Today I spent the morning with a premmie.
And on September 3rd 2014,my own premmie will turn 18.
His birth was rushed ,unexpected and early.
He rested in the bassinet besides me as his sister came and saw him, and he made noises that I thought meant he was so glad to see her as i was.Those noises rasped and grated and grew louder and louder, until I punched the bell until a lady came.Harrassed and hurried,short staffed and puffing.
“We’ll take him to the nursery” they said,and so they did, whilst I went through the post birth process of tea and a dry biscuit,I wanted to see my premmie,my little baby boy, to kiss him and say welcome… so they pushed me in a chair to the nursery.
The walls approaching this were decorated with Peter Rabbit quilts.Happy fairyland creatures that have doubtless made the heirs of Beatrice obscenely wealthy.Rabbits and fairies and ducks in bright dresses.Poems and pictures of hills.
Below this patchwork beauty though, emerged a noise.Not the hula hooping of rhymes or chants,this was electrical and repetitive.A series of bells and odd sounds that one never finds in fairytale nurseries.Phones that were answered and soft voices behind windows.
As I rounded a corner to a nursery that would have chimes and sweet decals, there were,instead, 4 incubators.Wired to pylons and drips and machines that flashed ,tended by the harried,the hurried and the silent.I presumed we had taken a wrong turn,and so I looked expectantly and timidly at the man who pushed my chair and tried to do a u- turn.Instead we passed 3 of the plastic containers, and he stopped at the 4th, which held a tiny child whose head was swollen through lack of breath and whose chest roared in need of air.And the chair wheeler walked away.
A man in a gown came to me and said “Would you like to have him christened?”The chair became solid and cold on my legs as I stared at the man and the child behind plastic.
The air that was pumped into his cage had a limit,said the man in the green open gown.After 24 hours he will need to breathe on his own or…..And so I sat in my chair in a room that wasn’t a nursery,with a tiny person I couldn’t hold or feed and I thought of his sister who was at home far away from me,and whom I wanted to hold too.
In the end, this little fighter, whose lungs were so filled with fluid he couldn’t grab a single moment of air,fought the tubes and the machines and the scurryings.He fought every inch of his way to nearly 18.He has done things, and been things I never thought possible.His road has been as unique as the miracle of survival.
Happy birthday little premmies.For my own one and the rest of you that did it on your own.
ever and ever xx