March 16

2011

I have been visiting you every few hours. You are only awake for a few minutes at a time – that’s normal, so I’m told. But when you turn and look at me, in those precious moments I have absolute clarity. I wish you were still inside me, I feel cheated and betrayed by my body. But I’m so glad you’re here. You are so beautiful.

My day has been spent expressing and sleeping. Lots of flowers and presents have arrived. Ma and Grandad greeted me in the recovery room after you were born. We chatted for a while as my legs started to recover some feeling. I was throwing up on and off for some time and then started getting very itchy. But through it all, it was nice to see a friendly face and have someone for your Dad and me to talk to. They also got to meet you in the NICU the night you were born. And tomorrow your brother is coming in for the first time. A dear friend gave you a Sophie giraffe for your very first birthday present. We aren’t allowed to put it in the humidicrib yet. But it looks about the same length as you are. Your fingers are like needles, so tiny and fine. But when you grip my hand all seems right with the world.

I do miss your brother. I haven’t seen him for a few days, not since Monday morning. But until I can get my dose of exuberance from him, I take strength from you. From how you continue to amaze the doctors. Not needing to be resuscitated, not needing any oxygen. Crying when you were born. All things I didn’t realise would be a mark of great hope. Tomorrow you have another scan which will give us more information, but at the moment, it looks like you are doing better than we could hope for. Dr Mary tells me cautiously not to get too caught up in that. The mantra of the NICU is ‘two steps forward, one step back.” And she tells me with great confidence that there will definitely be a step back. There always is. But right now you are kicking goals. And while yesterday I was caught between being thrilled to finally meet you and missing the feeling of you in my belly, today I have a new reason to feel a joyous sadness.

The midwife comes in to check on me every few hours, and every few hours it’s the same couple of questions and a few quick measure of ‘vitals’. A few minutes ago on her rounds she broke the routine.

“You’ll be right to go home soon!”

Home to my little bundle of life. Home to my sold house that I have longed to see again. Home to my life, my husband, my dog. And home without you.

2014

There was a bit of excitement today at the holiday house. A huge storm raged intensely for about 5 minutes. It scared the other two kids quite a bit. As usual, you bounced around with glee, not perturbed by the loud cracks of thunder or the sky splitting lightening. A tree fell in the backyard and landed on the owner’s shed narrowly missing the house. The back fence was crushed and the neighbour’s boats were destroyed. Near the property the golf course sustained significant damage and a few cars were trapped under falling branches. But none of it fazed you and I wonder if you are capable of feeling fear – something I must keep my eye on.

In the calm that followed we trekked to the beach and found a deserted spot amongst the sand dunes. You and your brother climbed to the top and you could not contain the pride you felt at the achievement. It took several tries to trudge up the steep and unforgiving hill of sliding sand, but you persevered and prevailed. Onto the shoreline a pod of dolphins came to celebrate with you, and in my mind they could be your totem. Hundreds of them danced in the fading light as the sky melted onto the horizon, a few surfing the waves as we skipped along the shore, the dogs chasing them with enthusiasm and you and your brother not far behind. It was a spiritual moment for me, watching you and your brother delight in the spoils of the ocean, the fury of the waves and whipping wind mirroring your disposition.

March 17

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