After traveling for two days to reach the maternity hospital in Valence (France), where our daughter had given birth to her first baby the day before, we were absolutely physically and mentally exhausted.
We arrived Friday evening just in time to spend a precious hour with our daughter, son-in-law and first granddaughter before visiting time ended. My thoughts and emotions were in turmoil as while she was fine we learned our “baby” piglet was in a great deal of pain due to a difficult birth.
The hospital staff had initially claimed she was making a “fuss”, but quickly changed their tune when they discovered she had fractured her coccyx giving birth. Has anyone else experienced this? Unable to take strong painkillers, as she was breastfeeding, she suffered pretty much in silence. A stubborn streak in her, which I think she inherited from me (surprise, surprise), drove her on and she refused to give in, accept medication and put her little daughter on the bottle.
I watched “our” baby hobble to the bathroom; her steps tentative as her body contorted in pain. My motherly protective instincts kicked in and my heart lurched and as she struggled in agony I started to cry. Mr. Piglet wanted to strangle the doctor who had delivered Lily-May for what only can be described as a total disregard for the Mothers needs. What a callous brute! (That’s the doctor not Mr. Piglet).
We left the hospital that evening feeling on a high at the birth of our first grandchild Lily-May, but on a low for our poor daughter. She had been through so much with the pregnancy and problems with the house move, it seriously made me wonder why God laid such a difficult path for some while others just sauntered through life on a bed of Roses.
Thanks to our GPS our hotel in Valence was easy to find. We dumped our bags, showered and I was so tired I was ready to hit the sack there and then. Mr. Piglet, however, had other plans and insisted his stomach was grumbling so we had to go on a mission to find a cheap restaurant late at night in a strange city. Grrrrr men!
The next four days passed in a blur…
We explored the streets of Valence to pass the time between hospital visits and fell in love with the historic buildings, winding cobbled streets, and unusual shops. Valence was just oozing quaint charm and character so a perfect place to wile away our time. The people were really friendly, unlike in Lyon where my pathetic attempts to speak French were met with barely a grunt of acknowledgment and blank stare. In fact Valence had a sort of “homely” feel which was extremely comforting at a time we were feeling lost and confused.
We felt almost in state of limbo as we had no idea how long our daughter would need to stay in hospital as she was bed bound and needed care.
Here is a slide show of Valence…as they say “A picture saves a 1000 words!”
On Wednesday when we arrived at the hospital, I think it was Wednesday as looking back one day just merged seamlessly with the next – one minute we were quietly chatting and cuddling Lily-May and the next, the room became a hive of activity. Medical speke is bad enough in your mother tongue, but in a foreign language, we stood there like a couple of spare parts. We were then informed that instead of transferring our daughter and Lily-May to another hospital, as they needed her bed, she was to be sent home under something called “home hospitalization”. The Doctors, Midwives and Nurses treated you at home. What a brilliant idea – although our daughter was apprehensive I was secretly pleased as I detest hospitals. They are not always the best place to recover as you catch bugs, you can’t sleep and the food is disgusting.
Our daughter, having made the decision to return to their temporary home with the in-laws in Provence to make her recovery, organised us all with military precision before we all went into headless chicken mode. Draws and lockers were hastily emptied and everything was packed up ready to go. Lily-May was suitably dressed for the journey, Mr. Piglet dispatched to the hotel to pack up all our belongings, an ambulance organized and we were off.
We all descended on our French in-laws and the next part of our “adventure” is to be continued. It was a difficult time but enjoyable and even humourous as I grappled with shopping in France; had a close encounter with a pooh missile while changing Lily-May; frozen condoms, enjoyed wonderful French food, learned how to cook a traditional French recipe while helping to look after our daughter and Lily-May.
My goodness there is never a dull moment in the Piglet household and we were certainly on an emotional rollercoaster!