The first time it happened I remember being crouched in the shower, water beating my shoulders, anger my only prayer. Teeth clenched hard and fists balled tight, nails biting my palms. "Don't you dare hurt that baby...Don't you dare..." Because all I had was fear and that was the only way it knew to come out.
And when I met her all I could do was love her.
And she was but a blip on this big wide world but she slammed my heart wide and taught me to have faith. And now, to reconcile that wee thing to this great ball of fire we have today - there's just no sense in it. Not but a miracle. But then, isn't everything? Isn't everything somehow a miracle in it's own right?
|...to all this vibrant 'the world is|
a sparkly playground'
This time the call comes and I catch it in my throat - this hard lump of fear that weighs like injustice or irony or cement. And I'm breathless as I rush to find a friend to settle me and I hiccup through a caught sob on her shoulder.
Because it's the not knowing that burrows in and camps beside a heart too set on worry to beat on point.
Hospital lights are bright but the halls are vacant at this late hour. I take the stairs and find her just being wheeled towards the elevator. Towards the ambulance that will transfer her to better help. And it's all so real. And her eyes find mine and her face falls apart and she tries to laugh at herself but she's really only crying and I hitch up and feign strong while I grab her hand and squeeze beside her in the elevator and this is all just too familiar. "At least you get the day off work tomorrow," I try to joke while she tries to laugh. Look at us here trying so hard to be normal...
I let go of her hand when we get outside. A light mist gathers round and I'm damp and chilled and watching them tuck her tight against the inner wall. They wheel out a neonatal incubator and secure it beside her. Just is case. I pretend it's okay. "I'm coming to see you tomorrow," I say. "I love you." And the doors are closed and I stand there in the parking lot like they forgot me there and she waves out the back from her rear-facing gurney as the lights dance and the siren whoops and over and over in my head it tumbles: Don't you dare hurt that baby!
She comes in wee hours, debuting small and fragile and perfect and when I meet her...when I meet her she owns my heart - this tiny breath of heaven who feels like life beneath my fingers. I want to press her against my chest and tell her of fairies and beaches and strawberry pie and I'm aching that I can't but so thankful that I can take her little hand, seal her prints onto myself, see her fingers wrap weakly around my mine and be amazed at the strength that boasts.
I am hopelessly, ridiculously, without apology, to the moon at back in love with this wonder. Our little Elsie Rose.
Welcome to the world.