"A baby is born with a need to be loved--and never outgrows it."
--Frank A. Clark
Today is a very special day. My friend Elana's book, POSSESSION, launches into the hearts and hands of readers everywhere. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POSSESSION! You're literally all shiny and new!
In honor of this very special day, many of us are participating in a blog hop, sharing stories of a time we've broken the rules, like Elana's main character, Vi. Problem is...I've broken a lot. A lot. (Sorry mom & dad. Again.) I could write dozens of posts about when I broke the rules but I sifted through the many memories and chose just one. One time that I broke the rules and I feel I did it for a very good reason.
Once upon a time, I gave birth to twin sons. Despite weeks and months of a desperate struggle to bring them safely into the world, my little dudes were born prematurely and were very tiny. Less than four pounds tiny. Heart monitors, feeding tubes, IVs, and isolettes became the center of our world. Like Snow White, my babies were trapped behind glass and no one knew when they'd wake from their magic slumber.
There were days we couldn't hold them. Days where we couldn't even use a single finger to rest upon their backs because their nerves were so sensitive that the exposure was painful. Days when our little ones cried from hungry bellies but lived from slim plastic tubing because their tummies would bleed if they drank milk.
Hour by hour, they got stronger. Day by day, we pressed our faces to the glass and yearned to cradle our little ones in our arms. Then one day, the day happened. Wrapped in layers of cloth bundled so thick, our babies weren't babies anymore--they were burritos. Filled with joy, we turned toward the windows of the Newborn ICU and held up our little bundles for our families to see. They were free! They were ours! We could hold them! And then I realized, as my family stood waving from outside the room, that our babies weren't free for them.
For my family, our babies were still trapped behind glass.
From the moment I discovered I was pregnant, my babies had a fairy godmother. My sister had turned pumpkins into coaches, mice into footmen, and embarrassing morning sickness into personal triumphs as she cheered us on for making it just one more day.
But that day, the magic had faded for her, separated by shimmer of light against window panes and the sheen of tears. She'd worked almost as hard as I did to see my boys brought safely to this moment, but only one of us got the magic hour.
That night, I broke the rules.
Begging the aid of a most fabulous nurse, we sneaked across the giant red line, the enchanted locked doors, and the scrub station that could have doubled as a torture device. Detoxed, giddy, and certain that the gatekeepers were waiting to pounce, we crept through the dimmed light and stole our baby out of the isolette.
And settled him safely in his auntie's arms for the first time.
You'd have to ask her but guessing from the look in her eyes and on her face, I'd say it was magic. And it was worth it. Did we break a lot of rules? Oh, yeah. Big ones. Important ones. Probably even some dangerous ones. But I'll never forget the tears on her cheek and the grin on her lips as my sister rocked my little boy to sleep.
My sons adore their aunties--all of them. And I'm happy to say that every time they see my sisters, we experience our own Happily Ever After. Every time.
That's it, folks. I'm a bad, bad girl. Feel like joining me? Grab a copy of Possession by Elana Johnson for yourself and join the crowd! In the mean time, check out the other bloggers on the hop and see how they're breakin' da rules.
Happy Birthday Possession!
Until next time,