You are Here
Ten toes, Ten fingers and a Cry that can be heard 2 rooms across the corridor….yes You have arrived. And how!
I spent most of this last month, living in secret admiration of those women who struggled with triplets and sextuplets in their wombs. I spent a few stolen minutes every day reading up on delivery experiences of other women – a few moments of sisterhood with random women on the Internet. I felt you kick inside, sometimes aiming right at the Caesarean stitch that helped bring your brother out to this world.
The nurses wheel you inside all swaddled and sleeping. Your brother peers at you, half amazed and half-bored. He senses the people around are expecting great things from his 2 year old self. So in moments of confusion such as this one, he looks at his father and raises his arms. Take me up Daddy, so the whole world will stop spinning and everything is set right.
I look at everyone – my parents, ‘A’, my two children and I well up. Damn these post-birth hormones. Down the weepy road, I go.
It’s different from the hospital in India where I delivered your brother. You are whisked off by nurses to the nursery at night and bought in for feeds every 3 hours.
Sometimes you are asleep, and I must gently shake you to wake you up. No one is allowed to stay at night, which is strangely comforting. I oscillate between the high precipices of elation and a plateau of half-sedated satisfaction. But mostly its elation, no doubt. At this blessed chance to go through milestones all over again with you – crawling, walking, teething, talking, toilet training…ugh remove toilet training from that.
9:30 p.m. – I am still awake and alert despite the exhaustion. I can hear the cry of babies from the nursery across the hall. Is that you, I wonder? Is it another baby? Did the nurse treat you ok?
I fall asleep for 5 minutes, before the nurse wheels you in. You are sleeping too, and yawning.
“Visiting hours will start tomorrow at 9 a.m. Press the button if you need anything.”
So friends and relatives will start trickling in soon. They will dissect you from every possible angle. The nose to me, the eyes to distant aunt, the comical ‘tiny-adult’ sideburns you have to your father. They will predict if you are a night owl or not. We will talk about the discharge date, the experience, the name, everything.
But for now, I have these moments from your first 24 hours on earth. Where I know you more than anyone else. I will treasure that. Selfishly. Before ‘A’ learns how to rock you to sleep and before Ryan realises poking will make you cry. Before you give yourself bit by bit to others, for this one night, you will continue to be only mine.
Note: I OBVIOUSLY drafted this 2 weeks before the actual birth. Left clear instructions with the father of the child that the iPhone with its WordPress app must be by my hospital bedside at all times. I did a very generic post having no clue on what you really will be like. But what I am like post-birth (read possessive and scarily awake for the next 48 hours or so) remains constant