In 1986, I became aware of the relentless tick, tick, ticking of my biological clock. At 29, my then, partner and I decided we should tie the knot and set about making a baby. We were ecstatic, when just three months later, I was pregnant. I had all the usual worries that occur to all mothers to be, praying the baby was born well and healthy.
As the pregnancy progressed, I became increasingly worried and anxious about the child. I had no evidence on which to base these concerns as I was very well and everything was proceeding as expected.
By the time I was eight months along, I had gained the body weight of a small horse and my dreams started to be invaded by darkness and fear. I couldn't explain it. All I knew was that I was terrified that my baby was going to die. I knew these were unreasonable thoughts. I also knew, as an overachiever, I was worrying myself to a frazzle over nothing more than fear and my constant companion—dread.
My son was born after a long labour. He was beautiful, healthy and...did I mention beautiful? I on the other hand, became a she-bear. I wouldn't let him out of my sight. He slept with us and was always in the same room as us, so I could see him and hear him. My sense of fear for his wellbeing escalated. I became obsessed with checking on him. Twenty times a night, I would lay my hand on his chest to make sure he was breathing. I lived in absolute, unreasonable fear of losing him.
When he was just four months old, I was working a casual shift in Neonatal Intensive Care, when I received a phone call at work. It was my husband.
My blood ran cold.
In the background, all I could hear was the sound of a gasping child. My husband was frantic. He said our son was very hot and that he kept going stiff and then floppy and that he wouldn't wake up.
I don't remember the hour drive home. I flew into the house and all of my worst fears came crashing down on me. My son was fitting continually and he was unconscious. Every bit of training as an RN and a Midwife left me. I walked around the house, holding my son, telling him not to die, pleading with him, not to leave us.
Sometime after this, common sense kicked in and we called an ambulance. A paediatrician friend was at the hospital waiting for us. After he assessed our son, he came out and put his arm around me and told me that my little boy had suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage (stroke), was completely paralysed down the left side and that he was going to die.
My son was transferred to a big city hospital paediatric intensive care unit. The overwhelming fear that I had lived with for so many months, paradoxically had left me. I knew in my heart that the threat to him had passed and that with our love, he would survive.
It took a very long time with exercise, stimulation and absolute determination to achieve not only his survival, but his continued improvement. I still wouldn't let him out of my sight. I would still wake up twenty times a night to make sure he was still breathing. He was 7 years of age before he slept through the night.
It took me a lot longer.
Trailer to Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series.