First Breath


 The pain began like

exploding fireworks:

Fierce, and relentless.

There was no doubt

you’d made up your mind

and our world stood still,


What if this was too soon?!

One month before we

expected, one whole month!

Would the struggle of

birth be too much for your

tiny heart to bear?

Questions swelled and surged

like storm-tossed tides

but you were a sailboat,

skimming free over

whitecaps, oblivious

to them all. There was

no stopping you, nothing

we could do but wait

with bated breath.

Such courage! It arrested

us long before we

laid eyes on your precious face.

Worry started to

evaporate as the

joy of holding you

close flooded in…


First breath sears your lungs with life.

Crying, screaming, blood-rush life!

No more darkness or warm,

watery safety.  Just noise

and motion and light – something

whispering over your skin,

caressing each perfectly

positioned hair follicle: AIR

It’s cool out here, And LOUD!

Limbs untangle, flailing, flexing –

a cacophony of colour blurs

around you. Glowing eyes and a

tender smile loom large in your

vision, like a lighthouse in a storm.

That face! You know it instinctively

without ever having seen it before.


His strong arms claim you, cradle you,

And your lungs let loose for the very

first time.

Unmuffled by watery walls, voices

float near – voices carrying the

music of home, the sound of belonging.

They are calming–  idling and washing

over you in soothing tones.

Welcome to the world, little one!
This poem was written for Mabel Patience – the second daughter born to our friends Lucas & Stacey – on 15th November 2016. They were told some months into the pregnancy that Mabel had complications with her heart, which caused great concern when she decided to come into the world 1 month early. But regardless of the complication, by God’s grace she is now doing well and bringing so much joy to her beautiful family xx

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