Breath of Life

All week I’ve been nervous.

Last night I couldn’t sleep.

Today I was so filled with excitement and anxiety that I couldn’t sit still for a single moment.

Why?

My little sister was having her first baby today. She is 28 years old and an amazing strong, young woman so I shouldn’t be worried but I was.

Other than her partner I was the first to know she was pregnant. All along I was convinced she was having a boy. I watched her beautiful belly grow and grow with such love.

I am already an Aunty to seven nephews and two nieces on my husband’s side and I have always been excited for my sister-in-laws but today was very different. This whole nine months was different. She is my sister and I get to help her and love her through the most enriching experience of her life.

On the weekend we went out shopping together for those final few things she’d need for her little man. So convinced I was that she was having a boy I even purchased boy clothes for her a few months ago.

This morning I spoke to her numerous times. I made her laugh after a rude, insensitive pathologist told her that a natural birth is way better than a c-section, only moments before she was about to have an elective c-section. I told her the pathologist probably didn’t even have kids and the most important thing is what suits her and that the baby is here safely (Oh and I also mentioned she won’t have a battered vagina after her baby is born). Obviously this comes from her big sister who had three elective c-sections.

About midday today I was overcome with a very strange feeling. It’s difficult to describe but it was a warm sensation and I had a very strong presence of Charlize and I instantly knew my sister was going to have a baby girl.

I sent her a message and told her Charlize was sending her a baby girl today.

Finally at 2.15pm today my sister and her partner became parents to the most beautiful baby girl.

Not wanting to move away from the trend of stressful situations that our family so often finds itself in, her little darling had some trouble breathing and was whisked off to Special Care.

I ached for my sister not being able to hold her baby, I ached for my niece who was separated from her Mummy. I knew those feelings all too well, as did our mother before us.

I spent the whole afternoon worried for my sister and her baby. I cried for my sister and her baby. This was not the experience I wanted for her.

So many parents take for granted the arrival of a healthy baby especially the normal action of breathing. The first breath of life is a crucial one. Most babies arrive into the world screaming, enabling their lungs to fill with air and perform an action we don’t even think about.

But, there are many parents like my sister and her partner and my husband and I and many before us and many that will come after us, who realise all too quickly how terrifying it is when your precious little bundle can’t perform that function on their own or with difficulty.

It makes you very thankful for technology, for humidicribs, for pediatricians, for nurses, for time. As time passes by mostly, these little babies get stronger and stronger and can manage to breathe on their own without effort. Once that happens our lives are filled with hope and warmth and the relief we feel is indescribable.

There are many little babies who aren’t so lucky and those parents have to face the harsh reality of life without their flesh and blood in their arms, in their lives.

Today, I am so thankful that this beautiful little miracle is being protected so lovingly, not only by her drs and nurses, parents and grandparents but by her cousin, her guardian angel who is watching over her and giving her strength to do it on her own and whispering in her ear how much she is surrounded by love.

Tonight I will try to sleep but the excitement and anticipation of meeting my niece for the first time tomorrow may be too much.

I cannot wait to cuddle this special little person, to smell her baby scent, to touch her soft skin and to tell how much I love her and her Mummy.

Welcome to the world precious girl, here’s to a life filled with love and laughter.

Love Aunty Chrissy xxx

Bump

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