Monday, October 1, 2012

Holding my child for the first time {writing prompt}

The first time I held Emma I was still lying on the operating table after my caesarian - in fact I think the doctor was still stitching me back together when the nurse brought her over.  Murray and I held her in wonder - she looked so big - how had she fitted in there? Yet at the same time she still looked so little.  Even though I (obviously) knew where babies came from I can remember being a bit shocked that this child had in fact come out of me!

The first time I held Audrey she was 6 days old.  I hadn't expected to get to hold her so soon - she was still only 28 weeks 3 days gestation!  Was it safe?  Would she break??  Even though she was only the size of a kitten that first kangaroo cuddle was amazing - she just nestled into me and relaxed.  It was bliss and I was hooked - I tried to make sure we got a cuddle every day.

The first time I held Ashlea she was 28 days old.  I had to wait an entire month for my first cuddle with her as she had been too unstable until that point and would desat if anyone even touched her let alone tried to pick her up.

Twelve days after that first cuddle she was back on the ventilator with suspected sepsis.  I remember thinking Not now!  She can't die now!  Not after I've held her.  I think I had held off getting my hopes up that she was going to survive - until that first cuddle.  That cuddle had given me hope that she was going to make it - but with her return to the ventilator that hope was ripped out from underneath me.  I learnt not to get my hopes up again - to the point that I gave up believing she would make it out of the nursery alive.

Truth be told even when she did come home from the nursery I still didn't expect her to live.  We had had far too many close calls for me to be able to relax.  This year though Ashlea has started school - a milestone I once feared she may never reach - and I think I have finally broken free from the all pervasive fear the nursery left me with.  I'm excited and hopeful about her progress. It's scary because I know that there are still no guarantees - but mostly it is wonderful to look forward with joy and hope to Ashlea's future.

{Linking up with Ellen Stumbo's writing prompts}


Susan, Mum to Molly said...

I am so glad that you are at a point where you can look forward with joy and hope to Ashlea's future!

Especially now that it appears she will be walking into that future on her own two feet!!

Awesome progress from that beautiful first cuddle/hold...

She is amazing.

You are amazing.

Melissa said...

Beautifully written Alison xx
I love the idea of the writing prompt too. I might get to you to teach me how to link up.

Missy said...

Beautiful post Alison!
I am so excited for Ashlea's future, she amazes me completely. Just secretly she probably had me wrapped around her little finger too!

Great pictures, brings back such memories and I can't believe they are so grown up from how tiny they were x x

Cheryl said...

Such a great post. Even though my daughter was a 30 weeker, I was still scared everyday that we'd lose her, so I totally get where you're coming from. <3

Big brother, Little sister. said...

Thankyou for sharing ypur writing, ypu write so well x thanks for sharing the link up prompt too, such a womderful idea. melissa i hope you join too :) loving your new blog header too :)

Ellen Stumbo said...

Oh my! Your babies were so small, your words so powerful as you tell the story behind them. My heart aches for my daughter, who was born at 27 weeks and abandoned at birth. I was not there for her, and how I wish I could have been where you were at. Worries, heartache, and all. Because one thing is clear from reading your post. Your girls were SO LOVED! Thank you so much for sharing with us and linking up!