Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Earlier Years

April 1986: My parents were living up North pregnant with me when at only 26 weeks I was ready to come out.

Mum went to Rawene Hospital but they told her to go to Whangarei so off we went. Next thing I know, I'm in my very first helicopter ride going from Whangarei to Auckland Hospital. Once there my parents were faced with a tough decision to either abort or go to Waikato Hospital. They chose the latter, obviously. How lucky was I? Two helicopter rides in the space of 24 hours. Every kids dream right?

Having settled in at Waikato Hospital it was time. For some reason I just wanted out and didn't want to stay in any longer.

April 12th 1986: I'm finally here. Delivered via C section at 26 weeks and weighing in at 878 grams.

I spent the next 7 months of my life in an incubator, it became my world. It was the only thing I knew. I never had the chance to bond with my Mum. That feeling of being held against her chest. I didn't get to feel that. Even on the odd occasion when someone could hold me, it wasn't for very long. How as a child was I meant to know where I belonged? I felt alone. All I knew was myself and my incubator, oh and the millions of tubes that ran through my body to help me breath and feed.

I struggled to bond with anyone and only later as an adult would I realise how sometimes damaging and heart breaking that can be.

Two years later January 1988 my sister was born. I don't remember much from when we were kids and from seeing DS it can be quite 'normal' to not remember when you've had such traumatic experiences.

Fast forward a little to December 1989 my younger brother was born. Our family was growing and yet I still don't remember much of it. Maybe I learnt to block things out and it was the only way I knew how to cope.

Sadly at 20 months in August of 1991 my brother passed away in his sleep. The only thing I remember anyone saying was that he had Pneumonia. It was hard for my parents and they seperated for a while then Mum got pregnant (to Dad obviously). July 1992 my other brother was born. My parents seperated before he was born and stayed seperated till their divorce in 1995.

Sometime in all of that Mum met my step dad...and he had an instant family of 3 kids. They married May 1995. He introduced us to the church and we continued to go as a family till I was about 13/14. Then my family went off and on till they stopped going all together in 2005.

We moved around a lot as a kid which was hard for me...I'd make new friends then all of a sudden we'd be leaving and I never once had the chance to say goodbye to that friendship. In the space of 10 years we'd moved 5 times and that only includes moving to different towns not moving to a different house in the same town.

I never liked moving. I told myself when I have children I'm never moving. I hated the thought of always having to move and not being able to mourn the loss of a friendship because all I was, was a child and you don't really get a say in where your family is going to live when you're all of 10.

It was a rough first few years of my life...stuck in an incubator for 7 months, the loss of a brother, having to move so much, the loss of friends and finally not being able to bond with my Mum or Dad, or with anyone for that matter.

I learnt to keep to myself...I was the kid growing up who didn't have many friends but those friends I did have I always managed to attach myself to them as if my life depended on it.

Looking back had I have had that closeness with my family things could have been different both in my childhood heading into my teens and then into adulthood and finally my marriage.

It's these fears, worries, regrets and mistakes that will make for a better person. I'll look back and see how far I've come from that little tiny baby in the incubator to a hopefully somewhat more open person. Someone who doesn't find it a struggle to let people in, for fears of them abandoning me.

It's a new year, a new me and I'm ready to tell this story from the beginning.

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