We did good…
By Nicola Sheldon
I remember the morning of November 17th 2015 very clearly.
Thomas had been home from the hospital less than 24 hours and Chris was preparing to leave to work, his paternity leave long since used up as Thomas was now 1 month and 2 days old.
I watched as he moved around the bedroom getting ready and I looked down at the tiny baby in my arms, with his NG tube snaking over his face, syringes and breast pump parts littered the bed around me, a suction machine by my side ready to be used.
How was I meant to keep this small vulnerable human safe? How was I meant to replace the team of medical professionals who had, until this point, been caring for him?
Tears filled my eyes as I begged him not to leave us. I am not worthy, I am not good enough, I cannot do this.
As the days and weeks started to tick by in a grief fuelled blur I gained confidence. It turned out I could feed him safely, I could suction him, I could pass an NG tube.
The weeks rolled into months. I could do his physio, I could take him to his appointments, I could still be mummy to my 3 year old, I could love him.
I could hold him close when he cried, I could sooth his hurts, I could make him smile, make him laugh. I could know what he liked best, and what he hated.
The months turned into years. I could do his exercises at home, I could take him out to play, I could make him nutritious meals, I could research therapy and equipment, I could advocate for him for access and equality.
I could help him grow, I could help him thrive and with confidence I could let him go.
Nearly 5 years on we are miles away from that scared and overwhelmed new mum, and that tiny fragile baby, and as I dressed him in his pressed grey tailored shorts, his crisp white polo shirt and his fresh new school jumper and watched him smiling as his new teaching staff wheeled him through the gate of his new primary school I turned to Chris and I said,
We did good babe.