The first breath, after a 24 hour labour, after a false start, after 12 weeks of hospital stays after bleeding.
After 12 weeks of uncertainty, 12 weeks of rest, 12 weeks of trying to keep him in by doing nothing but staying at home on the sofa or in bed.
My little man still came early. I challenged myself to the birth I didn’t want after being told I was 8cm when admitted. Only to end up with another sunroof baby. Safety. Get him here, hear him breathe.
We ended up with forceps not working , the surgical team singing to Gav’s playlist. I’d accepted what will happen will happen. A c-section. Very different from my first. A theatre full of laughter ready for my little arrival. A theatre full of song.
A heartbeat, a cry. Trying not to sleep during surgery. Or after the birth. I got skin to skin this time. I felt like my heart was satisfied. And it was. Everything I wanted from my second birth story. A healing as such.
Baby boy McCann was born at 36 plus 2. He was a perfect 6lb13. Big for his gestation but equally as perfect. I felt like he was the tiniest baby in the word. And he was…to me. He still is 17 weeks later. A precious gift.
Having a early baby at a good weight doesn’t equal no complications. For Froglet we had lights for days. A prolonged stay in hospital. He couldn’t settle and neither could I. Only holding him for feeds proved difficult. Letting him lay under the lights trying to settle him was heartbreaking. All you want to do is cuddle and say hello. Get to know each other.
A early baby with a normal weight doesn’t always mean a healthy baby or a developed baby. It means struggles with producing milk initially and after. It means tummy ache before each nappy change. It means a struggle to get a hospital appointment for joint clicks (8 weeks and still waiting). It means a delay in development.
With Fizz I wished away a pregnancy with Froglet I regretted not enjoying it more. Every pregnancy has a regret. But motherhood shouldn’t be like that.
My term for motherhood now is acceptance. You cannot be all things. You cannot have everything you want. But you can accept the things you cannot change. You can accept that you are the one to make the best of everything. Just like your baby accepts you as the centre of their world. Not questioning just being.
An early baby can be a blessing. I have everything I’ve ever needed, in my arms and in my home right now. I’ve accepted my blessings. I have accepted my early babys gift.
(For weeks I’ve been feeling like a bit of a fraud for speaking about premature birth. I feel odd saying my premature son. Late premature birth is an issue (I know 3 mummies 34-37 weeks birth dates this year) and I’m writing this for other parents who may feel exactly the same way. Because in all honesty it is another mummy like Susanne who has been through a late premature birth this year too who has been a brilliant support and won’t know how essential she’s been in keeping me sane on a daily basis)