Well everything is happening very quickly today. It is now 11.00am on 15th June 2012 and I have been up since 4.00am this morning when the telephone rang informing me of the birth of our 7th grandchild which my daughter Louise presented us with at 3.17am. The little chap, weighing in at 10lb and 27″ long, has all his hair and teeth and by the size of him, should be starting at school next week. Here he is showing his credentials a few seconds after he was born.
Louise, who like the rest of the family does not like or trust the conveyor belt attitude of maternity hospitals was having the baby at home until a last minute complication forced her midwife to shuttle her down to Wythenshawe Hospital, where young Ernie was born. Mother and baby are fine and cannot now wait to evacuate the place, which will happen some time this afternoon.
Another daughter of mine, Katy, herself a proud mother of five and who is very close to Louise, made a point of visiting the hospital this morning before starting work. Imagine her consternation when entering the maternity section, her path was blocked by a bolted door with an intercom system. Katy explained over this system who she was and that she had come to see her sister and had brought some food; Louise had had nothing to eat for 24 hours. “You cannot come in here” said a voice in reply, “only partners and grandparents are allowed”
“But I am the only relative Louise has in the UK” said Katy “just let me in for a few minutes, while I give her this food and see the baby”. “No, if we let you in, it will open the floodgates” said this over zealous harridan, “I will come to the door and take the food off you but you cannot come in”. Meanwhile Katy had contacted the imprisoned and traumatised Louise on her mobile phone and told her the story. Louise picked up young Ernest and was taking him down to see Katy at the door. “Where are you going with that baby, put him back” said the old hag, “he is electronically tagged, if you go anywhere near that door you will set off alarm systems all over the place”.
The two girls admitted defeat and retreated, Louise thanking the Lord that she will be out of this hell hole that afternoon and Katy remembering the trauma she went through seven years previously in that same place with her youngest child. Does the NHS, who I presume make these rules, have to behave in this manner? Can they not devise a more humanitarian method. This is the 21st century not the dark ages. Say Louise had been deserted by her partner and her parents were dead. Would she remain incarcerated and unvisited for ever in that concrete stygian hole they call a hospital. Perhaps rules like these are covered by a European Directive which will soon be rescinded when the whole bloody euro area gets blown apart shortly.
On a lighter note and as I sat quivering in anger in my armchair in Roscommon having this sorry tale explained to me over the telephone, the postman calls round with a parcel. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog piece called My Ten Best Buys where I described the ten things that I had bought which gave me the most pleasure in life. One of these was an Opinel knife, I had bought in France years ago, which was confiscated and then stolen by a security man at Knock Airport, presumably he was a brother of the above mentioned maternity witch. In the piece I said how I regretted everyday since without my knife. Well I opened the parcel and would you believe it, a brand new, super de-luxe Opinel knife appeared. A present from a reader, who had been so moved by my tale of woe.
Normally I am ambivalent about presents, never being sure that the effort in giving warrants the emotion of receiving. Well I can tell you this Opinel knife has set my emotions shaking. I am so moved that the reader was so moved to buy me this wonderful object. You know who you are and thanks so very, very much.
On a last note I have just received an e-mail from young Ernest’s father telling me that mother and baby have been safely returned to their home. Ernie is eating like a horse and packing his school bag for next week. He said to me over the phone, “come over and see me Grumps and I will make you a nice cup of tea”. Not bad for a 12 hour old.