The click of the PCA is comforting in itself,
although my head is thick with morphine and
everything is heavy and confused.
They say I should go and see her
and I suppose I should
but ... I am disconnected.
I drag my body from the bed.
The tubes and wires and monitors come too
and they wheel me down to meet her.
He has to tell me which child is ours -
I don’t know her because I wasn’t there.
She is naked and red, her skin transparent,
covered in down and I still feel disconnected.
She is a stranger and I don’t want to hold her,
but I know it’s expected, so I should.
They hand her to me with her wires and her tubes,
lying in a garish WI crochet shawl,
Someone takes a photo and I try to smile.
Everything feels so far away and I am lost.
This is not how it was in the brochure,
no NG tubes and mainlines there.
My head is spinning and I am screaming inside.
They tell me how well we are both doing.
Can’t they see I am dying inside?
It wasn’t meant to be like this at all.
They put her back in the incubator and
I am wheeled back to the quiet terror of ITU.
I can’t see or hear with any clarity.
The lights are low and soft, perhaps to hide the pain.
Although I repeatedly click the PCA
I am still screaming inside, I wasn’t there,
I wasn’t there and I can’t remember her name.
The whole sordid nightmare loops around and plays again