I have been holding off writing about the day George was born as I am still finding it hard to deal with. It was traumatic and the feelings from that day have been a tight ball inside that I haven’t been able to release. One of the reasons for starting this blog was to give me a place to vent these emotions. The only way I could think of doing this was by writing a letter to George telling him about the day he was born. So here goes.
We knew you were going to be ill before you were born. The doctors were worried about your high heart rate and your Momma’s high temperature. When we were given the choice to bring you out by caesarean section we didn’t hesitate. We had to get you out.
From behind the screen I heard them say you were out and we held our breath waiting for the scream. You cried and we exhaled together. The first time I saw you I knew you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I’ve never been more certain of anything. When they told me you would need antibiotics to fight your infection it didn’t puncture the bubble of euphoria. I had you in my arms now, nothing could go wrong.
After a few blissful hours with you and your Momma, the lack of sleep caught up with me and I went home to rest. I hadn’t been there long when I was called back because the doctors were worried. They were doing a lumbar puncture to check for Meningitis. ‘It’s precautionary’ I said, ‘I’m glad they are being careful’ I said, ‘he’ll be fine’ I said. We waited hours for the result that finally proved me wrong. You had Meningitis. I don’t remember being shocked, I don’t remember feeling anything.
The next morning I woke in a panic. My heart raced but I couldn’t move. When I arrived at the hospital you had already been taken down to neonatal intensive care. Your Momma was too ill to walk so I took her to you in a wheelchair. You lay still while the monitors beeped away and the medicine dripped into your veins. I can’t remember anything the doctors told me apart from how to touch you – ‘positive pressure’ was the phrase they used. My right hand went across the top of your head from ear to ear and my left covered your stomach like a blanket.
I told you everything was going to be alright and we were going to take you home soon. I didn’t know if I believed what I was saying so I pushed that doubt down as hard as I could. I daren’t ask the doctors what the effects of Meningitis were as I was scared of the answers. The elephant in the room said ‘Meningitis can kill you, right?’ I ignored it.
Your Momma was too upset to get any words out so I tried to fill the gap by telling you about all the people who were waiting to meet you and the places you would go. I made up stories and sang you songs. One song that popped into my head was ‘Be my baby’ by the Ronnettes, the lyrics seemed appropriate. ‘The night we met I knew I needed you so and if I the chance I’d never let you go’.
In my voice it became a plea. ‘So won’t you say you love me, I’ll make you so proud of me. So won’t you please be my, be my baby. Be my little baby, save me my darling. Be my baby now.
It became a promise. ‘I’ll make you happy baby, just wait and see. For every kiss you give me I’ll give you three. Since the day I saw you, I have been waiting for you. You know I will adore you for eternity.
Hours by your side flashed by in what seemed like minutes. I left the hospital for a few hours to give you and your Momma some time to rest. Time stood still. I called my Mum and cried down the phone to her. The only thing I remember saying to her is ‘he’s so beautiful Mum, he’s so beautiful’. In a desperate attempt to distract myself I foolishly checked my work email, read a snotty email from a colleague and fired off an angry, aggressive response. Something to regret later. Six more hours with you flashed by and then I had to leave you again.
The next day you were improving. The medicine was working and you were starting to become more alert. Our hearts filled with hope as you started to feed more and visibly grow stronger. The hours continued to flash by as we carried on reading, talking and singing to you. That night we had a room by your ward so we could feed you in the night. The joy of being able to fulfil this simple task was incredible.
It was a while before we took you home as no one had noticed how ill your Momma was and you both ended up being pumped full of medicine. The two of you recovered together and eventually we all came home together.
Your Daddy xxxx