10 June 2008


The emotional roller coaster ride started the moment Vera was born.

I was bed-ridden from the operation. 12 hours after it, I still had not seen my baby. Ian and mom would visit her in ICU, and I would get updates from them.

Those first few days were really hard. But for Ian it was even tougher. Shuttling between ICU, getting updates from doctors and visiting me in the ward.

Seeing Vera for the first time from a digital camera picture was hard. It was a shot of her crying...she looked like she was in so much pain. Why did she have all these wires and tubes attached to her?

As we were apart, Ian would record my singing the songs I used to sing to her when she was inside me and try to play it to her in ICU. Somehow, I just had to let her know I was there. From the snug, warm comfort of the womb to the cold, bright world of the ICU, what a rude shock that must be.

On the second day, Ian wheeled me to see Vera. I entered a world only a few ever get to see. Rows of babies, tiny babies, some mere fetuses, loads of equipment, bluish bililights, incubators, constant beeping from monitors. I tried not to be overwhelmed by the fact that my baby was one of these babies.

It's hard to describe seeing Vera for the first time. Something like "So, it was you all this time in my tummy" At 1.9kg, she was so tiny, so fragile. But she looked like Ian! It was pretty obvious. And she had a lot of hair, in a swirling circle. Lots of hair just like her daddy (when he was younger hee).

Just before I was discharged from the hospital, we got to hold Vera for the first time. It was night, and the ICU was empty. A Sister put her into our arms, arranging the wires attached to her. I was overcome with emotion. I was finally holding my baby.

What a strange feeling, leaving the hospital without her. But we knew she was in good hands. The ICU staff worked 12 hour shifts, yet they always had time to update us about her professionally and patiently.

Vera spent 11 days in ICU. Her eyes were mostly closed, not quite aware she's already out of the womb. We stroked her, the only thing we could do, as we waited for doctors to complete a slew of tests on her to confirm her diagnosis.

I was prepared for bad news. But no amount of preparation would have helped for what we were about to hear.