On two separate occasions I have spent Mother’s Day in hospital and I can tell you it doesnt get any easier. It was much more harrowing when Simran was in Neonatal Intensive Care fighting for her life. Simran was born premature at 29weeks weighing a mere 1lb 11oz. She weighed less than a bag of sugar. She was in hospital for three months in total. Arjun was in SCBU for my first mothers only four hears earlier.
My first Mothers Day was painful, I never imagined stealing gentle touches through a glass wall, fighting my way through a tangle web of wires, bleepers and feeding tubes, I never imagined sitting in a feeding chair watching my precious newborns chest heaving up and down to catch an artificial breath. To sit in silence watching; mutely praying for a sign that they would flourish, that they would survive to stand in the glistening summer sun and inhale a deep breath of air filled with freshly cut grass and blossom. I recall sitting for hours patiently by their crib side wishing that Arjun would make a sound or that Simran would open an eye to see me. The irony is that it was only a weeks before Mothers Day that we were informed that Arjun was blind, but with Simran we still did not know. Internally my heart was in agony. All I wished was that the gift of motherhood bestowed on me was not in vain, that it would not be snatched away from me like the cruelty of war; my newborns would be strong enough to fight on in their personal battle fields like the soldiers they are. There were times when both Simran and Arjun were almost defeated (on more than one occasion) but both stood up to (literally) live another day ; both still here.
I know that Arjun still has his battle and that at times desperation and despair consumes us as parents, but, on Mothers Day each year I hold him tight in my arms, against my chest so that he can hear my heart beating in time with his, in the hope that he knows that I am his mum and that I am always here for him, even on the day he takes his last breath, in my arms and not alone. I will never stop silently praying that one day a miracle will ‘make him better’, or that when he dies his soul will rest in peace, nor will I never not cry on Mother’s Day for the son I have lost as I hold him in my arms.
A Mother’ Day gift
In NICU and SCBU the staff do their best to make Mother’s Day special. There is the special time you are allowed an extra lengthy cuddle with your baby; a moment treasured forever, moreso when your baby is still hooked up to wires, cables and oxygen (CPAP). I have two extremely cherished momentoes ; homemade cards with their tiny footprints.
The nurses had taken the time and patience to paint and imprint on to cards their precious prints. It was one of the most treasured memories and tokens I still have safely wrapped away in their memory boxes.
It is for this reason that I have take to trying to deliver something to SCBU and Children’s Ward at Harrogate Hospital on Mother’s Day when I can. This year I delivered flowers donated to our charity ‘The Rainbow Fund’ by Asda.
It is a privilege and honour to do this as well as having the opportunity to speak to mums on the ward who will spend Mother’s Day sitting in the nursery wishing that their newborn will be well enough to go home with them for the first time.
So, today on Mother’s Day, I want to tell all those mums in hospital sitting by the side of their newborn that all will be OK, that your journey will be unique but it is your journey and you will find your own way through it, that no matter what, your bundle of joy will lead you to the light and that you will all flourish in your own way. So wear your badge of motherhood with pride and honour.
You are all amazing.