30 years ago today Erin and meself made our way across the city in our Austin Maxi to the hospital, the maternity unit. We had gone to all the 'how to have a baby' night school lessons, (different to how to make a a baby night school lessons). We had with much commitment put together our baby birth plan. Cassette player in hand with tapes for music to soothe mother to be as she pops baby out. On reflection I remember the room being like the space you love to have as a garage, polished floors, tiled white walls, storage for tools, spanners. We entered that room with a sense of naivety, hope and Unknowingly not a bloody clue what would be required of us over the next 30 years, let alone the next few hours. I say a few more like 24hours.
There was no popping, after a long struggle Daniel came into the very centre of our lives. Life was changed but we did not know it. Naivety still hung around us like a medal?
The celebration was was for a moment, mother and bed transported she is transported to recovery. There was no mention of recovery in the life lessons. Daniel and mom go through the briefest of encounters like tickets being inspected at a barrier, move along quickly. Another subject not covered at lessons.
His journey to us us was not straight forward and his transportation was in the arms of a stranger. A loving nurse carries him from us to intensive care. I next see him in an incubator, mom being cared for downstairs, Daniels care delivered upstairs, separation and healing begins.
On intensive care he is in an incubator next to the prem babies. He looks like a Viking warrior child. I stand alongside the incubator with the nurse. The Viking cannot be handled she tells me. I ask the inevitable question. And you only ask it if you don't know the answer, the medal of naivety not yet stolen from us. How is he? She answers me with care equal to that that carried him to this small plastic greenhouse. If he makes it through the night he might ok.
The medal is gone, stolen from me at first Erin later. I don't understand look at the Viking boy he's massive in comparison to the other fragile babies. All I have is prayer. I ask the nurse can I pray for him. Like what I might utter might make a difference like anything I might say might could change what I am told. I open the circular doors to the incubator and say something.
I leave mom on one floor son on another separated by difficulty and care. And I am ashamed to say I slept like a baby until morning.