four weeks early: an addendum.

In the hour or so that followed the birth, I sat in the corner of the intensive care unit and watched my baby daughter. Nurses hovered, talking in hushed tones to each other, passing tape and tubes backward and forward. I was all but forgotten about – out of the way, not wanting to speak and interrupt the moment.  Did you ever play those games as a child, where you’d pretend that someone wasn’t there? It was like that, in a weird sort of way. I was an observer; there was nothing I could do to assist, to help, to proffer advice or comment on. Yet, with the adrenaline leaving my system, I found a solemnity to the moment, a curious stillness that I hadn’t ever encountered before. The soundtrack of background noise dropped down. The camera’s focus shifted. There was a narrowing of attention to one small, helpless, courageous soul.  All there was, was her. There is no contemplation of the past or future in that sort of space, just one long inexorable moment stretching on forever, my eyes fixed on my little stop-motion girl, stubbornly grumbling at the unasked-for attention.


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