You know you really love someone when you can’t wait to change their nappie.
The first one I changed felt like a rite of passage, plus it was one of Zac’s first few after his operation which meant that all his insides were now working as planned, lending a party atmosphere to the occasion. If you’ve never changed a nappie while singing ‘Celebrate’ by Kool and the Gang you’re missing out.
I was also supervised by a very patient nurse who shouted encouragement and advice like an amateur boxing coach as he ducked and weaved out of my inexperienced grasp. With Zac still in his incubator I had to wear gloves and push my hands through the side holes so the whole thing felt like one of those crane games at the fairground, the only prize on offer being a clean bottom.
But I got to do it for real today when they finally let Ben move into our room at the Women’s Hospital.
He’s still got a touch of jaundice so he’s been under the phototherapy lamp for a few hours today. Eventually the time came and I took him out of his Baby Sunbed for my first solo nappy change. Nobody watching over me, no-one to make me extra nervous, just my son and I. That and a heftily soiled, disposable garment. Independence at last.
I took him out of the sunbed for this momentous occasion and took his nappy off, leaving his protective eye mask on. He immediately pissed all over himself. Then he started crying because well, someone was pissing all over him. Wouldn’t you?
I decided to take his eye mask off so he pissed on me and somehow managed to get a load of it all over his own back, defying physics, gravity and common sense in one fell swoop. The guy’s clearly a pioneer.
What I’ve learned so far with nappy changing is that the absolute golden rule is:
FOR GOD’S SAKE MAKE SURE YOU’VE GOT ALL THE BITS YOU NEED BEFORE YOU START.
As a total novice, I can’t emphasise this enough. Nothing induces panic more than realizing that the cotton wool is out of arm’s length and you’re going to have to use your sock.
My wife went to see Zac again this evening at Alder Hey, a friend taking her while I looked after Ben. In a strange coincidence my wife’s best friend has ended up in the room next to us, having given birth to her daughter four days after our twins arrived.
So as my wife visited Zac and her friend took a nap, her wife’s husband and me sat in our room chatting about breastpumps while I fed Ben. To the midwife who popped in and saw two blokes sat on a bed together feeding a baby in the appropriately titled Women’s Hospital, the whole scene must have looked incredibly modern.
I don’t think we’ll get much sleep with Ben alongside us for the first time tonight but who cares about that?
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Read from the beginning here.
Read from the beginning here.