It’s 22:32 on Sunday the 6th August as I write this, my baby is 1 day old & I am yet to hold her. I’ve stated at her through her incubator 3 times & every time I’ve been overwhelmed with extreme sadness & fear. This journey started some 36 weeks ago when we found ourselves expecting our 3rd baby, much wanted & much loved.
Our baby is here, she’s 4 weeks early & has a name – however I just can’t bring myself to use it. She doesn’t feel like she’s here, not really here. I’m her mum but I’m not being her mum, my bump is empty, but so are my arms. I’m in limbo, stuck without a baby to care for, my body & heart ache for her, to hold her close, her skin on mine, to inspect every tiny finger & toe, to learn the curves of her face & watch her facial expressions flutter throughout the night, her & I awake feeding whilst the rest of the world sleeps.
Laid in bed, wide awake wondering if she’s going to be ok, I have to buzz a midwife to wheel me down to visit my baby. Ring the buzzer to be granted entry, sign the visitor book to visit my baby, I’m not a visitor, I’m a mum, all these steps seem so alien to me, through the doors, hand wash, more doors, hand wash, into her room full of beeps & babies who’s faces can’t be seen, another hand wash.
Beeping, oh the beeping, I hear it all night etched into my mind. My heart races & my eyes search the neonatal nurses faces to see if they are panicking – is my baby ok, is she going to be ok… I’m too scared to ask, to scared to ask much of anything, the Drs talk at me but I’m not really able to take it in, barely able to process what they are saying & too afraid to speak as I know only sobs will come out. If I just nod along I almost manage to make it through a visit to neonatal without crying.
Can I touch her, a phrase no mother should ever have to ask… I feel like this journey is going to break me. All I want is my baby by my side. My bump is empty but so are my arms.