Lakshmi’s new baby sister

“Epidural” cried Kavitha as she woke me up in the early hours of Tuesday. She has been asking for pain relief for the past two hours and the midwife has been finding excuses to delay it. I ring the anaesthetist and ask her to help Kavitha out. I am wide awake now and decide to get ready to go to work. Lakshmi stirs twice as I am getting ready and I put her back to sleep and sneak off to work.

I visit the labour ward before going to theatres. The midwife in question has some answering to do. She is not going to get away with this attitude. The labour progresses well and Lavinia Ophelia Griffiths is born after midday. She is only 35 weeks old and has to stay in hospital till Friday and will be released then if all goes well.

Lakshmi comes to see her little sister in the evening with her Nana, Gummy and Appu. She doesn’t know what to do when she sees the baby and stays away. We cannot get a photo of the two of them together. We go home and she falls asleep as soon as we get home.

The next morning we all have a lie in. Lakshmi doesn’t wake up till almost ten. Her nana and gummy are visiting the hospital and making their way back home. I take Lakshmi shopping before going to the hospital. She is still wary of the baby, but we manage to take a couple of photos. The baby is having phototherapy sessions under the bright light with funny glasses on. She looks like she is having a tanning session with sunglasses on and looks pretty chilled. Lakshmi is intrigued. She still won’t touch the baby. She spends a bit of time with her Amma and Dada and I take her home. She keeps saying “Lakshmi sad”, although I am not sure why or if she actually knows what sad means.

I take Lakshmi swimming to cheer her up. I buy her a buoyancy jacket and we get into the pool. It is empty but soon fills up with boisterous children who starts splashing water around. Lakshmi splashes water onto me and doesn’t realise that she is not actually holding onto me. We stay in the water for almost an hour and then get out. The changing room is freezing cold compared to the pool room. The shower warms us up.

In the evening Lakshmi’s mum FaceTimes her. She says goodnight to her Amma and dada. She is starting to warm to the baby. The baby is still underneath the lights with her glasses on. Lakshmi says goodnight to her baby sister and soon falls asleep.

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