It's a funny thing, how things change, how people change after they have faced a trauma. Take for example when I was in the NICU, I was so excited at the idea of bringing a baby home, I'd made plans, big plans..
I was going to have a party you know, invite all my friends and family to celebrate my miracle girl. There was going to be cake, gifts and bunting and everyone was going to tell me how beautiful she looked and how well she'd done, how well we'd all done.
But then two weeks before discharge a nurse took me to one side and told me that it was looking likely that my Smidge was going home on oxygen.
'Oxygen?...no she won't be going home on that..' I remarked, batting my eye lashes up and down repeatedly with a bemused look on my face.
Raising her eye brows slightly the nurse looked at me firmly and said 'Well you need to prepare yourself for that as a possibility'
'There is no need' I argued 'She won't be coming home on it, I just know it'
Coming home on oxygen? You don't even know how much I didn't want that. It didn't fit you see, with the bunting and the fairy cakes.
But what I didn't know then, was that the fairy cakes and Bunting didn't fit either because the welcome home party I envisaged was a far cry from what I was capable of, emotionally speaking.
A week at home and suddenly it occurred to me, I had a vulnerable baby to look after. We couldn't have all those people in the house, what with all their germs!
What if the guests were so excited about the bunting and the fairy cakes that they thought a little snivel didn't matter?
What if they came expecting a glass of wine and good time all they got was a squirt of alco-gel and cross examination?
Better Cancel I thought, and One-day Hubby agreed.
But we've come a long way since those early days, or at least I thought we had, until this May, when everything changed.
See, in May, when Smidge had three unexpected hospital stays due to virus's, respiratory issues and febrile seizures it was like it set us back.
All the confidence I had gained and all the developmental benefits that were Smidge's were stolen from us in one horrid month.
And now it is like we are back there, bug watching, germ spotting and hand washing. We are the infection police again and risk assess our social contact and I don't want it to be this way but it so is this way.
When Smidge had her second seizure, I sat by and watched the doctors try for 25 minutes to stop her from fitting. I then watched my unconscious child lie in a hospital cot hour on hour, oblivious to the world around her. And a usually crawling, usually chattering Smidge was a vacant,empty being and there was nothing I could do make her come to and realise I was there.
Once again, I was a powerless, scared and freaked out Mummy, unsure of how she'd been affected by this latest twist of fate. I had no control what so ever.
But *Good News People* Now I have the control again, Now I have the responsibility, and rightly or wrongly I just want to wrap her up in cotton wool and keep her really safe.
So we've stopped the baby groups she adored, the little sing song's she used to like to go to. No more isthe park during peek hours and we are back to asking guests if they are healthy, being mindful of supermarkets and being careful not to get lost down a country road with no phone signal.
Because as with the oxygen and fairy cakes, The high dependency unit, the hospital, it doesn't fit with my plans you see..
and as much as I love bunting, baby groups, and biscuits..
I love my Smidge more.