One Month

image45sA lot can change in a month. Hell, a lot can change in an hour, a minute, a second.

Sometimes it’s hard to gauge the extent of that change when you’re in the moment. It’s like we have this built in anti-panic mechanism that kicks into overdrive when things are getting crazy and allows us to honestly believe that everything is ok when all hell is breaking loose.

It was like that in theatre. They wheel you into this sterile space where your life is about to change forever, laughing and joking like you’re going for a Sunday stroll and you play along because a Sunday stroll is a shitload less terrifying than what’s about to happen.

I remember how J-Rab looked in the hospital gown they gave her. I remember the expression on her face, the way she was trying to be so brave, the needle on the gauge of her panic mechanism revving well into the red. I held her hand throughout, amazing how a simple gesture of comfort like that can mean so much.

I remember her hand, her fingers intertwined in mine, perfect in their femininity. Palm to palm our hands match up perfectly, my fingers only slightly longer than hers, a symmetry that feels so right when we connect like that, palm to palm.

She had to sit hunched over on the bed for them to get the needle in. She kept her head down throughout but didn’t let go of my hand. I stroked her cheek and I told her over and over "It’s ok babe, it’s ok".

Things moved fast once it was in. They put the screen up and I a sat right by her, got into character, got ready for the performance of my life Рthe supportive fianc̩, calm and unflinching.

Was I scared? No, I was riding high on a wave of excitement, my confidence in the doctors and nurses was unshakeable. "It’s going to be fine," I told myself, "because they do this all the time."

And it was exactly then that things started to go wrong.

"I don’t feel right," J-Rab said, "I feel like I’m going to faint."

She was whiter than the sheet she was lying on, her lips a bluish grey colour as she turned wide-eyed to the anaesthetist. "I think I’m going to be sick," she said.

"Just breath babe, deep breaths, deep breaths," I said, but my mind was a riot of thoughts screaming and stampeding over one another. What if something was wrong? What if they’d gotten the dose wrong? Put the needle in the wrong place? What if she was having an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic? What if…

“Her blood pressure’s low,” one of the nurses said. The anaesthetist responded by injecting a glass vial of something clear into J-Rab’s drip.

“Is this normal?” I asked.

“Yes, it happens often, it should go back to normal now,” the  anaesthetist replied.

I squeezed J-Rab’s hand, “Hang in there babe.” I wore my bravest face, spoke in calm, steady tones, but inside I was terrified.

She shut her eyes and breathed deep while the doctors on the other side of the screen worked as fast as they could.

“Can you feel this love?” one of them asked.

“I feel pressure.”

“Is it sore?”

“…No,” J-Rab replied, and they started cutting.

Colour slowly started flowing back into her face. She was still pale, wide-eyed, but her blood pressure was slowly balancing out.

“It feels so weird,” she said.

“Is it sore?” I asked.

“No, but I can feel it.”

“Nearly there gorgeous,” I said.

Some time passed after I said that, it could have been 30 seconds, it could have been 3. I remember her eyes, like mountain pools her mom always says. I remember how vulnerable, how beautiful she looked and I remember thinking how proud I was of her.

The next thing I remember was the doctors telling me to get the camera ready.

I’d decided beforehand not to look over the screen because I was worried I’d faint at the site of J-Rab cut wide open like that. I was no use to anyone passed out stone cold on the operating theatre floor.

But when they said told me to get the camera ready, some other instinct took over, I stood up and looked over the screen.

I saw everything, the clamps, the bloodied instruments, and surgical swabs, the red mess they’d made of J-Rab, but it didn’t gross me out, I didn’t feel like I was going to faint dead on the spot because in the midst of everything, I saw something else.

I saw my daughter.

She was being pulled out, covered in greyish vernix and wet with amniotic fluid. I took pictures of it all, her first few moments of life outside the womb, and captured the moment they held her over the screen so that J-Rab could touch her for the first time.

J-Rab reached out, took our little girl’s tiny hand in hers, a simple gesture of comfort.

Today our little Cub is one month old. We’ve watched her change so much in this short space of time I can hardly believe that tiny, naked Gollum-like creature that I watched them pull out of J-Rab a month ago is the perfect little angel I come home to everyday.

When people ask me what it’s been like it’s almost impossible to say, but the same line from the Wallflowers’ song “One Headlight” echoes somewhere in my mind every time.

“I ain’t changed, but I know I ain’t the same…”

Everything can change in a month, we’re playing for keeps now, the stakes have never been higher but all fluffy sentiment aside, it’s been the best month of my life.



Here’s to many, many more Winking smile


12 Responses to “One Month”

  1. 3 Cian
    September 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    “I ain’t changed, but I know I ain’t the same…” – exactamondo

  2. September 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Holy crap nuts. Never ever did I think you would have the ability to make cry via your blog, but you have. J-Rab is a champ, and I know you’re blessed to have her, but she’s so blessed to have a fiance and dad who can articulate the words that most men shy away from.

    Well done to you both, and your daughter is absolutely beautiful. So happy for you, what a gorgeous little family.


  3. September 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    This is power… congrats, man!

  4. September 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. I wish my husband had the ability to articulate his experience the way you have. I would of loved to know what it was like to be him on the days our children were born.

  5. 8 1/2arent
    September 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Straight from your heart. Wish I had your talent.

  6. 10 Lu
    September 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Goosebumps all down my arms and you almost made me cry… What a beautiful blog and what a beautiful daughter! Congrats you two.

  7. 11 JennyG
    September 13, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Love you guys x

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