When I found out I was having another baby I was super excited. As a second time Mum I thought I would take to Motherhood again like a Swan on a lake, and I did sort of.. (If you can imagine the Swan hissing and stealing bread from the duck.)
Being only 20 when my first was born, I’d opted for an I’ll-make-it-up-as-I-go-along approach to parenting, and although Mr.G is a great kid, some of my approaches were a bit hit or miss to say the least.
Naturally this time around I was aiming to be an even better parent, what with education and the benefit of hind sight on my side, I was going to be admired by all for my patience, skill and experience, bringing Passion and creativity to this somewhat untrendy role.
But when Smidge was born at 25 weeks gestation, this prompted a radical reality reshuffle. All preconceived ideas about positive attachment relationships went down the plug hole along with the NICU hand soap and remnants of yesterday’s alco-gel.
The difficulty was I was really quite attached to this ‘Improved Mother’ idea and I fear I may have bought a teeny bit too much of my keen-to-do-well-ness to the Neonatal Unit, irritating some of the country’s most patient and highly regarded professionals.
Disputing clinical decisions, Making amateur diagnosis’s and questioning policies and practices were amongst many of the bazaar behaviours I exhibited in an attempt to play Mummy.
Eight out of ten times of my predictions would prove to be unfounded but sometimes, just sometimes I would get it right.
Say for example Smidge was having recurrent pauses in breathing, I would think this was due to infection, or if her heart rate was plummeting regularly I'd think she might need a blood transfusion.
But even when I was right, the victory was somehow bitter sweet because the imminent concern over Smidge's health would over ride what would have other wise been a perfectly good gloating opportunity.
See I wanted to do what other Mothers did, to cuddle and comfort their babies, to tuck them up in just the right way that only Mummy knows how, but when it became evident that this wasn't really an option, I wanted to know what the doctors and nurses knew! I wanted to do as they did!
Of course deep down I knew that I had neither the skills or experience to carry out these roles and probably looked very ridiculous trying, but still I think my Smidge knew I was there for her. Hell- I think everyone knew I was there for her!
But did predicting an infection or surgical assessment help me feel more like her Mother?
Did it help when I was right?
Not one little bit.