This was the first rambling note I wrote. It’s not been edited or changed since that sleepless night. We’d not long been discharged from the hospital and home with this very tiny bundle at 4lb2. I thought I’d post it as it was.
1 – Not Due Yet
Lily is 3 weeks old now. She’s not even due for another 3 weeks. It’s 5am and I’m currently sat in her nursery, having been rocking her back and fore in her wooden rocker, trying to soothe her through the past 2 hours of feeding, attempting to poop, frustration, semi-sleep, and practicing her disco dancing. Because as a mum, that’s what you have to do several times a night, before eventually settling your little one for a couple hours, if you’re lucky, for somewhere in the region of 20mins to an hour, before having to restart the whole process again. But as a first time mum, the past 3 weeks have already been an emotional roller coaster.
They say to you that you don’t feel love like it is with your own child, until you get one yourself. Holding Lily in my arms, listening to her snoring away in semi-dream sleep, I can’t describe the love I feel for this little one right now. The first time I saw her getting her bloods taken on the NICU unit, I nearly cried. I remember going really warm and feeling very sick, hating every second of her discomfort at getting just a few drops of blood squeezed from the sole of her foot. I put it down to being the first time I’d been off the ward since the c-section, so still feeling a little tender. But in reality it was love for something that had been growing inside me for just 7 months.
You stare at her tiny face, not believing this being came from you. You’re the only biological mother this baby is ever going to have, and this is your only chance of doing it right.
I can still see her face, wrapped up in a towel in the operating theatre before they whisked her off to the unit for her checks. She was just so perfect, it seemed so surreal. Behind the blue screen, my abdomen was gaping open, the doctors failing to suck up the excess blood that was pouring out. My poor other half watching the scarlet fluid pooling under the operating table, while I’m oblivious to the lot, just feeling the odd tug and feeling a sense of relief that I had seen the face of that tiny human being. It made me forget the struggles of the previous few months, the worries, the prolonged hospitalisation, disappointments and fears. This is what it had all come down to. And she was ok.
So now I’m staring at the Crown Snowdrop cream walls of the nursery. The big eyes of the pastel coloured owl decals looking down at me while the birds are tweeting for the day outside the window. I’m surrounded by the remnants of the night shift; the changing table, with the corner of the next wetwipe poking out from the plastic wrapper, alongside the discarded nappy sack when one too many had been urgently pulled from the packet. I can hear my partner’s phone alarm buzzing against his side table, stirring him from his sleep, ready to start his day at work. I’m unsure whether my own day has just begun or is just finishing.
Lily has just started snoring, finally settled on my chest, until it’s time to do this all again.
She’s only 3 weeks old and I’m already worrying about her every minute of the day and night, whether she’s squirming, or completely silent. And I know for the rest of my life, that’s never going to change.