The birth.

4 years ago

 

They looked exactly alike.

 It was like she had been shrunk and placed inside the incubator.

 It was amazing. 

 

It was not like meeting a stranger...

I knew her. 

I couldn’t take my eyes off her face. 

 

I.  Loved. Her.  Instantly. 

 

Slowly, with incredible reluctance, I looked down her body.

Why? 

Why couldn’t her baby just be perfect? 

My eyes flitted back up to her face for reassurance. 

Deep breath. 

I was worried about her reaction. 

 

‘Club feet,’ the medicals said. 

‘Don’t worry.  It can be corrected.’ The medicals dismissed my concern. 

Corrected? 

Like with liquid paper? 

Stop that! 

This is terrible. 

This is HER baby! 

HER BABY SHOULD BE PERFECT!

 

Another blow. 

Nothing is EVER easy for her. 

I continued to gaze at that beautiful babe.

My eyes went from her face to her feet and back again. 

Her precious face...

Her twisted, little legs and feet...

 

I was sad. 

 

I couldn’t see everything at once...

My heart needed my brain to go slowly.

 

There were many babies in the neonatal unit. 

Premature births being tended to.

They lay inside lined Kleenex-like boxes.

Machines beeped and hummed. 

Quietly, the nurses monitored and recorded the vitals of each baby. 

 

I started to see.

 

Tubes, wires and bandages covered her little body.

It was hard to find a spot of skin large enough to touch. 

She was sound asleep. 

Her breathing was quick. 

I could see her heart beating in her chest.

 

Her feet were blue. 

Her feet were blue.

Her feet were blue.

 

I was terrified she would never walk. 

 

The neonatal unit’s visiting rules,

Every 15 minutes for five minutes at a time.

I left reluctantly. 

Fifteen minutes is a long time.

Five minutes is not.

 

When I returned,

I could see a group of doctors surrounding her incubator.

There were so many of them.

The neonatal unit was buzzing.

Serious, whispered voices and anxious faces.

 

I approached slowly and cautiously,

Assessing the scene. 

I was stretching to see what was happening.

I was introduced to a new doctor, a cardiologist. 

 

A cardiologist?   For club feet? 

What was going on?

They were trying to explain something to me.

They all wore the same expression on their faces.

 

Finally, they stopped talking.

That’s when my brain began to comprehend it all...

 

“NO.”

“NOT THAT!”

“NO.” 

“Anything, but that!”

 

My soul broke. 

Oh, god.

This is too sad. 

They didn’t really say that?

 

“No."

"Please, no."

“It’s her baby!"

"Babies don’t die...."

 

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