DRAFT of an exercise in writing, done for a Workshop on Writing Memoirs.
A Life Changing Moment.
My world existed within the area defined by the delivery room doors. For now life ceased to exist beyond the sterile air, the beeping monitors, the rustle of hospital linen, the laboured breathing of my daughter, her partner's attentive focus and the efficient care of the hovering nurse .
Tension, already so thick it cushioned us against collapse after days without sleep, increased as my daughter's pain returned. Hope echoed in the faint fetal heartbeat, monitored for stress. Fear lurked in the scrubbed corners; in the white knuckled grip as my daughter clutched her partner’s hand; and in the ache twisting around our hearts as contractions continued.
“It’s time.” The nurse leaned forward, rested her hand on my daughter’s tight belly and addressed the unborn babe. “Cailyn, tuck your chin in. Little angel, keep your chin tucked in tight.” The nurse raised her head and explained, “She’s breech. If her chin gets caught…”she hesitated as though searching for the right euphemism, “things could get complicated.”
Complications began at twenty three weeks gestation when my daughter’s waters broke. Since that moment we counted every week, every day, every hour, knowing each moment in utero added to Cailyn’s chance of survival.
Now the time for her birth arrived. The doctor worked with efficient calm while a team of specialists and nurses prepared the heated neonatal trolley.
Cailyn arrived with her chin tucked in, a handful of hope and love. Once delivered she was whisked away to vanish into the care of the waiting experts.
Time stood still. Between each ticking second a lifetime extended. My daughter, her partner, and I watched as fear strangled our desperate hope. We didn’t breath. We didn’t move. Even our doctor and nurse stood statue still, willing the baby to grasp life.
Then, only moments after her arrival at 4:38am on Monday September 10th 2007 Cailyn gasped. A tiny almost inaudible breath exploded the silence, shattered the tension. Beyond the wall of specialists’ green gowns, hats, masks and backs she took on the ultimate challenge and began to fight for her life.
Our doctor and nurse turned as one. Above their surgical masks their eyes smiled. The doctor lifted her gloved hands, still stained with placental fluid, and gave us two thumbs up.
Born at twenty five weeks and five days, weighing 808gms (1lb 11oz) my granddaughter Cailyn’s arrival changed my life.
Now I know miracles happen.
I am still the proudest grandmother and, yes, I still see her as a miracle, every day.