At the risk of perhaps being overly optimistic about Millie’s chances (she’s still got a long way to go before she’s home and dry – that should be emphasised occasionally), we took the plunge today and registered her birth with “The Man” (i.e. Lewisham Borough Council). So the cold, clammy fingers of authority are even now tap-tap-tapping the name “Millie Harriet Carter, 30/6/2005″ into computers across the capital.
In return I was given a “basic” birth certificate. Quite what good the “basic” birth certificate actually is escapes me for the moment, because we have to pay £3.50 for a “full” one if we’re to get Millie a passport. Maybe I’m thinking too far ahead here, but what exactly is the point of the “basic” birth certificate then? It’s rather like being given, say, free travel on the trains but having to pay to open the doors…
Still, on the plus side, we got a voucher for free stuff from Boots. We have to fill in a questionnaire detailing everything except our shoe size, but then get some as-yet-undetermined goodies. Whoo-hoo!
This sounds a bit cynical of me, doesn’t it? Sorry – I was actually quite moved to come away with even the “basic” certificate officially acknowledging the birth of my lovely daughter. To see her name in print on a nice piece of watermarked official foolscap shouldn’t make any difference, but it’s another part of her introduction to the world, another piece of recognition that she’s here
and she’s real, which, with her stuck in hospital for a couple of months yet, means a lot more to us than to most new parents.
I say “stuck in hospital” but the Lovely Melanie and I have to thank the nurses and the doctors
of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St Thomas’ Hospital, who have been taking truly excellent care (“care”, not “treatment”, is the word) of not only Millie, but also her parents, too. Huge, massive, ginormous, grateful thanks to all of you – if we ever win the lottery then you’re all of you going on holiday to somewhere very nice indeed at our expense!