I woke up at 4.45am having overslept my pumping session. Some drunk neighbours had woken us up coming home and by the time I’d finished pumping and trying to deal with the return of my mastitis I was wide awake (ok maybe I shouldn’t have drunk wine with the antibiotics but it was a perfect night for rose on Brentford piazza). So in a crazy moment of dedication I decided to come to the hospital at 5.45am to do Beatrix’s 6am feed.
The air is so crisp and clear on these summer mornings and it feels good to be up when everyone else is in bed and the streets are quiet. Why does the morning even smell different? My father in law planted tons of salvias in our front garden and they are flowering uncontrollably, purple, blue, deep fuschia, and the charmingly named lemon pie and pink and white ‘hotlips’ that looks like old fashioned sweets. In our small strip we also have lavender, brugmancias, courgettes with bright yellow flowers and cherry tomatoes that won’t stop pumping out fruit in their sunny spot by the white wall. The front garden makes me smile every day and it makes the air sweeter as you step out of the house. He’s not a quiet man particularly but like a lot of dads of a certain generation he shows his affection through the things he does rather than the things he says. At 84 he is incredibly active, as is my mother in law who turned 81 yesterday. They spend their time with us gardening and snagging things that need fixing around the house. I feel very lucky to have in laws I get on with and who are so easy going, helpful and generous. I also feel very pleased that they and my parents have been able to share in the birth and the early part of their grandchildren’s lives. My mother in law always says they didn’t really expect grandchildren as G had reached his mid 40s before he met me and now they’ve got three.
The nurses looked at me a bit strangely when I arrived at the hospital just before 6am like I’d gone mad with my duties. I like to think they are impressed by my dedication but they don’t realise there is method in my madness. It’s going to be a beautiful sunny day and I intend to get out of here by 10.30 after four feeds and enjoy it till I have to be back at 3. Beatrix was, of course, far too sleepy to take a feed after my gallant effort. I was able to give her a bottle at least. She guzzled it so fast her stomach has distended horribly. I hope it’s just wind as it looks really bad. I have dressed her up in a fluffy pink outfit to cheer things up.
I brought my breakfast in and am enjoying the different quality of the early morning. It feels optimistic. Today my only ambitions are to go swimming with Lucas and to try to feed Alexander three times as I think he is alert enough and ready, plus it stops them over feeding him by tube and he vomits less.
I want you all to know that, in spite of my habit of posting when I’m fed up, I actually quite like it here and on the whole feel quite calm, relaxed and cheerful. It is a wonderful thing to see the babies growing and thriving when the outcome could have been so different. I mustn’t ever lose sight of that. I spoke to my friend Nadia yesterday who has just had a baby and is coping with the adjustment of having a toddler plus a newborn. As I sat in the sunshine in a cafe near the hospital chatting to her on the phone she reminded me that this is actually quite a nice transition. Having new babies at home is exhausting and a lot to manage with another one. I have a chance here to get to know them, get used to caring for them and then to go home and go out for dinner, spend time with Lucas and sleep. Better make the most of it while I can. It will be very different once they are home.