Two years ago today, we should have been in hospital, you and I. You should have been in a plastic cot, swaddled up in holey NHS blankets. I should’ve been lying next to you, exhausted but relieved you were here. Happy that the c-section had gone well. I would have been tired, I’m sure. The start of months of sleep deprivation. And my stomach would have tingled with pins and needles, but the codeine and ibuprofen should have numbed the pain. It wouldn’t have been easy, but it would’ve been fine.
Of course, it wasn’t the birth I wanted, really. Another c-section… But I knew it was the only safe thing. Your sister had almost died at birth, you see.
It would’ve been terribly inconvenient, having to go into hospital for a few days. We would’ve needed extra help for Sissyboo to get her to and from nursery. I would have missed her hugely. And then there might have been complications from the procedure, like there were last time with your sister, and which I still live with. But it would’ve been worth it. To get rid of the stress. To remove some of the chance of threat to you. It would’ve been more than fine knowing we had potentially prevented something awful from happening.
Instead, you couldn’t wait long enough. You arrived 10 weeks before the procedure I had had to battle the hospital to agree to and 11 weeks before your due date. Irony of ironies, I gave birth to you naturally.
Natural? There was nothing natural about it. Nothing natural about your spindly legs and transparent skin. Nothing natural about them having to take you away from me, and put a tube down your throat to help you breathe.
Instead of a plastic cot, they put you in a box. When I was eventually allowed to see you, I had to put my hand through holes to touch you. As if I was trying to dispose of a bomb.
And now, two years on I am still sleep deprived. And I am still taking codeine (down to one dose a day) for chronic back pain from lifting you and doing daily therapies with you.
I never thought this would happen to us.
Days like today, anniversary days (there must be a better name for them than this) make me feel very strange. The world seems dull and foggy just like the view out of my window as I type this. I feel temporarily as if I am not quite living in this world.
I feel unsettled. Not sad exactly, or mournful. But shaken by the reminder of how our lives changed course one day.
Please don’t think, Boo, that I want to change things now, though. And know that I wouldn’t change you. Not a thing about you. I can’t imagine you any other way than the way you are. But I wish things weren’t so hard for you. I wish I could take the struggles away. Things could’ve been so different for you, for us. They should’ve been.
But they weren’t. They aren’t.
And all I can do is try with every fibre of my being to make things as fun and as good as they can be for you. I have to turn the should’ves and could’ves into will bes and for sures. On days like today, I find that hard. But I won’t tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be different.
All my love,