Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Harry Potter and the Health Visitor

Based on Diary Extract 7.3.11, Albie 9 wks old.

I had the health visitor round today. She brought with her a trainee nurse; a lad who resembled Harry Potter, except with more acne. "Do you mind if Steve observes this session?" she asked, stood on my doorstep. "Erm, yes actually, I would rather not have a young boy look at my c-section wounds and watch me breastfeed," was the answer I gave in my head. What I actually said was; "Yeh that's fine," maybe in the hope that he would perform some sort of spell to stop Albie crying.
The health visitor proceeded to ask me all those personal questions I dreaded, leaving me wishing for a rather large hole to hide in: whether I had stopped bleeding and how tender my breasts were (Steve's eyes nearly popped out of his head).
While I tried to stammer my way out of the answers, Albie started one of his crying fits. The health visitor asked me if I'd fed him. "Yes," I said. I'm not sure what it is about babies crying that makes everyone assume that they're hungry, like that's the only thing that could possibly be wrong with your child. Surely if you didn't have a voice you would have a lot more to ask for than a drink of milk. Alas, no, a mother with a baby that cries is obviously not feeding him enough, right?!
The health visitor started to tell me things I could do to help with the crying. After suggesting a large list of things that I had already tried, she proceeded to tell me to invest in a grandfather clock. She said that the loud ticking would stop him crying. I started to check for film cameras incase they were in fact filming a scene from Harry Potter. A grandfather clock?! I told her that I didn't need one because I have an 'app for that' - and I do. It's called 'white noise' and it has been a life-saver for calming Albie to sleep. The setting that sounds like a hairdryer is the best and, no word of a lie, it is like magic. Unfortunately this only works when the crying is due to him being tired and not when he decides that nothing will appease him.
The Health Visitor looked a little agitated that I was not convinced with replacing my pocket-sized iphone with a 6ft wooden clock but I was not buying it. 30 minutes later and Albie had still not stopped crying. "Is he like this all the time?" She asked. "Yes," I said. "Have you tried feeding him?" She asked again, as though 30 minutes later her memory had been erased by Voldemort. "Yes," I said. After 10 more minutes of telling me where to buy a new clock, she persuaded me to try breastfeeding again (Steve's eyes had now fallen out). Albie fussed as usual but eventually quietened down and the health visitor said "There you are you see, he just needed a feed." And off her and Harry flew on their broom, leaving me scouring the internet for grandfather clocks.

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