Bonding with your children is important and with both lads being in different locations and looked after by so many different (albeit amazing) health professionals we were keen to get some quality time with Ben today.
There’s some seriously strict security measures at the Women’s Hospital and before the boys were born they’d seemed completely over the top. Now they’ve arrived and we can’t monitor them ourselves 24 hours a day I’d happily build a moat and gun turrets to keep them safe.
The first time I pressed the intercom I giggled like a schoolgirl after saying, ‘I’m here to see Ben Avery. It’s his dad.’ The words felt weird in my mouth.
We put those privacy screens up that they use for fixing manholes in the street and got Ben out of his cot. The midwife had suggested it might be a good idea to ‘introduce’ Ben to the breast which I thought sounded a tad formal.
‘Ben, this is your mother’s Breast. Breast, meet Ben.’
‘Er, lovely to meet you, Breast. What a nice ariola you have. God, I’m sorry, never been good at this small talk malarkey. So, do you have any sisters? Oh sorry, she’s right there. Hi madam, my name’s Ben. My word, are you two twins as well?’
The idea of this was to get him interested in the general area which I wasn’t worried about - if he turns out like his father it’ll be listed as one of his hobbies before long. Unfortunately he’d never seen a breast before and woke up to the sight of one right in front of his face that was bigger than his head. This made him blubber which was disappointing but in his situation I think I’d cry too. Tears of joy are still tears.
We’d hit the wall earlier on this afternoon. The emotional bouncy castle we were jumping on was energy sapping and our sleep was constantly interrupted with generic hospital sounds (which would be a terrible band name) and random night time visits from midwives.
And just as you’re about to start feeling sorry for yourself you speak to other parents who would swap places with us at the drop of a hat. What we’re going through is a mild inconvenience compared to some of the stories we heard today, including another mum who lost one of her twins at birth. The strength of these families is on a level I can’t comprehend.
My wife is still commuting between units on this old-school wheelchair. Today I realised that if I wheel it backwards instead of forwards I won’t prolong her stay in hospital. I only discovered this after a near collision with another new mum and her meathead husband who was less than jovial. I apologised and he glared at me with a mixture of pity and contempt. I felt like I was 19 again and I’d just stalled my mum’s Fiesta in front of a load of workmen.
We’re hoping that Ben can come and stay in our room tomorrow if his blood sugar levels are stable. We’ve told ourselves not to get our hopes up but it’s too late as it's all we can think of. It would be wonderful.