How To Deter Your Health Visitor

I’m typing this in the bath. These twenty minutes are very precious. There’s nobody else here, and it’s bliss! Writing my blog clears the mind, and prepares me for the remaining twenty-three hours and forty minutes of the day.

Today’s been particularly tough. I’ve no idea why. Perhaps it’s the two hours sleep I’ve missed out on every night for the past eight weeks? Maybe it’s the fact we had a brilliant day in the Lake District yesterday, and staying in today, staring at ‘Washing Up Mountain’ isn’t quite living up to it. Or maybe it’s because we’ve just used the last of the coffee beans; the thing I’ve come to be most reliant on. Whatever it is, I know that having a good old moan via my blog will fix my mood. Here goes…

There’s few people in life that really get on my wick. It’s easy to avoid the ones that do; delete them from Facebook, pretend you haven’t seen them in the café because you’re far too busy being busy to notice them. I sometimes don’t even open text messages from certain people, just so it doesn’t say ‘read’ on their phone. I’m well practiced in this. There’s one person I can’t seem to get away from though. The Health Visitor.

She hates me. I can’t say I’m too keen on her either. Don’t get me wrong, she’s pleasant enough and is obviously good at her job, but she doesn’t half nag! I don’t know how many more times I can tell her I’m not depressed. Unfortunately on her first visit I responded to the question “Have you felt tearful at all since bringing the baby home?” by saying “Yes.” Red alert! Red alert! Her iPad didn’t like my answer at all. Why, oh why did I say this? I cried the first evening we came home. Most probably because I’d just had a baby via a very unplanned Caesarean, for three days had been trapped in a hospital ward surrounded by undesirables, and had literally slept for five hours within 72. Who wouldn’t shed a tear upon stepping through the door to their home with a beautiful new baby whom you’re responsible for forever, a clean bed, your own toilet, and your partner making you a proper brew instead of the crap they provide at hospital? I’ve always expressed exhaustion through crying. I remember when I was 10, I was in a production of ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’ (I was a badger.) The dress rehearsal had been so tedious, and I was so stressed with remembering my one line, that Sunday evening I sat in the bath with the muffled sounds of ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ theme tune coming from the living room, and balled my eyes out. So I’m sorry if I cried once on the first evening in our own home with our new baby. It does not by any means suggest that I’m depressed. I was just bloody knackered!

And I’m not being abused either! I’m sure that sadly there are many women out there being abused by their partners, but I wish she’d take my word for it that I’m not one of them! No amount of questionnaire-filling in, or book marks with help line phone numbers on them are going to change that. Please desist!

Last moan now: I accidentally told the Health Visitor that I’ve been giving Theo a bottle of formula milk every now and then. I know I can’t ‘run out’ of milk. Believe me, I’ve read every bit of NHS advice regarding breastfeeding. But we had a couple of horrendous nights where he seemed to be starving, and it didn’t appear as though I had enough milk to meet his demand. So Alex nipped to the shop and got a tin of formula. Wham, bam, thank you mam! Theo fell asleep a happy baby in the end, and my boobs had enough time to build up a better supply before the next feed. Needless to say the Health Visitor took this news badly. Despite having just told me how well the baby was doing, that he was putting on weight, and that a lot of the things he was doing were quite advanced for his age, she went on to recite a monologue recalling the downside to formula fed babies. With the way she was blabbering on, you’d think all the millions of formula fed babies out there were malnourished, quivering wrecks. I’d like to see how she’d cope when reality hits with a baby who had been screaming uncontrollably for four hours! She wouldn’t be so quick as to throw her ‘rule book’ at me then. I must remind myself however, that this is her job. Boxes must be ticked!

So here are my top three tips on how to deter your Health Visitor:

  1. Don’t get depressed.
  2. Try to avoid domestic abuse at all cost.
  3. (And this is the worst thing ever…) Feed your baby a few bottles of formula milk a week. She’ll soon get the message there’s no need to come back.

Anyway enough moaning. I’d best dry off. I’ve gone all wrinkly and can hear the grunts of starvation coming from downstairs. Don’t worry, Theo, it’s Wab Time.

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