Thank you to my dear friend Honeybee mum for this post for the #GiveAHug linky
How do you hug a child when you're scared to touch them? How do you stop yourself when you fear they're drifting away from you? How do you control the ferocity of your aching mummy heart when you're clutching at the straws of your love for your baby, in the desperate hope that you can keep them beside you a while longer?
It turns out you do exactly the same as you do with your robust children. Exactly the same as when you sweep them laughing into your arms with delight and exuberrant glee, just for the joy of the moment. You get used to making sure you're not constricting wires and tugging at needles, oxygen mask and feed tubes. A kind of balletic mummy-sweep around her as you pull her to you and hold on tight.
'Sing my song mama' she whispers, if she can. 'You and me, we can ride on a star, if you stay with me girl, we can rule the world' I murmur, or sometimes 'I can be your hero baby, I can take away the pain', as if maybe I actually could.
So many, many hugs. I hug her with my whole body when I pull her to me, using my own strength to form the supports she needs, which her hospital bed can't provide. I twist blankets, towels and sheets, steal pillows from the laundry for the moments when I can't sit any longer, and hope she feels them hold her safely while I run to the bathroom or to grab a sandwhich, which inevitably I don't eat.
I love our family snuggles all bundled in together. We're a very cuddlesome family, me and my children. All three children are premmies. 26, 34 and 36 weeks. The little ones were lucky and stayed in incubators next to my bed. First hugs just a touch on their way to the resus table and the waiting paediatrician teams. Second hugs through the huge plastic hand-holes, like some weird science experiment. Then preciously, beautifully skin to skin, blue lit by their sun blankets, little hats from the hot cupboard snuggled down on their tiny heads.
Touch is essential to every human being. I know my three little premmies thrive on it. Hugs for all reasons and hugs for all seasons. Corny, but true.