September 02, 2004

frances perry house : site report

After a hurried dinner at Thresherman's, which is just off Lygon Street in Carlton, your mum and I went up the elevator to the 11th floor of the Royal Women's Hospital. The top floors of the Royal Women's are dedicated to a private hospital called Frances Perry House, which is one of the places we're thinking of going for your birth. You'll remember that I told you that your uncle Nicholas and aunt Liz were born there, and it's considered one of the best labour facilities in the country.

The tour was led by a woman called Cynthia, who told us in no uncertain terms that our days of making plans and calling the shots are well and truly over. From this point on, she said, our lives would be dictated by responding to your needs. She showed us around the facility, all the while dodging wheelchairs carrying women who had just given birth, and trolleys containing babies only minutes old. The movement and noises reminded me of a military installation, everything organised to within an inch of its life so that the movements of mothers, fathers, babies, visitors and nursing staff could occur.

We saw all manner of equipment, bright lights and competent looking people. I think that it was then, for me, that the reality of what we had done began to sink in. You're on your way, pumpkin, and there's nothing that will stand in front of you now. You have made your decision about when you will arrive, and we are just your vessels. Your mother and I joke about the person you will be - confident, precociously intelligent and constantly seeking knowledge. We know from our own childhoods how much of a handful you will be, and we're looking forward to it, albeit with trepidation.

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