The days are still looking warm outside. I watch the football players on the paddock outside – running, carefree, able to use their bodies the way they are intended. I must confess I am a little jealous. Until not so long ago we were running daily with your brother in a pram. I am imagining right now what it would be like to breathe the outside air again. To feel the breeze on my skin, the tickle of rain drops, the warm glow of the sun. But we are nearly at 27 weeks, and that’s halfway to our next goal. 28 weeks – how much your odds change then. But I’m getting ahead of myself again. Today you are 26+5, and that in itself is such an awesome accomplishment. 2-3% each day, just as Prof Morris said. And even if you are born today, you and I have worked hard for you to have about a 40% better chance at survival than the day we arrived here.
Today Lachie and Dad will come in together – that is my highlight of the week. I have so much to look forward to today. Lachie will come in, bound on the bed and kiss my tummy. He’ll say hello to you, your Dad will smile at him because he is such a sweet, sensitive boy with boundless energy and enthusiasm. I would not at all be surprised if one day he brokered a deal for world peace.
And they’ll do wheelchair races and Lachie will charm the nurses – Clea is his favourite. They’ll blow up balloons for him and find little packets of biscuits. He’ll fill this ward with life and laughing faces. And I will sit and watch him with pride, feeling blessed to have such a sweet child to brighten up my off grey mashed potato kind of day, (that’s what I’ll be eating for lunch).
Today, as every day, I promise myself I will get out of this bed for a minute. The doctors keep suggesting it, but I’m not sure. It would be heavenly to stretch my legs, my muscles are cramping at an increasing rate. But I’m a little nervous because this bed rest thing has worked so well so far at keeping you inside me. The thought of you going at this point is frightening – I’m so used to it being just you and me in here. I’ve taken the whole thing very seriously, mind you. The nurses are quite amused at how I optimise my bathroom visits so I only need to get out of bed twice a day. But really, it’s the only thing I have been able to control to help you. Give you your best chance at health, at life.
So, maybe not today. The family visit will be enough excitement. Maybe tomorrow. I promise, tomorrow, we will go for a short walk to the end of the ward. Then the next day, maybe we can venture to the small courtyard a few metres away from the maternity ward – just to feel that fresh gust of air on my face for a moment.
We are getting very excited about your birthday and make plans for the three of us to make birthday cakes for pre-school tomorrow afternoon. You cannot contain yourself at the moment and jump everywhere you go. Like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, you bounce everywhere, a tiny little sprite who is genuinely fond of a bit of mischief. Of course there must be princesses on top.
I’m constantly surprised at how very easily you make friends now. It’s like overnight you have become a social butterfly. At swimming you have developed friendships very quickly with a few of the new little boys, twice your size but of the same age. It’s endearing to watch you boss them around, organise them into the order you think you should be taking turns in and charm them with your cheeky grin. They are boys, of course, and like many boys are they less complicated when it comes to friendships. But all the same I like to watch you forge your way in the world and become your own little self like your brother before you. It’s a busy home we have with a lot of commotion, but a lot of love and boundless energy within our four walls. Watching your brother and you on our kitchen bench covered in birthday cake and laughing like unruly hyenas I am reminded again of what we nearly lost three years ago and how blessed we are that you fought so hard to stay.