Little Eve continues to change day by day and now her nappy rash seems to be passing (entailing two sessions of what we now call "roam free" each day when we take off her nappy and let her air a bit - being a modest lady she hates having her bits exposed but it does the trick on the nappy rash). She is back to a rough 3 hour feed cycle, with a bit more sleep during the day and a bit less at night, typically, and I am managing to get 5-6 hours sleep a day. An improvement on two weeks ago. We have figured out how to get her to sleep in her cot at each nap, and generally are getting a bit better at this parenting lark.
It was all looking peachy until about 12.30 last night.
Eve tends to start muttering and whining about an hour after she goes down to sleep. She isn't awake, just making noises, so I usually ignore these until she actually wakes up. Apparently lots of parents have a habit of going to the child as soon as she makes a noise, thus instilling bad habits in the child. No such luck in our house on a cold night. I will remain under the duvet until I am certain she wants feeding. So when, at midnight last night Eve starts making little noises I check her eyes are still closed (they are) and head back to bed. By 12.30 she is making a bit more noise and so I get up to feed her. As I take her out of her baby sleeping bag I realise she has wet through to the bag itself. And she stinks.
I wake up the Boy to help, something is clearly not right as she had only been changed 2 hours previously. Upon closer inspection, we find that our delightful daughter has deposited a vast amount of nasty green, watery, smelly goo in her nappy. This is not normal. Breast fed babies do not get this. We turn to old British faithful, Miriam Stoppard's book on children's ailments, to find that for small babies such symptoms mean you should immediately call your doctor. To a new Mum, even one as laid back as me, this is tantamount to shouting PANIC and setting off fireworks.
Which is when we hit a snag. We don't really have a GP in Hong Kong, Eve sees her pediatrician and then only during office hours. We scurry around to find the card and call the emergency number on it. It is a pager service and the person at the other end speaks no English and simply keeps repeating "patient pager" at me in a strong Chinese accent. After the tourist trick of speaking loudly and slowly doesn't work (with hindsight I might have shouted) I hang up and start to get frantic. We call the surgery where my doctor is based, hoping there will be an out of hours number on the answer machine. All we get is a message (also in Chinese) telling us the opening hours. By this point I am suggesting we go to the hospital. If Miriam says it is serious then we should be worried.
The Boy now realises that his "sick" daughter is currently latched onto my boob and showing no signs of ill health - in fact is guzzling rather loudly. So he tries the emergency pager number again and this time the operator speaks English and offers to page the doctor. We decide to go to bed, wait for the call back, check on Eve at her next feed and if the problem is still there then take her to the hospital.
Of course we don't get a call back, and Eve is absolutely fine at the next feed and thereafter. In fact as I type this she is asleep next to me having thrown up some of her breakfast that she hungrily guzzled too fast and too much an hour ago.
My mission for the day is to find out what number we should have called in an emergency for the inevitable next time.
Analogies of a sort
1 week ago