The woman is holding her baby, her face wet with tears. The baby is soft and sweet and knows nothing but her warmth. She rocks him slowly and whispers in his ear “you are my baby, you are my baby”. She holds him tighter and brings his head close to face and breathes him in. She looks again at his long dark lashes against his pale skin and her heart melts. She lifts his hand and her thumb across the back if his hand. So tiny. She kisses his forehead and whispers her words again “you are my baby, you are my baby”. She looks towards the window and lets out a big sigh.
The room door opens and a troop of doctors and nurses enter. They smile and they look at his chart. The doctor quietly asks if she can place him back in the cot. She does not want to let go of him but she knows she has to. She whispers in his ear “you are my baby, you are my baby”. She lays him carefully on the mattress and watches while the doctor places her stethoscope on his chest. She watches as his chest rises and falls and the doctors smiles at her baby. She watches as the doctors places her hand on his soft round abdomen and her baby wriggles in response but does not make a sound.
Now that she is not holding her baby she can hear the oxygen saturation monitor beeping away. She can see the two small plastic tubes delivering oxygen into his small nostrils. She can see that small plastic button on her baby’s left side attached to a tube and a bag of milk that is not hers.
She leans forward on her chair and hugs herself. Under her breathe she mutters the same words “you are my baby, your are my baby”. She looks up and at the doctor in front of her. She looks at the doctor that is talking quietly to her baby, her baby that opens his eyes for a few seconds and then closes them. She wonders what the doctor is thinking. She wonders what the doctor is thinking about what she has decided for her baby. She looks at the nurse standing at the end of the cot, the nurse is filling out the observation chart. Neat little numbers in neat little boxes. She looks round at the other people in the room – they are either writing on more pieces of paper or looking intently at her baby. She wonders if they think that she is a bad person. She wonders if they know how hard it was to make this decision. She wonders if they know that she has not had a full night’s sleep since he was born. She wonders if they know what is like to cry every day that your child is born.
The week that she has been waiting for has finally come. The moment that she has been dreading has arrived. She never thought that she would ever be in this position and she does not know how she will cope. The terms of negotiations are slim and time has seems to slip by like the blink of an eye by but on occasions be interminably slow.
She wonders who has heard her prayers and pleads.
The doctors talks to the nurse for a few minutes, she has picked up the baby and is rocking him slowing in her arms. She asks the other people in the room a few things and then she turns and passes the baby back to his mother. The woman holds her baby close, while the doctor sits on the chair beside her. The doctor is silence for a moment and then starts talking. The woman listens, rocks her baby and looks toward the window.