Before, when she was just an image in my mind, a blob on a screen, we lived in the day to day. One day at a time, they said. From one appointment to another. Scan by scan. And soon she would be here. But we couldn’t think about that. Couldn’t see a baby in all the panic and worry. Couldn’t imagine a life with four children, rather than three. Another girl to add to the mix. It just didn’t compute. We had to get through the pregnancy. Stroke the bump. Talk to the bump. Take pictures of the bump. As if this pregnancy would be over so soon, and we would forget what it was like. As if we had all the time in the world. As if our world was not about to be turned upside down all over again. And, now she is here.
We didn’t dare to think beyond the day to day. First, baby needed to open her eyes. Next, baby needed to feed. Then, baby needed to cry. Such basic animalistic survival techniques that our little one couldn’t quite grasp. Each day so long, so sweet. Each day so important. Each day so precious. As though they might suddenly stop. As though she might have been on borrowed time after all. As though we were not allowed something quite this precious.
And then the days rolled into weeks, rolled into months and other things got in our way. Reflux, allergies, teething. Sleep deprivation, illnesses and weaning. Rolling, crawling, walking.
And life was going on, and she is here.
One day when she was really small, we were sitting in the half light of an early winter morning. All around us the house was still and her little head was resting on my chest. Tummy filled with milk, she needed nothing more than me. To be with me. To be on me. To be connected to me. And her little head was pressed onto my chest. And her hand was clutching my finger, just lightly. And her body was curled into mine, and she was still. We stayed that way for a long time, just sitting. Not doing. Just sitting. And I realised.
All those weeks of wondering, worrying and waiting. All those weeks of fearing the worst, but needing to know the worst. All those weeks of hoping for the best but secretly doubting the best would ever happen… it was all preparation for the storm. The storm that is being a parent to four. The storm that is being a parent to Elsie. The storm that is parenthood full stop.
Now we rush from moment to moment, from day to day. We create hasty memories and we move on to the next adventure. We have no time to stop and sit, with her head on my chest and her hand wrapped around my finger. We barely have time to sit at all. Life is one big, busy adventure. And I love it.
Now she is here, life cannot be any other way again.
And now I think back to her little hand as it grasped mine I realise.
Now she is here, it isn’t her holding on to me. It is me, holding on to her.
I’d love your support in the 2016 blogging awards. Being nominated is a wonderful way to raise awareness of issues that matter, and with your support I can help give a voice to families who have experienced an IUGR pregnancy. This will lead to better understanding for health care professionals when it comes to helping and supporting women and families. It will also lead to better understanding for us all, so that women like me can access support and information when it is so vitally needed. Thank you!
Please click the links below to nominate me in the following categories: Inspire, Writer, Reader’s Choice, Best baby, Best Writer.