As I write this, I realise I will probably be having this same thought again in a few years’ time. My daughter is growing up too fast for my liking, she has entered the ‘double digits’ years. I look at her and at times still see a little girl but at other times, she surprises me with her maturity. I had many complications during my pregnancy and was in and out of hospital for multiple check-ups and ultrasounds. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was in hospital twice a week for monitoring to ensure bub was fine (I didn’t know what gender I was having). As it was my first pregnancy, I just took it in my stride and tried not to worry too much.
When my daughter was born due to being in the Frank breech position (bottom first!), I had to have a Cesarean section which was scheduled at 38 weeks. As every new mum must think, when she was born I thought my daughter was the cutest little baby I had ever laid eyes on! After a quick photo by a midwife, I was whisked off to recovery while her dad remained with her. I have a terrible relationship with anesthetic – the effect lingers for a very long time after it has been administered. It causes me nausea and vomiting which lasts for hours. I had my daughter at 12.24pm and was still sick at 8.00pm that night. While I was in recovery, I remember a nurse or doctor coming in to let me know that my daughter had some health issues and was going to be transferred to the special care nursery in the Children’s hospital in the morning. He checked to make sure I understood before leaving. I had heard what he had said but I remember it feeling quite surreal.
I was later taken out of recovery to be brought back to my room. I still had not seen my daughter since her birth, I had no idea of the time or duration of time that I had spent in recovery. The kind nurse who came to wheel me back to my room, took me through the nursery so I could see my daughter before returning to my room. My daughter was wrapped up, looked comfortable and adorable sleeping in her crib. When I was brought back to my room, my family were all waiting and had to be taken down to the nursery to see my daughter with her dad. That seems just like yesterday but at the same time also feels like a long time ago.
We were able to take her home after 2 weeks which was quite upsetting for me as a new mum. It’s not a nice feeling to go home from hospital after birth without your baby but when I visited her in the special care nursery, I saw many other children whose parents had it worse. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. We met parents who had been in the hospital since their child’s birth and were not leaving any time soon, I remember one child whose parents had been there for almost 3 months.When we were able to bring her home, I thought that even though we had to return in 3 months’ time for surgery, at least we were finally able to take our daughter home. We had a tumultuous 4 years in and out of hospital but at our last hospital check-up (which we didn’t realise would be our last at the time), my daughter who was 4 years old, became very anxious and quiet while we were waiting – she sat very quietly next to me and cuddled her white muslin blanket. When it was our time to see the surgical registrars, we were given the good news that as long as there were no other issues, we didn’t need to return for any further check-ups. We had endured hospital trips, surgery and check-ups for 4 years so it had become a normal part of our lives. To be told this news was such a relief! I have to say that all the nurses, doctors and surgeons who we dealt with at the Children’s hospital are such wonderful people.
I turned to my daughter, smiled and repeated what we had been told but because of her high anxiety, she didn’t seem to register the news as positively. It wasn’t until around 6.30pm that night when we were sitting on the couch together, she reached over to play with my hair and said “Mama, I don’t have to go to hospital anymore!” with a smile on her face. I think she must have been processing it all afternoon. I gave her a big hug and responded with “That’s right, isn’t that good news?” My daughter just smiled. It was a moment I will never forget seeing her relief and anxiety finally melt away.
My daughter had a rough start to life but she is a little fighter, and as one of my sister’s says – my daughter is a little firecracker! I’d have to agree, children are more resilient than we often give them credit for. My daughter still has health issues but we manage them and is something we will continue to do for the rest of her life. She is aware of what they are and what she needs to do to manage them and has some great friends so they all look after each other. We realise how lucky we are and are grateful to have our daughter in our lives. I couldn’t imagine life without her now and will speak to other mums or friends who often express the same thought. We couldn’t imagine our lives without our children and wonder what we used to complain about before we had children, when we would exclaim that we didn’t have time – once you have children, time is a luxury! But we wouldn’t have it any other way!
My daughter is growing up and the time seems to be running away from me. I often ask her to please stop growing and stay small for me, to which she responds “I can’t! I have to grow up!” I then have to agree with her but express to her that she will always be my ‘little girl’. I often still look at her and wonder at how much she has grown and realise that I will continue to do and now can relate to my mum who says the same thing regarding me and my sisters. I often say that time passes so quickly when you have children in your lives – whether they are your own, friends or relatives. As their age increases, it often leads you to wonder, where did the time go?