Here I am safe and warm in my mother’s womb, floating in a softly undulating waterworld. I can hear sounds, that of my mother’s heartbeat and breathing, her voice, my father’s voice,and music, beautiful music. It is muted and reassuring. The dark dim light and lukewarm water make me feel safe, calm and contained within their boundaries.
I am aware of my twin sister tightly packed next to and a little above me in the womb, floating in her own uterine sac, far away and yet so near!
Suddenly everything changes. My waterworld disappears and I am being sucked strong and fast through a small dark tunnel towards an opening. I pop out and find myself in bright lights, with loud and confusing sounds. I can’t breathe, I try to make a sound but can’t. I feel hands around me moving me and putting me down. Panic, fear, cold and lonely. These are the feelings I experience.
Now I find myself all alone on an open platform, splayed and exposed to the world. A world which is a cold white expanse of nothingness. My face is covered with a boxlike thing which makes a sound unknown to me, but later I will know it sounded like a strong wind . It was oxygen to help me breathe under the headbox. Bright lights hurt my eyes and loud voices pierce my ears.
I feel so alone, afraid and confused! What is happening, who are these people all in white. They are hurting me with their prodding needles and loud voices. Are they trying to kill me? Where is my mother, my sister and my father. Have they abandoned me. So many questions and no answers. Only stark fear!
Time passes and gradually I become aware of my twin sister in the incubator next to me. I find it reasuring to have her near, almost like in my mother’s womb. My mother and father come to visit , but they don’t pick me up or touch me. Do they hate me? After what seemed to me like a very long time I am at last taken out of my confining box and put in my mother’s arms. Instant bliss. Here I am safe, it feels just right. This is where I belong.
It is many years later and I still feel the fear. Only now I am afraid of being alone, the dark, people, doctors, nurses, hospitals. In short, life scares me! Dreams haunt me and keep me awake at night and at my mother’s side during the day.
Then a special lady enters my life. With her help I reconstruct my birth and the events following my rude and unexpected entry into this scary world. We face the fears and with lots of prayer conquer them. One wonderful day , I am free, free of the fear, free to start living, free to experience all this life has to offer, free to grow up and take my place in this world.
I told you this so that you may know preemie babies experience feelings too.