473 days ago, my son was born.
My first recollection of life after he was born is certainly hazy and yet so clear.
A voice. Telling me to cough. Cough? What for? Still confused as they pulled the tube from my throat and told me to wake up. I wondered why they were angry. The last thing I rememberd was those eyes looking down at me and a hidden mouth, muffled, telling me to stop crying and breathe into the mask. Those hands as they pulled the barriers up around the sides of my bed. Those feet as they kicked the brake off the bottom of the bed and shot me out of the delivery room like there was some kind of emergency. Thinking he was dead.
After they pulled the tube from my throat, they gave me a consent form to sign, thrust a pen into my hand and I remember thinking that maybe I had gone blind. Then a voice. Telling me I had a son. He had blonde hair. Green eyes (my husband is colour blind. They’re blue).
I couldn’t see him. I tried. I thought: WHO has blonde hair and green eyes? Who is that baby? My eyes wouldn’t focus and sleep was grabbing at me, pulling at my exhaustion and pleading with me to give in. They were giving him to me, laying him in my dead arms and telling me to look at him. They were telling me to feed him.
I asked my husband where I was. We were in the corridor, outside the theatre. There was a man, standing by the doors with a haunted look on his face. I realised he was looking right at me, white faced and scared. It was days before I realised he had taken my husband’s place. That was his wife, girlfriend, partner in that theatre. It was his turn to wait outside, on the edge of a new life.
I don’t know what happened to their baby.
473 days ago, my life changed. The small things became huge and I learned never to take life for granted.
Please join myself and Jayne tomorrow as Maternity Mattters is launched. I think you know how important it is to us. This is for me, for Jayne, for that man who stood outside of the theatre that day.