On the 2nd of June 2016, after 4 years, 9 months, 40 weeks and 2 days of waiting we welcomed our miracle into the world. A baby girl – Elle Charlotte Hawkins.
I’ve wanted to write about that incredible day since it happened, but not only has life been a bit busy these past 12 weeks, its also pretty hard to describe the day and all the days since.
A year ago (almost to the day as I write this) I finally bid farewell to a child I may never know. We had struggled to fall pregnant, had tested our relationship with each other and with others. We had drawn apart and had some difficult conversations and had drawn back together again. We had closed the door (to an extent. It was more like a sliding door) on a future that had little people in it. And then, by spontaneous surprise, we fell pregnant.
On 1 June I spent 2 hours at Pick n Pay aimlessly wondering around aisles buying ingredients. I had a scone for lunch at Woolies and went home and baked a chocolate cake. I sealed my fate if you are to believe old wives’ tales. At 2.30am, on the morning of 2 June 2016 our little baby decided it was time. Of course, not immediately. We only went to hospital around 7.30 (after first stopping in at O’ways for a coffee/hot chocolate) and that hospital bag that had been packed (except for my slippers) since 36 weeks almost didn’t come with us – I was so sure we’d be sent home to wait.
With a dropping heart rate and a baby that didn’t fancy engaging, an unplanned and somewhat unprepared for (especially on my part) transfer to an operating theatre commenced. I’ve never seen people move so fast, prepping me (and Mark) for surgery. All the while I still hadn’t quite wrapped my head around the fact that we’d be parents by lunchtime.
I think I entered a trance somewhere around the point where they said the c-section had been booked for 10.20. I remember it all – being wheeled to the theatre, the room, the view (the fact that it had one way glass). My doctor gently guiding me through what would happen, Mark – waiting in the corner with his camera ready to photograph it all, while looking a little emotional. The anaesthetist, the pain of the needle, losing feeling in my legs and… smiling. I remember smiling to know that I finally would no longer be pregnant, and we’d finally have a baby. I remember it, but its equally a blur.
The details of the surgery are ours, but the moment they held our baby up was simply breathtaking. Our doctor told us our baby was a girl and Mark whispered in my ear “its a girl Kimmie. Its our daughter”. For all the drugs and the emotion of the day (and there were plenty), this moment is crystal. Its a moment I hope that I can remember forever. Its the exact moment we really became mom and dad. We had a baby girl.
3 days in hospital passed in a blur. It was a quiet, relaxing time in a way. We limited guests and were mostly just the three of us (except for the 16 nurses that came in every half an hour to inject/blood pressure/feed/check baby/check me). We even had sushi and champagne. (We’ve had a lot of sushi and champagne in the past 12 weeks).
12 weeks since that day have also passed in a blur. She has grown. She smiles. She coos and ‘talks’ and plays with toys. But in the same way as the day she was born, when seeing her face took my breath away and Mark’s words ‘its our daughter’ brought me to tears, I’m often found with a child in my arms and those same tears streaming down my face at how lucky I am. How I had given up on ever having this moment, or all the moments, and now here it is.
On 2 June 2016, we were blessed with the greatest gift you can get as a couple. In years to come we may be celebrating her birthday, but it is Mark and I that will celebrate the gift we received. Our marriage was tried, tested and solidified in preparation for our future as mom and dad. She waited until the timing was just right to come to us. She held on when the doctors didn’t think she would. She truly is a miracle. And what a wonderful miracle she is.