The holiday before the holiday

Three days in Christchurch. Friends, laughter, early mornings, parks, dumplings, shopping, food (wow the food!), washing. It does feel like holiday. It does.


Before that it was 9 hours of driving from Invercargill to Christchurch. I listened to pre-downloaded interviews by Kim Hill (which I amassed on my iPod prior to leaving just for that purpose), and I soaked it all in.

There was Marcus Davey talking about "artificial wombs" and as I listened, I thought back to Dunedin hospital's neonatal intensive care unit - a place where we spent most of The Kid's first 2 weeks of life. (I always do, whenever someone talks about NICUs.) (I probably always will, too, for as long as I have the mental health to remember that we spent our first 2 weeks together there.)

I have, on one hand, a certain understanding on this topic which does not come naturally to most of the population and it's probably just as well because most people will not, in their lifetime, set foot in a NICU. But we did, and it's easy for me to understand terms such as "intrauterine growth restriction", "phototherapy", "morbidity", "cerebral palsy" etc. We've been there, so I understand what those terms mean.

On the other hand, I know that what I walked away with, was the easy stuff. We did not spend time in the "hard" part of the NICU where babies 24 weeks' gestation are, literally, getting their lungs damaged through the application of mechanical ventilation without which, they would die. I never had to make such decisions for the benefit of my children, and then live with the consequences of those decisions. I get to listen to Marcus Davey talk whilst I am driving down State Highway 8 on a sunny Saturday morning and I can wonder at the art of creating "womb bags" for premature sheep lambs to see if they would replicate the wondruous nature of an actual womb of a female animal - one day, possibly a woman.

I listened to Andrew Williams talk about men's prostates, and cancer.

Rochelle Constantine and Regina Eisert explained how whales live, and what the researchers do in Antarctica.


Tomorrow The Man and The Girlie will start the 30+ hour journey to London. The day after, me and The Kid will get on the plane.

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