Rhian, a midwife of thirty years' experience ran an active birthing workshop we attended in July and quoted gurus such as Nisargadatta Maharaj therein. She also taught some of my pregnancy yoga sessions. It was the words and affirmations she had taught us which I had drawn on so much over the past week. It so happened that she was in reception of the hospital on a certain day. It was the day when Kevin came back from Coraline's heart echo ultrasound at the Evelina Children's Hospital. Coraline was in a neonatal incubator. Kevin bowled up to Rhian, to use his phraseology, gave her our news, whereupon he said she gave him a massive hug. Later she came and found Kevin and me in the Neonatal ICU. I was brimming with how I felt then; happy, transfixed, my heart bursting with love and an ache for Coraline. I just remember Rhian's hand resting on my arm a lot as we spoke, and the three of us had a group hug over Coraline's bed. She said, "she chose you".
Kevin aged 40, Coraline aged 0. Born one day apart. This year Kevin's Birthday was a Sunday and Coraline born on the Monday. Leos. Both strong and both having a pull about them. We were prepared as we had been called for a C Section that Monday: two weeks before her due date. We had 48 hours' notice of it, and it was because they had spotted something to do with her growth rate slowing, and also she was breech. We brought Coraline's cake in to share with the midwives. The midwives are amazing and on shifts and would pop into our room to give me painkillers every few hours, and a daily injection, or simply if we buzzed them in for advice. We ended up there for six days. We had wanted to offer them something for all they did for us. They would say, "we've just been talking about how cute Coraline is at the nursing station". Even the midwife who told us straight up she was on a diet, left with a piece (Kevin, ever the salesman). I did protest about encouraging her as I've been there, done that, and it's best not to be tempted. Incidentally the cakes are made by me, in a rare departure from the trained chef of the house inhabiting our kitchen.