You entered this world on a warm Spring day, I know now that the beauty of the day was a prelude for the baby I was to meet later that afternoon; warm, breathtaking and magical. I had just returned home from my 39 week appointment when my waters broke, naturally daddy and I hastily made our return to the hospital. I was then checked for dilation and told that I was already at 10cm and that there would be no time for drug assistance. 4 agonising hours, an episiotomy and suction cup later you were pulled unceremoniously from my body and thrust into the world.
My most poignant memory from your birth is the eerie silence that followed your arrival. There were no delightful newborn screams as you lay limp on my chest, only concerned murmurings from the doctors and midwives. As quickly as you were put on my naked body you were swiftly removed again, the doctors blocked my view of you as they worked to get your tiny heart beating and some air into your lungs. The minutes passed like hours as my exhausted body was sewn back up and I strained to see you through the sea of white coats and blue scrubs.
One thought kept returning to my mind no matter how much I tried to drown it; the thought that I might lose you. My heart ached to hold you, to know you and to watch you grow. A rather uneventful pregnancy and labour had not prepared me for this; the fact that my biggest struggle was to come once you were earthside.
After what seemed like an eternity your tiny scream finally pierced the air and while we awaited an ambulance to transfer you to NICU, you were returned to me. Your cool calm demeanour even at less than an hour old told me that you’d been here before, this was not your first trip earthside and I knew immediately that you were going to teach me many invaluable lessons. We were able to give you your first feed and hold your tiny hands in ours before you were taken from me and daddy again for the second time in your short life.
What followed is a blur, you spent 5 days in NICU being fed formula as you were too weak to nurse and on one occasion had to be fed through a nasal gastric tube which was the most horrific experience in my life. You were strapped to monitors constantly as your tiny little heart continued to sporadically stop, although thankfully it always righted itself and you did not again have to be revived.
When finally given the all clear we returned from NICU to the quaint country hospital at which you were born. And finally on your 6th day of life were we able to get to know each other and settle into the blissful newborn bubble that we were robbed of by your traumatic entrance into this world.
I didn’t believe in love at first sight until I saw your tiny perfect little features and mop of unruly hair. Nor did I know how hard I could love or how much my heart could ache until I thought I had lost you.
This is lesson 1 that you taught me my old soul, the first of many.