Two years ago my life changed immeasurably. On the 5th June, after 20 hours of labour I'd had a crash C-section and given birth to a baby boy. At 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant. So, not the most premature baby in the world, but the most premature baby I'd ever given birth to.
However, within minutes of giving birth and the briefest of cuddles, Harry was whisked away to NICU. He had breathing difficulties and needed a CPAP. I couldn't go anywhere, and sobbed silently as the surgeon stitched me back together.
The next morning, having cried myself to sleep in the early hours Mark wheeled me up to NICU. To this day I vividly remember going in. The sunshine was slipping through the edges of the heavy blinds, each perspex incubator bathed in the early morning light. The room was silent, save for the whirrs, ticks, clicks and beeps of what seemed like hundreds of machines and monitors. Each baby had their own nurse and we were introduced to Harry's. The noise of our voices seemed to echo around the eerily quiet room, where no babies cried. I remember the brightly coloured crochet blankets, carefully laid on top of each incubator - they in themselves were tiny. Harry's was made of turquoise granny square, there's a reason it's one of my favourite colours to hook with to this day. I couldn't tell you what our nurse said in detail, words like 'infection markers' 'breathing difficulties' and 'jaundice' were mentioned around and I duly nodded politely. I had no tears.
Mark pushed my wheelchair to the incubator, where our son was. The nurse chuckled kindly as she told us about his first nappy changes - we'd learned about them in NCT. We were supposed to have to face the horror of meconium poos ourselves. I tried not to think about the 12 hours I'd missed. Everyone had impressed upon us the importance of immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, the opportunity to try to breastfeed as soon as possible and I'd missed all of those things. Being stitched up, stuck in bed waiting for the spinal block to wear off, on morphine. I had no tears.
The nurse asked if I'd like to hold my son - I think I'd said yes before she'd finished explaining that it would only be for a tiny while as he couldn't be away from the breathing machine for long. I had not yet held him yet I already felt the absence of him in my arms.
And suddenly he was there, so tiny, so light, wrapped in a massive cellular blanket. A bit like a loaf of bread or cake taken out of the oven too early, he just wasn't quite... finished yet. But to me, he was perfect, tiny fingers, eyelashes that were so long already, and a head of jet black spiky hair. My son. My son. My son. In my arms. Where he belonged. Where, to this day he belongs. At two years old (as of yesterday) he still snuggles up, just like he did on that day, still likes to be wrapped in a cellular blanket and cuddle up with me to go to sleep.
My milestone cuddle where I finally met my perfect baby boy.
This post is my entry into the Tots 100/ Waterwipes Baby milestones challenge