D’ya hear yer man

I Love Lucy

I’ve got two souvenirs to help me remember Thursday, November 24, 2011 - one is a beautiful daughter, the other is an empty bottle which once contained a disappointing pineapple drink.

Lucy Victoria Cousins was born at 3.15pm on Thanksgiving Day weighing seven pounds and six ounces.

At 1.30pm that same day I was sent out to get a bite to eat. The midwife recommended a chip shop across the road from the hospital. She said I’d need to get a good feed in me because we were in for a long day - the baby wasn’t expected for at least 12 to 15 hours. We’d already been in the hospital for seven hours having had to beg for a bed and threaten to camp out in the car park before they would admit Karen.

I entered the chip shop with the intention of getting a cheeseburger and chip, however my eye was caught by a series of lunchtime specials each of which came with a free pineapple drink. I was intrigued. After much deliberation I sacrificed my cheeseburger and chip for a battered sausage supper just so I could avail of the pineapple drink. It turned out to be a small bottle of pineappleade with the chip shop’s logo on the front that was too fizzy, too tangy and, once opened, too late to get a refund.

Having washed down my battered sausage supper with my disappointing pineapple drink I returned to the hospital to be told that Karen was going to be prepared for theatre for an emergency c-section. Complications meant the consultant felt it would be safer to get the baby ‘out the sunroof’ without delay rather than bide our time for a natural delivery. I’d barely digested my battered sausage supper and now I had to digest the news that my wife was going for a major operation with the knowledge that all may not well with our child.

Thankfully Karen was ‘out of it’ on painkilling medication, so was numbed to what was going on. I was told by the professionals there was nothing to worry about, but it seems people only tell you there’s nothing to worry about when there’s something worrying you.

I was asked to wait outside when Karen was brought into theatre. I could have been waiting for anywhere between two minutes and 24 hours. Alone, but for the remnants of my pineapple drink.

When I got called into theatre and saw Karen on the operating table I abandoned all my manly training and burst into tears. I reached for Karen’s hand and she asked me, “Are you alright?”

Then the laughter began. Two of the nurses who were listening on our conversation were in stitches (ironically Karen would soon be in the same situation).

One of them said to Karen, “I think that’s the first time we’ve ever heard a woman getting a c-section ask her husband if HE was alright.”

Even Karen managed a laugh in spite of a doctor rummaging around in her insides in search of a baby.

Thankfully his search was successful and myself and Karen became the besotted parents of a very healthy and very beautiful baby girl.

The trauma of the hospital now seems light years ago and in the past couple of weeks we’ve watched with wonder, pride, joy and admiration as Lucy has made an assured start to life.

When she’s old enough to understand I’ll recount to her the action-packed story of the day she was born, using the empty bottle of pineapple drink to add a bit of flavour to the tale.

Blowin’ In The Wind

I’d like to thank Clint for filling in for me for the last two weeks with stories about his trousers while I became an expert in changing nappies and coaxing wind.

Speaking of wind - how come Lucy gets encouraged, cheered, and on occasion draws applause, when she breaks wind, yet when I do it I’m sent out of the room? There’s times she uses the end of the crib for extra leverage to force out bottom burps. I must say, I’m rather proud of her.

Weekly teaser

The answer to my last teaser, which the majority of you will have forgotten, was: the naked man robbed a newspaper kiosk on a nudist beach and it was therefore difficult for witnesses to describe him to police.

Here’s a fresh one: in 1987 a crane collapsed in a residential area of Belfast at lunchtime yet no one saw or heard anything. Why not?