We start to gain some momentum,
A slight hint of a rhythm filtering in through the cracks,
Three hourly by day we stir him from his dreams to feed,
By night, like clockwork he wakes for me in fits of hunger.
The nursing staff started to take a few steps backwards,
He’s yours they’d encourage,
You do it they’d coax,
Hesitantly grabbing the reins,
To steer the course on our ride,
That thus far had me reduced to passenger.
Without asking permission I hold him.
Drawing out his medications,
With hands responsibility shake in a light tremor,
Thick pink syrup by measured ml,
Molten magic to his trauma,
Chased with liquid gold of mothers milk,
Through a teat, he’s cautious of.
By morning and by night.
They no longer trace his vitals.
The reduced intervention is unnerving,
I’m on the edge of my seat,
Feeling for the warm breath exhalation,
Are you sure? I query repeatedly, desperate for reassurance,
Reliant on examination.
We’re not doing anything here that you can’t do at home.
My stomach leaps as if in mid-flight turbulence,
It seems a swearword, stinging my lips as I let it fall from my mouth in hushed tone.
I hold my breath, don’t say it if you don’t mean it, I plead.
I’m washed with a prickling of anticipation.
But with confirmation,
A list of requirements,
Warning signs to watch for highlighted in bold,
A stock of medication, loaded with syringes and teats,
And one small dark haired babe, in a green onesie,
Cradled in mummy’s arms.
We walk towards the hospital exit,
Though the hint of forming tears in the corner of my eye,
The pauses in breathing,
The greying of my face,
The clinging to him a fraction too tight,
Ever so slightly giving me away.
This is far from typical.
Nineteen days, some four hundred and fifty-six hours later,
A lifetime of fallen tears,
A pain permanently scarring me invisibly deep,
A bond so powerful it’s petrifying,
And the true meaning of family and love,
We take our baby home.
The end of chapter one.