Today is the anniversary of the second of the two most important days of my life. Two events that both completely changed my view of the world and my place in it.
This is the anniversary of when I fell completely, and utterly, in love. Once again.
The first thing I learned when my second daughter was born was that there is always room in the heart for one more. I loved my first daughter, now a cute and precocious two year old, so much that sometimes during the time of expectancy I had been genuinely concerned I might not be able to love this newcomer as well. It was a fear that vanished without trace on her arrival.
That arrival was just as fraught with difficulty as was her sister’s before. Distressed foetal syndrome and a caesarean. But this time I was allowed to be present. Watching a caesarean is fascinating and frightening. I concentrated on holding June’s hand and being reassuring.
The surgeon jokingly warned me that if I fainted, he would just stand on me and carry on with his work. June was conscious. She’d had an epidural. The previous time she had been under general anaesthetic, so this must have been even more frightening for her than for me.
When the hospital staff held up the still and silent chocolate-blue child my heart stopped. I’ve never, ever, been more frightened. In fact I realised at that moment, I had never really been frightened before at all. I cannot express the dread I felt just then.
Suddenly she let out a cry and miraculously turned pink right then and there in front of me. I treasure that memory as I do the one where I was introduced to her sister, so tiny in an incubator, tubes up her nose, two years before.
I shall never stop loving June for what she went through to bring those two into the world. If ever frustration or resentment arises when I think of how things eventually turned out, I remind myself of this.
I shall never stop loving those two girls, for the meaning they brought into my existence. Flawed as it must have been, parenthood is the one thing that really gave my life any significance.
These wonderful young women that June and I made.
And that’s all I have to say about that.