Four weeks early, and feet first

It’s said that every million or so years the magnetic poles of the earth flip and realign themselves. The world, in a manner of speaking, turns itself upside down. Magnetic fields form and reform chaotically before finding their new position, and during the transition you would find yourself suddenly, strangely vulnerable to things that you may have taken for granted before. It’s a natural phenomenon, this recalibration, but it creates incredible chaos. Civilisation wouldn’t stand a chance.

I can, in some small way, empathise. Life has fundamentally, irrecoverably altered. It happened both slowly and all at once, and this is what my new centre of gravity looks like.

One of my overriding memories of the minutes leading up to her birth was the sound of her heartbeat from the monitor. Amplified a hundred times strong, it drowned out everything else. A phrase came into my head at that point: ‘the galloping of angels’. I’m not a religious man by any stretch of the imagination, but there was something almost otherworldly about that constant, steady drumming, like hoofbeats.

A miracle coming to see us, the journey almost complete.

There was something heart-stoppingly surreal and slow-motion about the hours that followed. The rush of adrenalin, the ragged emptiness when the Code Blue was called, the unbelievable happiness when we knew that everything, truly, was going to be okay. I know, now, that beneath it all was the feeling of recalibration. It was every atom in my body shifting toward some new magnetic True North, a constant undeniable truth that this, here, is the reason to do everything that comes after.

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