It’s midnight and I made the decision to type this in the comfort of my son’s room. It felt right so I went with that motion. It’s warm in here. His snores are lighter now. Recent weeks have shown me that he can sleep through almost anything also. He is well. Very chatty, questions everything and has had one major incident that got him in big trouble! I’ll explore in more detail as the year kicks fully into gear but in four years, one big incident? I was oddly proud of that fact knowing how boisterous / how ‘act now think later’ he can be. Maybe there’s a moment in the above that’ll thread all this together to make sense as I’m typing this, though it’s not my aim. Thinking back, I haven’t written in five weeks. This isn’t due to a lack of drive or inspiration, the opposite actually. The kind of inspiration that’s God sent, arriving earlier than planned.
Our baby girl arrived earlier than scheduled. A month to be exact. Her nickname is Rocket for this very reason, the way she shot into the world. On the night of the labour I remember the midwife calling the doctor in to monitor her, this would be the first time in this whole process I’d hear ‘pre term’ meaning premature and I didn’t want my face to read of worry. More than often, I have watched many shows or heard stories of premature children, some I see with tubes stuck in them. Never would I wish it would be my child yet, in hearing that, I couldn’t help but start to conjure these thoughts that it could be.
I joke now that the process of our first born was so smooth that balance had to be restored with the second and when gripping on to my partner’s hand – faced with needles, intravenous therapy, blood dripping below her thighs staining her DVT stockings, blood that’s out of her view – that’s cleaned up by midwives fast enough to not be spotted. It’s fine they’d whisper to me as she asked is everything ok? It felt like a lie to say yes as she sucked on the gas and air as I gripped tighter, my face a closed chapter while my eyes shouted FIX IT! to all midwives, nurses and professionals in the room. One thing that’s often not discussed is being put in positions where you have to make decisions about what’s best. The process of labour can seem so calm in the first instance and dive in intensity within minutes. You’re fighting tiredness and anxiousness at the same time and most importantly, you’re trying not to say or do dumb shit to further piss your partner off. I was readying my mind to make decisions for the safety of my family and that was an uneasy feeling.
It’s hard to believe that though both of them are much better now, at one point – on separate occasions both were readmitted to hospital due to their health being in danger. All now I still inject tinzaparin in my partner’s arm to avoid blood clots and as if child birth wasn’t enough, imagine that, plus taking up to 4 separate pills a day post birth for 6-8 weeks to avoid relapse.
The sudden changes in picking & dropping our first born, the one meal a day motion and only realising when asked if I have eaten. The bullshit that is paternity leave when one week of it is spent still in and out of hospital then once settled, it’s prepping to go back to work. All now I’m asked for a birth story and majority of the time I’m silent because every ounce of anxiety I had I tucked away, not out of pride but because it was scary and all I knew was just to keep on, there were no stops – no room to rest and how could I even rest when she was going through all of that, how selfish of me I thought. Though it was my projection, I felt there was little space to share the load with someone equally as scared and also in pain.
Maybe I am sitting in his room tonight just thankful for him and a lot of things. How warm and loving he has been to his baby sister. How understanding of him, even when the hospital became a familiar word on his tongue. I envied his tears at times, the release of his frustrations. The day after her birth, my uncle died unexpectedly. My hair in the time being just continued growing through the bittersweet moments. A rarity to just leave it be. I’d be lying to deny that I am not processing this out of body experience still. I didn’t give birth but fuck, I felt drained. Maybe this reality hasn’t sank in as I’m listening to him snore his nose off next to me, a nose I’ve wiped, sucked the bogey out of or creamed over the years. To now start that all over again – is scary and exciting in the same breath.
She is beautiful though, like him and I didn’t feel to share her with the world for a while because of the journey to now and beyond, until it was significant and today’s significance rings loud to me. I’m being told not to spoil her. I cant promise that however for now, all I want to know is how does one share / add on to this love?
And so the journey begins..