Neo Natal Ward

By Clare O’Dea

We are warm here but lying down. The time before was better because the noises were soft and there was moving. We were wrapped warm together in the red dark. Best of all she was always there. Murmur, murmur, laughing; murmur, murmur, calling out. Sometimes singing. We liked all the ways of her voice. But where is she now? Now she is not always there. Too tired to cry; will cry later.

Hands are here. Gentle touch on the head, her voice gentle too. Stroke of the cheek, holding my hand. Her voice says words: “can I take him out?” Her happy feeling comes in to me. Holding is nice, better than lying. This time I will stay awake and not let her go. He is here too. We snuggle together and she is our home and it is like the time before again and we sleep. Then she is singing the goodbye song, we are lying down, her sad feeling comes in to us.

We are awake. They change his clothes all the time but it is still him. I look at the different colours. Sometimes there are voices, sometimes hands, sometimes drinks and sometimes pain. I cry, I sleep and I wait. He waits too or cries for me if I am too tired.

She is back. We are drinking. I look across at him, his eyes are closed. This is different drinking but the best taste. Her happy feeling is all around us. Big voice is here too and he is holding with big hands and giving soft kisses on the head. We like when big voice is here. I look at his face and look some more. Amazing. Big voice says words: “100 more grams little fella, just 100 more grams.” He is talking to me.

Oh the feelings and the noises and the changes today. Lots of clothes. Too warm, too warm and then cold air on my face. All the world we heard in the time before but loud so loud. We were very quiet, trying to understand. The moving feeling was nice and the moving noise. Cold air again, warm inside place. Small voice is here now. That’s what was missing. Small voice is jumping around. Her voice says: “Gently, gently”. Laughing. Happy feelings are coming from everyone. We have to sleep.

I wake first and she is there. She makes a nest in her arms. He wakes and big voice makes a nest in his arms. We drink and we sleep again. Sometimes it is day and sometimes it is night and slowly we come to understand. From now on they will always be there.

Clare O’Dea, summer 2012.

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