How Times Have Changed.
How Times Have Changed.
When I found out that Daniel’s girlfriend Claudette, was expecting their first baby, I didn’t really think anything. Maybe it was because they had split up twice before and on both occasions Daniel said, “We won’t be getting back together!” So I suppose, I was just protecting my heart. For months I hadn’t told anyone, most either found out during my conversations at work or when Claudette came with us on rare family parties, then I would remember to tell those at the party, it wasn’t a secret. Daniel went to all the scans, even inviting myself and Paul! I told him, “That’s something private between you and Claudette,” He told me, “Paula, Claudette’s mum has been to one,” I said, “That’s different, that’s her mum.”
Now when Claudette had told her employer that she was pregnant, within a week she was sacked! I was livid! I told her, “That’s against the Law, I will report them, they can’t do that!” And when Claudette told me why she was sacked, she said, “Other girls have done far worse and they are still there.” I said, “He has done this only because you are pregnant, he doesn’t want you to have time off for your appointments.” I asked her, “Can I have the Company’s name and address?” But she asked me, “Please don’t do anything, it is alright, as my Mum works there and has done for many years.” SO still seething I didn’t pursue the matter! He got away with it!
Claudette soon had a flat, Daniel asked us, “Will you come over and look at it?” Again I didn’t see what the big deal was, and time just went by. We didn’t see Claudette often but when I did see her she was wearing the same ripped at the knee jeans! I asked her, “Are those maternity jeans?” She replied, “No,” and lifting her top she showed me her tummy.... I went and got some money from my purse and said to her, “Please buy one or two maternity jeans/trousers with this, as soon as possible, there are sales on,” Claudette said, “Thank you” and took the money. I don’t know if she did or didn’t buy them, so a few weeks had gone by and I asked her, “Did you buy the maternity jeans?” She replied, “Not yet, I’m waiting till I find the right ones.” It did cross my mind, I wonder if she had spent the money on something else, that usually would have been fine by me, but she really needed those proper trousers, what she was wearing was not good for the baby. After I’d asked her another time and they still weren’t bought, I didn’t ask again.
Throughout the pregnancy she smoked, to me this wasn’t remotely an issue. I’ve never smoked in my life I’m proud to say, but I do sympathize with those who do. For if anyone had said to me when I was expecting, “You have to stop smoking now,” My reply would be to them, “You stop smoking and show me how it’s done.” For if it was that easy to stop smoking, there would be no smokers in the World! And if someone had asked me to stop eating cakes, biscuits, fry-ups, chips and not to drink pop again, while I was with child, what would be the point of living? So although I don’t smoke, I do feel for those who do. Although everyone said, Junk food and smoking is not the same thing, but to me, it is. Both are hard to stop 100%. I recently tried to give up all junk food, its called dieting, I did it for about six weeks, it was very hard, I lost only 9lb I didn’t think that was worth it! So I gave up and enjoyed my Life! My one brother was horrified! When he saw Claudette smoking. But I’ll never forget when I met my Sister-In-Law’s son, he’s one of the tallest person I ever met in my life! She chained smoked through all her many pregnancies and she has strong, strapping kids! So that blew that theory out the water.
Just before their baby was due, Paul, Megan and myself went to see Claudette at her flat, it was a lovely flat, quite new, as she was standing by the window, I thought to myself, that she didn’t look very big, until she sat down! WOW! She was huge. She had now gone past her due date, but I told her, “The first baby don’t know the rules, that the medical people have set, they come when they are ready.” When we left we three hugged her for the first time!
Claudette had just gone past her due date, the first date past I rang to ask, “Any twinges?” She replied, “No, not yet.” I rang the day after, got the same reply. Then had a phone call that she had gone to hospital, Paula had taken her, but she was sent right back as her waters had not broke. Two more days want by then last Sunday was told Claudette had been taken to hospital by Paula in the morning as she had pains. I asked Daniel to, “Keep me informed,” he said, “I will.” I was at work, and would be there till late, it was only then that I had ..... thoughts, negative thoughts. I was working on my own and I was nervous, would the baby be OK? Would the Mum be OK? I remembered that around the World not just babies are born stillborn but women still died in child birth! I actually know a Man whose Sister had died giving birth! My negative thoughts carried on relentless, would he have Down Syndrone? Would he be disabled? I couldn’t shift the feelings that I had, I tried but it wouldn’t go away! Eating chocolate or listening to my favourite music didn’t help! I was nervous, I was almost a Nanny. We knew he was a boy, for they had paid to find out.
Then on that thought that I was almost a Nanny brought even more fears, we’ve all read about the grandparents who had the grandchild for the day only for the child to drown in their garden pond! How on Earth could you go on after that. If you are the parents or the grandparents. I thought of all the worst scenarios, and determined in my mind, not to do this or that! To drive with extra care, no cherry tomatoes, for a child of eight had chocked to death, eating one at her grandparents home, about six years ago! Since then I always cut them in half even for my Husband!
At Midnight I was of course still awake and still at work , I got a text from Daniel saying, “Claudette’s waters had broke!” He said, “Paula is taking them to the hospital now,” I asked him to wished Claudette, “All the best,” and told Daniel, “There is no going back now, he is on his way!” But yet again she was sent back home! Oh dear I thought, then I said to Daniel, “If her waters has just broke, then she will have a very long time to wait really, it only means, things are going in the right direction.” He said, “You are spot on Mum, Paula had said the same thing.”
Daniel and I text back and forth till 1.30am then I said, “I’m going to bed now, goodnight.” Daniel replied, Goodnight Mum, love you,” and I replied straight back, “Love you too.” But I couldn’t relax in bed, my mind was racing, I thought, what happens if they wait too long to go back to the hospital? How long is too long? Will the cord be around his neck? They won’t be able to check his heart monitor at home, what if he is in distress now? What if they wait too long and he doesn’t get the care he should be having! On and on it went, I just had no peace!!! For I was still at work and Paul at home, I’d kept him up to date with the texts from Daniel until 12.30am as he doesn’t go to bed early either.
The following day, they we on my mind but I didn’t want to ring too early for info, in case they were all asleep, I was still pondering when the phone rang, it was Daniel, and before I could say anything he said, “He’s here,” I said, “Who?” He replied, “Our son,” I said, “That’s fantastic!” Then I asked, “Is Claudette and baby OK?” He replied “Yes”. I then asked, “Was it a natural birth?” Daniel replied, “Yes.” I asked, “What time was he born?” He said, “9.20am.” I asked finally, “How heavy is he?” He said, “They haven’t weighed him yet.” I looked at the time in my Living Room (for I was back home now from work) it was 9.50am, and I said, “He was born thirty minutes ago and he’s not been weighted yet?” Daniel replied, “They are checking him over,” my fears came over me again, what was wrong, why hasn’t he been weighed yet? I said, “I’ve never known that happen before, usually as soon, as the baby comes out, they are weighted.” He said, “It’s different now, but if you hold on a second I will get his weight for you....” I waited for about twenty seconds and I could hear voices in the background, I said, “Do you want me to call you back, or you can send me a text?” He said, “I’ll send you a text Mum,” I said, “OK, and tell Claudette, ‘Congratulations,’!” He said, I will.” Then less than a minute later I got the text, “8lb 1oz.” I said, “Thank you God, for a safe delivery for Mum and Baby.” I sent my Mum abroad a text, and sent texts to my brothers, cousins and some of my work colleagues.
A few hours later I had another phone call from Daniel, to say, “Claudette and Darius would be coming home today,” I said, “Today, isn’t that too soon?” He replied, “That’s what they told us, that after Claudette has had a shower, both she and Darius can go home.” I said, “Is that what you are going to call him? There is no rush, you have six weeks to register his name.” Daniel said, “He looks like a Darius, everyone here agrees.” He told me, “I’m going to get a sandwich for Claudette now.” I said, “Make sure she is offered lots of tea, as she loves tea.” He said, “I will.” I’d sent a text earlier, to Claudette soon after she’d given birth, congratulating her and it was strange, getting a text back soon after! How times have changed! I remembered as a teenager, not knowing what my Mum had, until Dad came home from the hospital and told us! We had no phone in the house. But it was great to be able to communicate to each other in an instant. When my Mum had first emigrated, it would take two weeks for my letter to arrive and two weeks for her letter to me to arrive, now a single text arrives in an instant.
At 6pm I had a text from Daniel to say, “We are all home now,” I replied, “That’s good, it’s too late for us to come over and visit, Claudette will be very tired, will come and visit in a few days.”
We three went to visit two days later, the flat was very warm! It was there I met the whole family as they arrived throughout the evening, for the first time. When we first arrived Daniel’s best friend Aaron was there with his girlfriend Ammie, he was holding Darius, he looked SO tiny. Aaron asked, “Who wants to hold him first?” I quickly said, “Not me, as babies seem too fragile at that age and size.” Paul sat down, and with great care, tiny Darius was handed to him, taking great care with his precious head. We all took lots of photos. As the various family members arrived, we were all introduced to each other, there was a lot of hugs and kisses on the cheeks all round. After we’d been there and it was Aaron holding him again, he said the ‘magic words,’ while holding the beautiful, quiet, sleeping baby, he said, “I want one!” I looked at his girlfriend Ammie sitting next to him, then he realized what he’d just said and added, “Not yet, in about five years.”
Megan asked Daniel, “Did you cry?” He mumbled quietly, “Yes,” then Paula said, “Did he cry, he bawled, and cried so much It started me off and I cried too,” I asked, “Were you there at the birth?” Paula replied, “Yes, it was a moving experience.” Megan said to me quietly, “I’m glad he cried,” and I said to her, “I’m glad he cried too.”
Before we’d arrived at the flat, Megan and myself had gone to Town, Megan went off to buy a baby teddy and a keepsake book for the parents and I went to buy food for Claudette (and Daniel but mainly for her) as she’d be in no mood for shopping, I’d already texted her and asked her what she liked, she like pizza! I looked around the large store and bought food she wouldn’t need to cook including pizza. I’d also asked of the two big named brands of nappies which one they wanted me to buy, I bought the one they wanted, they were on special offer two packs for ten pounds! I decided to buy one pack of new-born and the second pack the next size up, just in case they have too many of the new born size!
When it was Megan’s turn to hold Darius, while she was still holding him, Claudette, Daniel and many others went outside for a fag, she asked me, “Can I kiss the baby, I want to kiss him?” I replied, “Babies cheeks must be kissed, of course you can kiss him,” Then putting her head down to meet his, she kissed him on his little cheek, and said, “He smells nice.” It was lovely to meet Claudette’s family, and after two hours we all went home.
When Darius was just over a week old, I asked Claudette, “Can we come over and visit?” She said, “Yes, and his cord fell off today,” I asked, “What do you mean?” She explained, the cord that was cut by his belly button, it finally fell off today.” I said, with concern in my mind, “I know nothing about that, what has your Midwife or Health Visitor said about it?” She replied, “No Health Visitor has been, we’ll see her next Thursday, when she visits, and the Midwife came once and that was the day after Darius was born.” I was shocked, to say the least! I asked her if she had free milk, for Megan and myself had noticed on our first visit, in the kitchen we had seen the tin of milk formula was twelve pounds, she said, “No, we pay for it,” I said, “Write down all the questions you want to ask the Health Visitor, so you won’t forget all the questions you need to ask, ask her about the free milk, free fruit for you, possible twenty free nappies a week, you could be entitled to and if it’s OK for you to keep Darius’ milk for up to four hours after it is made (for I think that is way too long) even if it’s kept in the little baby bottle warmer pouch/bag.
Darius who was also registered yesterday, when we first went into the very warm flat, he was wearing a cotton hat! I did say, “He don’t need a hat on,” Paul said the same. I didn’t push the issue as I remembered well when I had my first child, all the various different voices/advices drove me to tears! I touched his cheeks and he wasn’t over the top warm, so I knew he’d be OK.
We three went to visit Claudette, Daniel and baby Darius yesterday, she told me, “Without my Mum we would have been completely lost!” I had asked, “Does Darius liked his bath time?” She said, “We were told to bath him ever day, but as no one had shown us how to do it, or what temperature at first we did it too cold and he would cry, we make it warmer now and he doesn’t cry, my mum showed us how to bath him.” I was disgusted. I asked again about the Midwife’s visit she said, “They are only allowed to visit once, it is the day after the baby is born.” I told her, “That is terrible.” I asked her, “What about meetings you had before Darius was born?” She said, “At one of my scans, I was asked, ‘Are you interested in going to antenatal care?’ Claudette, replied, “Yes I am.” She carried on, “I heard nothing, so asked again at another scan and was told, “You have to book it on line and pay.” I was shocked and said, “We didn’t have to book anything on line and it was free.”
I had lots of people congratulating me on becoming a Grandma, I said, “I’m not a Grandma, I’m a Nanny, but I wasn’t sure why, until my Cousin Sylvia said, “Congratulations Nanny,” I replied, “You are the first person to get it right,” she said, “That’s cause our Mums are Grandma’s they are older than us, we’re Nannies!” That was it.
The Health Visitor will visit for the first time today.
Nanny Jan. x