I was been sitting chatting to Liz for a while about the book I am reading. Its lunchtime and everyone is asleep, so she has nothing to do for a while. She’s from Yorkshire, where Grandad is from, and particularly likes Michael Parkinson. I’m reading his interviews and they are fascinating.
“You know, a private room has opened up. It was nice to have someone in the room for company, but do you want some time alone?”
I thought for a minute. My own space does sound good. I am determined to be here for a while.
“Yes, I think that would be great.”
So here we are. I took two orderlies half an hour to move us five rooms away, (We have accumulated a lot of stuff from kindly visitors and well-meaning family. I have three bags of books, dozens of flowers, and two bags of personal items. Not to mention a lot of chocolate.) Then there was the inevitable scare when I was raised onto the new bed.
The real estate agent is coming in tonight so I can sign papers for the auction of our house next week. You were never supposed to live there, when we bought at auction a few weeks ago we thought we would be moving when I was 7 months pregnant. But now I’m a little sad you’ll never live there. It’s been such a happy home. We brought your brother home to that house, we got married and returned there from our honeymoon. We put blood sweat and tears, (in a very literal sense), into that garden, which we landscaped entirely ourselves. We built four sandstone walls there, played with our dog and cats there. Its strange. If all goes well I may never see that place again. It’s an odd comfort.
Our new room has a view over the football field so I can watch AFL practice. It’s also right next to the nurses station so occasionally during a rare moment of downtime a nurse may pay us a social visit. They did this in our old room, but hopefully being so close it may happen more frequently now.
It is a little lonely. But I need to think inwards right now. I need to think only of you and me. I can’t risk the negativity that may come with a new roommate – someone who may have lost their baby or even someone with a completely normal pregnancy that has a beautiful little bundle sleeping next to them in our room. I know its selfish, and I know I lucked out with Lisa. But I’m not sure how external circumstances might affect my state of mind right now. I’m praying every day for a miracle of epic proportions. I have no guidance from the kindly doctors since you are so valiantly defying the odds. They are left scratching their heads, (to my great pleasure), and I am navigating unchartered waters. Through a turbulent storm in an upside down world. I need to shut everything out and get on with the business of trying very hard to do absolutely nothing. It’s my job.
I haven’t said it yet, but I’m so very proud of you. I love that you won’t let the medical professionals underestimate you. I love that I can feel your energy and power from the inside out. I love that a tiny not yet neonate has a whole group of very highly qualified doctors confused. I can’t wait to meet you. But not yet, little one. Stay put as long as you can.
Today we had a little time together, just you and me. You have started ballet and are desperate for ballet shoes. I’ve held off to see if the obsession with all things ballet will pass, (tutus, tv shows, even ‘ballet hair’ which I am yet to understand the meaning of), but it isn’t going anywhere. We go and get your tiny feet fitted, (too tiny for the smallest shoe they stock, but we’ll make do), and have lunch together. Then you dazzle me at ballet and show me your point en deux. I don’t know what it means, but you are very proud of yourself.
Some days I find it very hard to reconcile this bustling little ball of energy with the baby in my belly I held every hope for those days in the hospital. Part of me feels that the little being inside me died on that very first day when the doctors gave us the shocking prognosis. And somehow, you sprang to life like a tiny sprite in its place. In my head it’s difficult to understand how you defied the odds after being repeatedly assured you wouldn’t. You are living proof of the fact that medicine doesn’t have all the answers and that doctors can be wrong. And that instinct should never be doubted.