Saturday 10 June
5pm.Waiting for Daniel to bring us home from hospital. Have never been so happy in entire life. Have given birth to baby who is loveliest, sweetest little creature ever seen. After was born, just cuddled and rubbed noses until pesky doctor insisted on taking away for washing, tests etc. When objected, saying had specifically requested "bonding time" on stupid "birthplan", doctor said two hours was quite enough and bonding did not mean completely stuck together as with glue. There was some disgusting stitching to be done, and distinctly heard doctor say, "OK, Daniel, what's it to be - 16-year-old or 17-year-old?". To which Daniel replied, excitedly, "Could you make it 14? Thank you, doctor!". Humph.
Think will pick baby up again as, though sleeping, might feel lonely and want a cuddle. Where can Daniel be? Claimed to be fetching Mercedes for us, as had figured out how to put in car seat, but that was five hours ago. Would be lovely to get home. Being in hospital is like hosting party of gatecrashers: unsolicited visitors and experts constantly bursting in. Oh-oh, here comes another.
7pm. Was my mother again, grabbing baby from my arms with: "There he is! My little boy! He says, 'Aren't you going to get me dressed, Mummy?'."
"He is dressed," I said, through gritted teeth.
"He says, 'No I'm not! I'm cold in this little cardie. Mummy's in a nice warm dressing gown'."
"He's swaddled in a blanket."
"He says, 'Don't swaddle me, Mummy. That went out with the Red Indians'. "
Grrr. Was about to yell, "He says, 'Get out of here, Grannyfucker'," when door rattled again and Lactation Consultant - Messianic breast-feeding preacher with pudding-bowl wig and thick glasses - burst in. For a moment, she and Mum circled each other, bristling, like prizefighters. "It's not visiting hours," Lactation Consultant said, dangerously.
"I..." hissed Mum "...am the child's grandmother."
"Which is exactly why you shouldn't be here," snapped the Lactation Consultant.
"Mum, give me the baby," I said, grabbing him back for his own safety. For a moment, thought an actual fight would break out. Then Mum bent towards him: "He says, 'Who's that nasty, officious, fat woman?'. Anyway, darling, got to whizz. Supposed to be in the TV studio." With a triumphant smile, she swept out of the room.
"Now," said the Lactation Consultant, airily. "We haven't filled in our chart, have we? How many times have you fed him?"
"Three?" I ventured, uncertainly.
"Three? You've only fed your baby THREE TIMES?"
"No, no. I mean 20!"
"Twenty! Are you sure?"
Flopped back against pillows with relief, at which she reared up at us, saying, "Breast-feeding should continue for two years."
"Two years! I can't do that. I'm a TV reporter."
"You can't breast-feed on live TV."
"Can't, or won't?"
Fortunately, just then, Daniel came in. "Oh, Christ, not more of you people. Can I please have some time alone with my child and his mother? No, really, out you go, you sexy little devil. I've had enough temptation for one day." At which, to my horror, Lactation Consultant tittered and left the room, with a hideous attempt at a flirtatious backward glance.
"How's my little man?" Once again, baby was swept from my arms, this time with wobbling head terrifyingly unsupported. "You don't mind if England only beat Paraguay by a stupid own goal, do you?"
Could Daniel possibly, conceivably, have left us waiting because he was watching the World Cup?
"Careful of his head..." I blurted, torn between desire to protect Daniel's fledgling paternal urges, and son's head/body connection.
"What?" said Daniel, huffily. "He's fine. Come on, let's go." Outside, it emerged that Daniel hadn't fixed car seat, but hired a limo with one, except driver didn't know how to install it. So Daniel had his assistant come over, but he didn't know how to do it either. Ended up sheltering baby from lorries in doorway while three bottoms protruded from limo to tense shouts of "Look, let me do it". Eventually, Daniel emerged with proud, approval-seeking smile: "There!"
"Great! But, er, isn't it supposed to be the other way round?"
"It's supposed to be backwards."
"The Government. And the police."
"Don't be ridiculous, Jones."
Only thoughts of Britney Spears gave me the courage to insist. After 14 more minutes of "Let me do it", was finally able to strap baby into seat, and we plunged into the traffic. Despite going at speed of funeral cortège, was so consumed by fear of driving baby across Edgware Road that had to make them stop, take baby out and hug him. Which is why we're all sitting here now.
Whole world seems too dangerous for baby - even Daniel's flat. What if I accidentally drop him in the toilet and flush it? Or put him in the tumble-dryer? What if Daniel and I split up, then I die and there's no one to care for him? What if am alone with baby when die and no one realises and he's left just crying for his mummy?
Oh, God, thought all neurosis and anxiety would end when had baby, but realise has opened up a lifetime of fears for him. Have to stop worrying. Anyway, given way he lunges at me like a little snuffle-pig, he would probably survive by eating me.
And truth is, although scary, I like this worrying re being eaten by own child so much better than years of worrying that would die alone, as tragic barren spinster, and be found weeks later half-eaten by an Alsatian.
Bridget is giving her every attention to the care of her newborn son - and is too busy to keep up her Diary for the time beingReuse content