, 10:35 pm… God knows what other times in between… 4:05 am
The Baby is hungry!! Mummy suspects The Baby may be faulty. The other babies don’t seem to be this hungry. Maybe The Baby has an eating disorder already? The midwives say this is all perfectly normal. Mummy suspects the midwives may be faulty.
Mummy gets up for the gazillionth time and discovers The Baby seems to be swimming in black tar. The faulty midwives tell Mummy this is all perfectly normal and it has to go in the bin labelled ‘Toxic Waste.’ Mummy realises just in time that they didn’t mean The Baby.
It has taken an inordinate amount of time to clean up the toxic waste, and Mummy has threatened to put The Baby in the bin more than once (but not loudly enough for medical professionals to hear.) According to the midwife, The Baby will probably sleep now which is good because Mummy is very tired. Not only because of all the feeding and the toxic waste, but also because the lady in the bed next door thinks it is normal to cluck like a chicken to her baby all night. Mummy found this funny at first but now it is quite annoying.
Mummy goes to check on The Baby, who will probably be sleeping now. The Baby is not asleep. The Baby is very, very awake and looking right at Mummy. It is almost like she heard the midwife say she would sleep, and she decided that is exactly and precisely what she would not be doing. There is definitely a hint of a smile as she fixes Mummy with her little baby stare. It seems this baby is a rebel.