Eight years have passed and yet the memories remain as vivid as if it were yesterday. Compose yourselves peeps, for today is the day that the Waffler is going to take a serious moment, but I promise, regular programming will resume tomorrow.
On this day eight years ago I was not yet a mama Waffler, I was still a Mrs Waffler with a rather pronounced 'bump'. D-day was looming and I was ready, ready to meet the little man who was scheduled to arrive on the 12th of September 2001.
As with many a first time parent I was super organised, probably had the hospital bag packed four months early, but when it came to watching the birthing videos...well....we kept popping that into the 'tomorrow basket'. We had a few weeks to watch the video before we were due to return it to the hospital but we realised eight years ago today that the return date was the 12th of September, 2001...oops.
We were slack but diligent, so we pulled it out and sat down for an.....interesting....nights viewing. Strangely enough, the decision to watch the video completely disrupted my early to bed schedule, and so I found myself feeling slightly traumatised and exhausted, wearily dragging my swollen ankles off to bed at a fairly undignified hour.
I don't even think I had a chance to put my pyjamas on before The Coach called out, he wanted me to see something on the tv, sheesh, did the man not notice the giant tummy ?
I tried to fob him off but he was persistent, "No, you really have to see this."
So I waddled back to the living room and sat beside my husband watching events unfold in America. Even now, my hands are shaking as I remember the thoughts which buzzed inside my head like a swarm of angry bees, the trauma, the disbelief, the uncertainty, the horror and above all the sheer panic as to what sort of world I was bringing an innocent little person into.
We sat up until about two o'clock in the morning, then fatigue overcame the horror and I fell into an unsettled sleep.
Four hours later I awoke to an unmistakable sensation, muscles clenching in my abdomen, it seemed that no amount of trauma or lack of sleep was going to stop my little man from arriving bang on his due date. I showered. I washed and dried my hair. I groomed my eyebrows and popped on a smudge of concealer (old habits die hard). I called the hospital. Finally when I was completely organised I woke The Coach who, after running around like a headless chicken for ten minutes, got himself together and we tootled off to the hospital.
Such a strange day, gradually increasing contractions as I sat in the labour ward waiting room watching the news. Filled with uncertainty about the world, about people, about all the horrors awaiting my unborn child and yet overwhelmed with anticipation at finally meeting the person behind all those internal nudges and pokes.
My labour progressed without incident and so it was, that later that day, in a darkened delivery suite with soothing music, as I sat in a tub of warm water, Le Artiste arrived in this world.
It was a crazy roller coaster of emotions in the preceding twelve hours, but as soon as I held my baby and drank in every perfect feature, somehow I could believe that everything was going to be okay. That for all the bad in the world there was also such beauty and I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that this gorgeous, tiny creature would be loved and protected.
And now here we are, my baby is now a big school boy who amazes me and makes me so incredibly proud. Tomorrow he turns eight and I hope that he has the most perfect and wonderful birthday ever.
This day marks one of the most amazing days of my life but I will never, ever forget the pain and sadness experienced by so many people on the other side of the world. My heart goes out to you and my own experience of joy will forever remain intertwined with your unimaginable loss.
5 years ago