One of the worst things about Smidge being born so small was having to wait so long to be a Mum to her. Waiting like that, it wasn't a good thing for me, it wasn't a good thing for Smidge and it wasn't good for the teams who looked after her, let me explain why.
When she was born tiny and sick, the instinct was that I wanted to protect her, Yet at the same time as wanting this, I knew the sort of protection I could offer was about as useful as a broken umbrella in torrential rain.
So imagine there was a downpour and a team of people came running with the biggest and most weather proof kind of umbrella ever ( I'm thinking ovaltine light here) You'd be pretty pleased right?
You wouldn't want to snatch the umbrella away from them and tell them that they are doing it all wrong, that you have googled umbrella putting up styles and are pretty sure that the technique they used was open to questioning, would you?
No of course you wouldn't, not unless of course you were a little bit upset that somebody went and did something that you wish you'd done, like got a medical degree for example.
And that's how I was in there,back then in the NICU. Upset, scared and untrusting.
I didn't want to admit it, mind you, didn't want to be seen as not coping.What if they decided I was too messed up to look after her? that is If and when looking after her became an actual possibility.
But these feelings I had, they wouldn't just slip quietly in to the background. The need to be a Mum, to nurture, to have control, wasn't going to just dissolve in to complete nothingness like it didn't matter.
So every time a doctor or a nurse stepped in to help Smidge,I felt sort of numb.
And this numbness that came day after day after day, It chipped away at my maternal being. And every time I lost a part of that, I think I must have felt that little bit more removed,that little bit more shut out, not needed.
The sense of being removed like that, It wasn't just about being scared. It was about being detached from that instinctual need, the one that drives the desire to connect, to have, to hold.
And when you let go of those things, because you have to, all that you have left to connect you to that child actually, is the fear, the concern, the worry.
So could I put my trust in to the doctors looking after her? Could I jump under their umbrella and be protected from the storm?
No I could not.
Because in the absence of cuddles, of contact and of care, The fear was all that was left.