My favourite part of the day has always been bed time routine. Nothing beats striping them of their fun stained clothes and letting them loose, tickling and playing. Maybe it’s the sleepy snuggles I love or on many occasions it’s the end result, two sleeping babies.
I started with Nathanael, he was sitting on his bum grinning at me. As I sung ‘Here we go round the Mulberry Bush’ I lifted his top right up over his head leaving his vest and a pair of long johns. I froze for a second. Something didn’t look right, his podgy belly was extra big. I undressed the rest of him and lay him flat to observe. His stomach was beyond massive, it was verging on resembling a watermelon. I panicked. How could I have missed this? It wasn’t like this when I dressed him? Was it? No temperature, no pain when I touched it, just a happy healthy baby was giggling back at me as I frantically tried to call Paul.
I called the doctors surgery it was 5.45PM and I was told no one was available to speak to me. Typical, I really needed advice. I’ve been going on about his stomach for a week now and look at him ‘happy and healthy’. Is it normal and I’m taking paranoia to a new level?
I then rang doctor on call where a less than polite telephonist replied they didn’t open until 6PM so she couldn’t take my call. Ring back in TEN MINUTES!! Panic stricken I had a gut that I couldn’t wait any longer so Frankie (Paul’s mum) and I started to pack a bag for the hospital.
I had that twist in my stomach that just kept getting tighter, the drive to the hospital was only 7 minutes long but it felt like a lifetime. What could it be, has he a swollen appendix?, Is it his bowel? Self doubt was still niggling me but I’ve never been so certain that mothers instinct was telling me I was right all along.
I remember hoping they would give him something that night, I’d hate to have been away from Alfie for too long. Oh how naïve I truly was to the effect that night was going to have on our baby and our life.