It took a little longer to put you to bed tonight. After your bath and stories, instead of straight to bed, we sat together in your room. As you lay there with your head pressed against my chest, your little hands playing with the collar of my shirt until you soon fell asleep I was reminded of how far we have come from our first cuddles together when you were a day old.
I woke early in the morning the day after you arrived and I
nagged asked your Daddy to take me down to the NICU straight away so that I could see you. It was still so early, and the hospital was quiet as he wheeled me through the empty corridors. As soon as the elevator doors opened, the familiar smell of ‘hospital’ and antiseptic filled my nostrils. As we were buzzed in through the electric doors, the familiarity of being back there, just 15 months after we had taken you big brother home somehow reassured me that everything was going to be ok.
Arriving at the door of your ‘Pod’ I felt oddly calm. Although I knew this wasn’t ‘normal’ (thankfully) for most people to be visiting their baby in a NICU, for us it was normal and compared to the alternative, that reassured me. As we approached you, your lovely nurse was by your side and whilst you still needed the extra help with your breathing, you were strong enough for a cuddle. This threw me, I wasn’t expecting to be able to cuddle you so soon – after all we had to wait five days to cuddle your brother.
The nerves then started to kick in. I made myself comfortable in the recliner, as your nurse not only picked you up but also negotiated all of your leads and wires. You looked so tiny as she held you in her strong, confident hands. Carefully, we manoeuvred you and all of your ‘bits’ inside my shirt. No sooner than you were settled, laying on my chest, with a slow jerking motion you moved your hand from under your body and placed it on my chest, and clawed at me with your tiny fingers. I sat there cuddling you, telling you how much we all loved you, as I felt your skin against mine, you started to breathe a little better, more regularly and your heart rate stabilised. You knew you were safe, you knew you were right where you belonged.
I peeked into your room just a few minutes ago. There you lay on your belly with you bum poking high into the air. I held my breath as you stirred, worried I had woken you. Instead you lazily opened one eye, gave me a little smile, turned your head and fell back asleep. That really sums you up, you are our content, happy and smiling baby boy.
Tomorrow it will be one whole year since you came into our lives. You may have made a dramatic early entrance like your brother and decided to throw us a few extra challenges during your early months of life, but that is where your drama has stopped.
You are strong willed, but have a gentle nature. You seem to sense when I am getting into a flap and you are able to bring me back to my centre with one of your brilliant smiles. You are curious, you like to explore and are forever following your brother around. You are becoming more independent but you still always check to make sure I’m close by.
I’ll never forget our first cuddle and I promise to cuddle you every day.
Thank you for the love you have bought into our lives.
Happy Birthday special boy
Linking up today with Essentially Jess for IBOT