My baby boy turns one this week and inevitably I’m thinking a lot about this wonderful, life changing year. Those first hours and days were both amazing and overwhelming. One of the first hurdles to overcome as a parent was the task of getting my baby home from the hospital, and today I’m dreaming of that first car journey.
You may have seen film clips of new babies leaving hospital, the nurse handing over the baby on the hospital steps. In the past hospitals in the UK had legal responsibility for the infant until he/she was out of the building. All this has changed! You might think that this is not particularly important but physically getting my baby out of the hospital was more challenging than I had expected! I blame the Scottish winter, which was almost as bad last year as it is this.
Before being discharged from hospital my husband Arran packed up all of Euan’s things into the car so that we didn’t have too much to carry out. It was going to be simple, we had 3 simple tasks before we were home free:
1) Put Euan into his snowsuit. I considered this to be absolutely essential. The weather was horrendous - think driving horizontal rain and then imagine it’s snow. Plus, this snowsuit had ears, it was too cute not to utilise!
2) Put the snowsuited baby into his new Maxi-Cosi Car Seat.
Of course it wasn’t that simple! By the time we had (limb by delicate limb) fitted the snowsuit, and worked out how to use the car seat (where does this strap go?) we realised (or he let us know through his tears!) that he was really uncomfortable – his suit was ridiculously big and he was far too hot while still in the sweltering heat of the ward. We had to get him out. So now how do we stop him crying? A feed of course….
Some time later we decided to start again. Disappointed Euan wouldn’t be wearing the snowsuit (it had been the very first thing I’d bought him) I looked around for something else to dress him in. Of course all of his other warm things were by this time already in the car so we decided that we’d put him in the car seat, use the snowsuit as a blanket and take him down to the ground floor where Arran would go to the car and get out the blankets. There was an obligatory change of nappy and then we were on our way. Or so we thought… The midwife came to say goodbye and then politely asked if that was all Euan was wearing. Flustered and already feeling like a bad mother, I explained that of course we’d be bringing some more blankets out of the car before taking Euan out in the torrential rain that was pelting down outside. Kindly (but with what I hormonally misinterpreted as concern for my child’s welfare!) the midwife gave us one of the hospital’s blankets and told us to keep it. We were on our way! We have been given a multitude of beautiful knitted blankets by family and friends but that tatty hospital blanket still has special sentimental value.
Anyway, we got down stairs. Arran went to bring the car to just outside the door and then the phone went off. Our friend Katy had just had a baby girl and she was in the very same hospital. We almost went back to say hello but decided that the best thing to do (for all concerned!) was to get home.
Two hours after being discharged we were in the car. We clipped in the car seat (having an Isofix base makes that part so much easier now but that first time I checked and rechecked that it was in right!) and got going. The car journey itself was absolutely fine. Arran did the driving and I sat in the back with our new baby making sure that he was OK.
The whole thing was a bit of a calamity but of course that doesn’t really matter. If you’re waiting for your baby to arrive you’re probably more concerned about the bit that comes before leaving the hospital anyway so please don’t add that first journey to your list of worries! Closing our front door and holding my baby in my arms in my own home was one of the most special moments of my life and it will be for you too.
This photo was taken days after getting home.
Are you waiting for that first journey? Is your memory of bringing your baby home still fresh or a distant memory? Can you beat two hours from deciding to leave the hospital to actually exiting the building?! Please share your stories below, I’d love to hear from you.
Related Posts: Out and About in the Car with Your Newborn
To find out what other bloggers are dreaming of this Monday please check out The Mother of All Trips.