Sunday, 3 November 2013

Things that go beep in the night

Hospitals are fever dreamscapes. Lights blink and machines bleep. Footsteps and meal trays fade in and out of morphine sleep and sober sleeplessness. Angels roam the hallways cleverly camouflaged in scrubs. You can hide anything in scrubs.

I've been here before. A hospital stay with a six-week old baby feels a lot like experiencing the birth again. My boy and I will have to relearn how to breastfeed, and remember how to hold each other comfortably. We will have to sleep when the other sleeps, and smile when the other smiles. 

Like the last time I found myself in hospital with a poorly baby, I am filled with the knowledge of how much worse it could be. I am amazed at how strong and brave my tiny child is, and I am so grateful for the angels in scrubs who make sense of all those bleeping machines attached to my son. 

One of the nurses tells me about a ritual of his: at the end of the night he returns home and turns off all the sound-making devices in his house. Then he sits in the pure silent dark for a good while. I can't think of a better way to return to the outside.