I put down the phone after speaking with my supervising social worker, and experienced that excited feeling of butterflies in my stomach. My new foster placement was to be a newborn baby boy, six weeks premature and still in hospital.
My preparations began straight away. Moses basket, baby bath, pram, clothes and bedding all down from the loft. Everything was put through the washing machine to freshen it up and that wonderful baby smell started to fill the house. The steam steriliser was set up and checked. I would need to wait until I met him to know what bottles, milk, nappy size and clothes he would need, but I imagined he would be tiny.
The following day due to lockdown restrictions, I sat in my car outside the hospital, logged into the discharge meeting on my phone. It was so exciting listening to all the details of the little bundle of joy I would soon be taking home.
I’ve had the privilege of looking after several babies previously, yet I’m still always shocked by how much time a tiny baby needs. Sterilising and making bottles, providing 5-6 feeds a day, with easily the same number of nappy changes, and quite often an outfit change as well! Despite all this, the joy a tiny baby brings to a household is immeasurable.
My four-year-old daughter squealed with excitement at his tiny fingers, toes and nose. The joy in her face makes it all worth it. She touched him softly, fetched him toys and teddies, read him stories and sang him songs. We shared hugs and cherished the special time together.
Fortunately for us, the lockdown has allowed for a slower pace of life, and we have enjoyed virtual visits from the community nurse and health visitor.
We have walked in the local parks with the baby warmly wrapped in his plan. The sleepless nights are all worthwhile and it is a joy, privilege and pleasure to share in this little ones journey.
This article was written by a foster carer with Slough Children First
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