I didn't have time to conclude the story of my daughter's arrival past where I was still in hospital. I thought perhaps the story of her homecoming would also be interesting; well at least I have such happy memories so I indulge me for a few minutes.
After about 10 days in hospital I arrived home with my little bundle of charm. My husband's grandmother had bought a beautiful pink perspex (quite large) baby bath which was wonderful to use. His mother sent down to our house one of a pair of very large cane chairs as she said they were ideal for sitting in when feeding a baby. These were beautiful chairs with a padded back and also a large upholstered cushion and she was so right...the chair was really comfy to sit in while nursing the baby. (I eventually, years later, was given the second chair and I had them upholstered and repaired and now my daughter has them in her home and know she treasures them very much).
My mother-in-law (being an excellent seamstress) had made 3 little white dresses which she had embroidered on the yoke. I had also done quite a lot of knitting and also made nighties and matinee jackets and of course hemmed all the cloth napkins as there were no disposable nappies in those days and I don't think we could have afforded them anyway. We would buy nappy cloth by the yard, cut it to size and hem the cut sides. I preferred the cotton to the towelling nappies but guess it was a matter of choice.
Other family members had knitted jackets etc but with the baby being quite small they were a little large at first. A friend of my mother had declared I was definitely having a baby girl and for some reason she had knitted a tiny pink jacket which was an ideal fit. She seemed to be a lady with a sixth sense about these things which was quite amazing. How did she know the baby would be so small I wonder?
Our next door neighbour was an elderly lady who on my first morning home called to me over the fence and asked me if I would like to come into her home to give my little one her first bath. She said she had the stove going and her kitchen was lovely and warm. As I was somewhat nervous about bathing the baby on my own for the first time I took her up on her lovely offer and handed the bath plus towel and other necessary bits and pieces over the side fence and around I went with my daughter. I had a wonderful time giving her a bath in the company of a very experienced mum and from then on I was never nervous at bath time.
Unfortunately my little one suffered quite severe colic for the first 3 months of her life and for us it was fortunate it was nearly always after we'd finished dinner of an evening. For 2-3 hours she was periodically in quite severe pain and it was heartbreaking to hear her cry without there being a lot one could do to help her. I would administer what then was called 'gripe water' which I think was fluid magnesia and I am not sure it did a lot of good. I would lay her on her tummy and rub her back which did seem to help somewhat and sometimes we'd tug up and take her for a walk in her cane pram and this seemed to help her quite a bit and eventually she would settle down and we would get a good night's sleep. Amazingly enough once she turned 3 months the colic magically vanished. Several people had told me this would happen and sure enough it did almost to the day.
Apart from the colic my little daughter thrived and was a favourite with everyone as she always had a ready smile from only a few weeks of age and was an absolute delight to care for. It would probably be frowned on these days but my mum-in-law would dip a milk arrowroot biscuit into her cup of tea and feed this to the baby who at that time was only a few months old. It never seemed to do her any harm and I often wonder if that is why today my daughter really enjoys a good cup of tea.
I am so glad I have these wonderful memories and although occasionally a few times over the intervening years my daughter and I have not always seen eye to eye (after all we ARE both human) our relationship has been very special to me and as MOH and I have aged she and her hubby have been very good to us. What more could we ask for than that. Thank you my dear girl for being you. xxx