Cherishing My Three Little Bears #2 – Remember
Memories are precious and powerful things. I have both wonderful and bittersweet memories of my three little bears and I would like to share a few of them with you today as part of Naomi from Seven Cherubs‘ Cherishing Your Cherubs Project.
Week 2 is all about remembering and I must say I have relished the opportunity to take myself back and remember some of the most important moments of my kids’ lives so far. I’m usually too busy just trying to keep on top of everything to take time to actually think and savour some of those important moments. So this has been a really lovely exercise for me this week.
Gilbert Bear was only 11 weeks old when he received his albinism diagnosis and was only 11 months old when prescribed his first of many pairs of glasses. With albinism, because there is no melanin present when the eyes develop, the eyes cannot focus properly and will have trouble with depth perception and will be especially sensitive to sunlight (photophobia).
Gilbert’s glasses have been prescribed to correct an astigmatism and have also been coated with transitions tinting to reduce glare. I have lost count of how many pairs he has had to this point – too many, I suspect! He has had them in many colours and styles too – blue and grey were the preferred colours in the early years (preferred by us, anyway!).
But in the last few years Gilbert has been electing to choose his own colour and style. His current pair are green – he went into the optometrist’s knowing what he wanted and came out with his choice! His last pair were red and the ones before that bright blue (check out his stash below). I think it is fair to say he will have his own individual style as he gets older…
Matilda Bear came into this world in a bit of a hurry. I remember I finished up at work on Friday and she was with us early Sunday morning! She was 3 weeks early and only took 5 hours to arrive from whoa to go (as determined then as she is now!). She weighed 2.5kg (5lb 10oz) and was the tiniest little thing I had ever seen.
Unfortunately she had trouble feeding and developed jaundice after a day or so and spent 48 hours in NICU under light therapy. She wore a little face mask (see below) and was tube fed part of the time and I remember we were only discharged from hospital on Day 8 after I promised faithfully to take her to the local health nurse the next day.
She was so small we had to go out and buy some premmie clothes for her – this dress was bought in the hospital gift shop and actually fitted her for a few weeks afterwards. The tape measure was used to measure her length and head circumference. I remember we also had to diarise her feeds, record the number of wet and soiled nappies each day and any possets for the following 6 weeks – it was a bit of a scary time until she grew stronger and finally started to put on weight.
Delilah Bear is my youngest and because they are more recent, my memories of her feel more vivid than the others. After the stress of an emergency caesarean with Gilbert and a heavily assisted unexpected natural birth with Matilda, I elected to have a planned caesarean with Delilah – I just didn’t want to go through the pain of labour if I was just going to have to have the epidural and emergency caesarean anyway.
It was the most surreal experience of my life. I never expected to feel the sheer terror I felt about the epidural when I wasn’t in labour. The other 2 occasions I was in so much pain they could have done anything to me and I would not have cared – as long as it meant the pain was going to go away.
This time, I was not in labour, my mind was clear and all I could think about was that I was mad to have voluntarily said yes to a massive needle being inserted into my spine. I shivered with fear and nearly had a panic attack while they prepped me for theatre – I don’t recall ever feeling so cold in my entire life.
I was so preoccupied with my fear that I completely forgot about the reason I was there in the first place. When Delilah was finally placed in my arms, all my fear was forgotten and I was just so very thankful to have my baby girl in my arms. Below is her Baby Record Book (which I need to update!) and a copy of the paper we bought on the day she was born – keepsakes I hope she will cherish too when she gets older.
These are only a few of the many incredible memories I have of my three little bears. I hope to share more of them with you in coming posts.
Next week, I will be interviewing the cherubs – Gilbert Bear has absolutely no tact, so that should be a very interesting read, if you care to return…