Here’s a picture
Here’s the story
This picture captures the first time I was able to hold and cuddle Florence. It was taken on the 3rd August 2012 a full week after the twins were born. Before then it would be hard to imagine not being able to hold your own baby for so long after birth. Let me tell you it hurt.
Still when I look at this picture it hurts.
I look into my (make up free due to crying) pained eyes and look at my almost absent smile and remember my mixed emotions of that very moment.
I am right back in NICU. I can hear the beeping and sound of alarms. The sounds used to follow me home and haunt me in my dreams.
Looking down at my tiny tiny Florence, So small I could hardly feel her on me, just a warmth against my skin amongst the many wires, tubes, CPAP equipment and heavy IV lines. What was supposed to be a magical moment was tainted with feelings of fear… “what if Im hurting her?” Fears for what may come next or what may not?
I remember also having feelings of guilt. Owen was very poorly at the time of this picture. Owen was on a ventilator (for the first time but not the last). Owen was far away from being able to cuddle. Owen associated touch with pain.. with procedures he had to endure on a daily basis.. we were only just starting to build up to being able to touch him.. to comfort hold him (placing a steady hand on him) we had times when holding Owen seem an impossible dream.
Now don’t get me wrong… holding Florence was a moment of joy.. a moment to celebrate… a moment to mother. I became to live for those cuddles. I craved them. I needed them sometimes more then Florence needed them. I have spoke about Florence being my ray of hope during the darkest days. I would hold her and feel the hope. I could then past this onto Owen.
Mainly when I look at this picture I feel that in some ways it summaries our NICU journey, well the emotionality of It anyway. Its a journey where you can both feel Joy and Sadness, Be fearful but brave, feel despair but remain hopeful all at the very same moment.
Every picture really can tell a story.