Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Here goes

During the time Ella was in the NICU, I would tell anyone who would listen that I felt almost disrespectful doing "baby" things to her - such as wiping her butt and changing that tiny tissue-sized nappy that swam on her little bony bottom, dressing her in ridiculously enormous Baby Born dolls' outfits (the only things that remotely fit her and available for use in the Special Care Nursery were shop-bought outfits made for children's dolls) and so forth.

I thought it was because she was my child that I felt this way. I had changed the nappies and clothes of countless children in my time working in child care centres and tending nieces and nephews over the years. I'd never felt this sort of ... well, it felt silly, is how it felt. I felt like a dope, my hands felt dopey and I would apologise to her as if I was talking to a superior who knew better than I. I never saw her as a baby, is something I have often said.

In subsequent years, of course I found out that this was unique to Ellanor, this feeling. I didn't feel all thumbs with the LGBB. I did feel like she was equally as infinitely patient with me as her big sister had been, granted. But I always saw the LGBB as a baby when she was a baby.

This never happened with Ella. And anyone who knew me around that time and recalls my conversations with them about her, day by day as it was happening, will know that I was floored by the command she exuded. Not in a lauding way. Just in a ... a sort of stately, teacher to student kind of way.

Don't know why I have been thinking about that, in particular, since waking at 5.30 this morning. I got barely five hours' sleep - it's one of those nights that goes "this time five years ago I was sitting in a delivery suite room unaware I was in labour", "geez, this time five years ago I was still in labour", and on it goes through the night if you happen to wake and glance at the clock. A procedure familiar to almost any mother, I'm sure. Kind of bittersweet when you realise the results of that effort will not be rising from their bed to celebrate their special day with you.

I love the dawn of any day. Simply magical. We're "looking forward to" 37ºC here today. Steve and I have decided to do what we seem to have made ritual of the past few years on this day; comfort food at a fave restaurant of ours, a trip to the park where we held her memorial. And there was even talk last night of wanting to do something more... Steve is torn about whether he wants to make a cake. So am I. The LGBB would love it. Cake for any occasion is one of her favourite things.

Ella was born at 8.11am on Tuesday 13th January. How different her birthdays are each year. No more reflective silence as the time passes on this date. No rushing about now after a new baby. Today will unfold differently again as we explain to her what all this fanfare (and Daddy having a day at home) is all about. Part of me looks forward to sharing it with Ella's sister and her Daddy.

I hear Lolly chatting. Time to rise and shine.

Here's us at the bush park in 2006 - I was 13 weeks' pregnant with Lolly and, as usual with my pregnancies, wondering yet hopeful that
we'd meet the baby in question

And here's the three of us the following year, in 2007. It was a tremendously surreal day.

Archived Posts


Related Posts with Thumbnails