Saturday, 16 February 2013

Chapter 7


Finally its morning.

I haven’t slept or eaten in 24 hours. I haven’t got pajamas or soap or any charge left in my mobile to ring someone and ask for these things.

I have a handbag with a folder of documents, a note book and a final demand for council tax. I have a lovingly packed hospital bag sitting in my spare room, 6 miles away.

Thank god for the bedside telly. If I keep it tuned to Saturday Kitchen, I can anchor my thoughts to something harmless so they don't bother me so much as they drift about. I still have to deal with the raggedy strung-out -ness of (I assume) low blood sugar though, and I’ve just been told there’s no chance of anything to eat until breakfast time.

Breakfast turns out to be a small bowl of cornflakes and a bread roll which does nothing much for my hunger but a great deal for my mental health. I wait to be unhooked from my catheter and walk, shaky as a new foal, to the shower cubical to wash with borrowed soap and dry with borrowed towels.  I hold onto the walls for support and rinse thumb sized blood clots from my cunt.

I have to wait again to be taken to visit my baby. There is the most interminable faff while a health care assistant checks in cupboards for slippers, then checks another cupboard, then gives up and leads me in a hospital gown and bare feet, to special care. The tiles are cold against my feet. It doesn't matter. 

Jimmy’s knee joints are wider than his legs. Wider than his arse even. His shoulder blades stick out from his back.  He is sleeping on his side, propped up on a rolled up sheet no bigger than a handkerchief. He is a pitiful scrap of a thing.

I sit beside the incubator and lean my head on my arms to watch him and fall asleep, myself. I have to be woken up and asked if I’d like to hold him. I do. They place him foot first in my cleavage and his tiny eyes look up at me, so trusting. I feel instantly calm. 

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