At the Clinic, Gran and Grandad met the attendant who was wheeling Mum to the entrance. He handed Grandad some papers.
‘Everything’s in order, she just needs somewhere quieter to rest. We’ll see you later,’ he said.
‘Hi Mum, I’ve missed you,’ Meg called as she ran around and hugged Mum’s legs.
‘Gran said that your big tummy has turned into a baby, didn’t you Gran?’
‘Yes Meg, I did, but let’s move Mum out of the doorway, and we’ll take
‘But you said we’d see the baby. You said I could help!’ Meg cried.
‘Now Meg, do what Gran said and we will all see the baby real soon,’ said Grandad, as he wheeled Mum into the car park.
‘Let’s go home and come back later,’ suggested Grandad.
‘It’s not fair, Gran,’ Meg complained, ‘you promised I could help with the baby!’
‘It’s OK Meg. The baby’s OK, but Mum needs to be with us just now,’ coaxed Gran, as she tucked the rough feeling rug in place around Mum’s legs.
‘You can help with the baby, just not now. Mum and baby need rest. You also promised… to cooperate,’ Gran paused for emphasis, ‘remember?’
‘Oh OK, but after I ‘co-op-er-ate’ you have to, too’ said Meg and ran around their backs. She squeezed between Grandad and Gran, so she could hold the handle and help anyway.
They made their way to their car.
Meg’s Dad had just arrived. He saw them, then called and waved as he ran towards them.
‘I left work as soon as I could get away.’
When he got closer, he asked quietly, ‘How is she, the clinic staff were very vague, you know how they are?’
‘Yeah, they don’t tell anyone much on the phone, but anyway Mum’s fine. It’s just that the baby was a bit small and needed to stay a bit longer.’ Grandad told Dad.
‘There’s nothing serious like, just to make sure, you know,’ he quickly added, looking down at Meg.
‘Hello Meg,’ Dad said.
‘Hello Dad,’ Meg grinned as she peeped out from between Gran and Grandad.
‘They want Mum back here by 5 o’clock so she can feed the baby herself,’ said Gran as they reached Dad’s car.
‘Well then,’ Dad said, ‘it is a good job you live so close to this place.’
Taking Mum in his arms, Dad helped her into the back seat.
‘What did they do to her?’
‘Nothing,’ said Gran, ‘she is just exhausted from the sleepless nights since she started to give birth. They think she will rest better if she’s at home with us.’
‘Of course she will, and she’ll be warmer,’ agreed Dad as he tucked the rug around Mum’s legs. Meg opened the door on the other side of the car, and carefully climbed onto the back seat.
‘It’s OK Dad, I’ll look after her,’ declared Meg as she caressed Mum’s shoulder, then leaned over to kiss her.
Mum turned her head towards Meg, and then lets it rest on Meg’s hand.
‘Its alright Mum, I won’t let you fall,’ Meg promised.
‘Buckle up Meg,’ Dad called from behind the wheel.
‘Ok Dad, are we going back to Gran and Grandad’s?’
‘Yes, we’ll follow them home and we will bring Mum back later.’ said Dad.
‘Why won’t they let the baby come home, too?’
‘Well Meg, the baby is pretty tiny and the doctors want him at the Clinic for another day.’
‘Oh, so the baby can come home tomorrow.’ Meg said eagerly and grinned.
Dad smiled and said, ‘Yes, the baby will be home tomorrow.’
‘Can I stay home from school again tomorrow, and help?’ Meg asked and crossed her fingers.
‘Yes Meg, you can. I have already spoken to your school about it. Your teacher said she wants a report from you when you get back, for Show and Tell.’
‘I will do it, Dad, It will be the best ever!’
Dad glanced up into the rear-view mirror and saw his daughter happy face.
The two cars left the car park of the clinic and went to Gran and Grandad’s house.
By the time, they had made Mum comfortable and had a cup of tea themselves; it was time to go back to the Clinic.
At reception, Meg on tiptoe, reached up to the top of the desk. She tried to see the person who was talking to her Dad.
‘Come on Meg, Mum has to go now,’ Gran took Meg’s hand.
‘Alright Gran I‘m coming. Are we going to see the baby now?’ she asked.
‘No Meg, not yet, maybe after Mum has fed him,’ answered Gran as they walked over to the Clinic’s gift shop, ‘Something for Everybody’.
‘I want you to help me choose presents for Mum and the new baby,’ said Gran.
There was so much to choose from; it took Gran and Meg a long time to decide on the best presents. At last, they agreed on two gifts, a cosy, soft rug for Mum, and a soft Ring Rattle, for the baby.
They left the shop, and Meg saw Grandad, by the lift doors.
‘Look Gran, there’s Grandad,’ she pulled on Gran’s hand.
They quickly crossed the room to the waiting area.
‘Dad’s on his way down again, so we’re to meet him here,’ said Grandad.
‘Is Mum coming too? Can we see the baby?’ Meg asked impatiently.
‘Now Meg, we all have to be patient just a little longer, I’m sure Dad will tell us everything there is to know as soon as…Oh, here he is now,’ Grandad said as the lift bell sounded it’s warning.
Meg stood back a little behind her Gran, while all the people got out of the lift, when all of a sudden she leapt forward…
Meg did not see the pram.
Gran caught Meg’s shoulder as she flashed by her and pulled her back, out of the way.
‘Careful, Meg, we don’t want you ending up in the clinic too, do we?’ Gran said taking her hand again.
‘Oh there you are…’ Grandad started to say, but saw the look on Dad’s face as he moved toward Meg.
Grandad reached out to Dad and put his hand on Dad’s shoulder.
‘Now don’t be hard on her lad, all this is a lot for her to handle, and it’s only normal for her to get excited. Tell us what you know, and what we’re suppose to do.’
While Grandad said all this, Meg peeped around her Gran and clung tightly to her Gran’s hand with both of hers.
‘It’s all right Meg,’ encouraged Gran, ‘everyone leaps before they look, at least once in their lives. Come on, let’s listen to what Dad has to say.’
‘The Doctor wants to keep the baby in over night.’ They heard Dad say as they moved closer. ‘They think it would be a good idea if Mum stayed as well. It would save her travelling, in the middle of the cold night, for the late feed.’ Dad told them.
Meg could tell he was not upset with her anymore, and stood next to her Gran.
‘Well,’ said Gran, ‘what does Mum need for tonight, and which room are they in?’
‘They have Mum in the Isolation Unit, so she can rest between feeds. The baby is with her. Since the last feed, he has improved so fast, that he no longer needs the monitoring machine, but he needs his Mum,’ Dad told them and smiled at his daughter.
‘They have everything they need for tonight, and we can take them both home tomorrow. Before we go, the doctor said we could all see Mum over a closed video link. We will be able to see and hear them, but they will only hear us.’
They went to the main reception desk and Dad spoke to the person he had spoken to earlier.
‘We’ve been sent here to use the video link to the Isolation Unit.’ Dad told her.
‘Yes, Doctor just phoned through. Please go around the corner at the end of the desk. There is a small alcove with a screen and a microphone.’
‘Thank you very much,’ said Dad.
When they arrived at the alcove, the receptionist had connected everything up. Handing the microphone and headphones to Dad she said, ‘When you are finished, come back to the desk. OK?’
‘We will and thank you,’ said Dad. ‘Right, Gran, do you want to go first?’
‘Oh yes, and Meg can have the headphones,’ said Gran.
‘Ooh look, Gran, he is ever so tiny,’ exclaimed Meg.
‘Isn’t he just, but Mum looks so happy, doesn’t she Grandad?’ Gran made room so Grandad could see the screen and then took Meg’s hand.
‘Now we will go and call Carol. She has waited all afternoon for news from this end. Meg wants to talk to her, and say hello, too,’ said Gran.
‘Oh Yes please, Gran,’ agreed Meg and handed the headphones to Grandad.
As they, all met at the main entrance, Meg appealed to her Dad.
‘Can we have something to eat now please, I am STARVING?
‘You are not the only one,’ said Dad and Grandad, in unison, as they walked to cars.
‘There is a very nice fish and chip shop just around the corner. It will not hurt to have fast food, just this once,’ said Gran.
The next day, they were back at the Clinic, but this time they took a special basket and the back seat of Dad’s car had special straps to hold it.
Meg and Grandad waited by the clinic’s entrance, and eagerly watched for Dad and Gran who had gone in to get Mum and the baby.
‘There they are!’ shouted Meg excitedly, ‘Oh! Look! Mum’s walking next to Gran and Dad’s carrying the basket!’ Meg bounced around on Grandad’s hand. He held on so she couldn’t run towards them.
‘Come on Meg, we’ve got the car doors to open remember,’ said Grandad.
‘Remember, you have to get in the back seat first, so the basket can be strapped in next to you,’ Grandad reminded her.
‘Oh Yes!’ Meg replied with enthusiasm, ‘But I have to open the other door for Mum first, so Dad can help her and fasten her seatbelt, too.’
‘Well done Meg, you remembered,’ Grandad told her. ‘Well here we are then; do your stuff!’
Meg scampered around the car, opened all the proper doors and climbed into the middle of the back seat.
‘Your Gran and I will follow you, and we’ll see you at your place. Bye for now.’ With that, he fastened Meg’s seatbelt, gave her a big hug and moved out of Dad’s way.
Meg sat very still as Dad put the special basket next to her and fastened the straps. He went around to Mum on the other side and tucked the soft rug, then fastened her seat belt. He waved to Gran, and Grandad, and then got in behind the wheel.
‘Now you look after him, Meg.’
‘I‘ll look after the both Dad until we get home,’ promised Meg.
‘It’s a long drive, Meg, you’ll probably fall asleep.’
‘No I won’t, I’m not a bit tired.’ Meg stated confidently.
They travelled through the tunnel of light in front of the car; Meg lifted the blanket and stroked the tiny baby. She reached across the back of the seat towards Mum, and stroked her neck.
Mum had dozed off.
Meg stretched, looked back into the tunnel.
In the rear-view mirror, Meg yawned…
Dad pulled into the drive of their house, with Gran and Grandad close behind. ‘We’re here already,’ exclaimed Meg as the car finally stopped.
‘I must have fallen asleep!’ she continued in alarm. She lifted the blanket in the basket beside her.
‘Oh, he’s asleep, too.’
‘That’s alright Meg, I drove home with three sleeping beauties in the back seat!’ said Dad in good spirits. ‘It’s so good to be home!’
A dog on a leash came out to meet them.
‘Hi Mummy, Mum’s got a new baby!’ Meg calls excitedly to her mother who held the dog.
Meg waited for Dad to unfasten the straps, which held the basket in place.
Grandad took the leash from Carol.
Carol joined Gran and Mum, who led the way through the front door.
‘Anyone would think she was glad to be back,’ said Gran as Mum pushed open the family room door and led the way inside.
Meg jumped out of the car just in time to follow Dad, and the baby in his basket, through to the family room.
With her mouth like an ‘O’, Meg went across the room.
An even bigger basket was in front of the couch. She went over to look inside.
‘WOW!’ laughed Meg, ‘there are SIX of them!’
‘No wonder the tummy was so fat, Mummy. They all look the same, too!’ Meg laughed and went over to the little basket, on the floor near the heater, in front of Mum and Pop.
‘They are all so blue, Mummy!’ Meg declared in wonder to Carol, who sat at the opposite side of the basket. ‘Just like Mum and Pop,’ she said, and leaned over to affectionately stroked both dogs
‘Well,’ said Gran, ‘they are Blue Heelers, so I suppose, they really should be called ‘Baby Blues!’
Mum’s in the clinic while Pop’s at home with the rest of the brood and Meg’s gone to stay with her Grandparents. They go to the clinic to pick up Mum and the new baby.