Today I went back to the floor of the hospital where Rip was born for the first time in almost five years.
Its something I've wanted to do/ been dreading for that same amount of time.
When my dear, sweet friend had her baby girl unexpectedly and early a few weeks back, and was going to be at that same hospital while her precious babe learned to do all of the things she needs to do in order to get to go home, I couldn't wait to drop a meal by and give both of them a squeeze.
Unfortunately, my lovely mama friend is also no stranger to hospitals when it comes to her littles, and this was the very least I could do.
The visit had very little to do with me, but as it drew near the significance of what I was about to do did start weigh on me.
Every time I pass this building I feel something...part of me wants to run inside and part of me wants to run away.
This is the place I sat for nearly seven weeks of my life, unable to leave and practically unable to stand, completely dependent on others, waiting for my sweet boy to be born. The people inside became like family.
This is also the place where everything fell apart, quickly, the place where when I finally did leave it was in the dark of night chasing after an ambulance carrying my newborn son.
And then again, its just a place.
I walked into that building today to see my friend and felt- nothing. Well, nothing but gratitude to see her and the precious bundle of love that is her daughter.
I had to ask where the maternity floor was...I had to follow the signs to the elevator...I had to buzz into the maternity wing. I was just a visitor here.
I kept waiting to feel something, some whoosh of fear or anxiety or panic. But nothing came.
I was most nervous going into the level II nursery. Nervous to see where I once sat, where I once felt so completely unglued and afraid.
Today, I sat holding a perfect little girl, who made me laugh as she gave her mama the stink eye. A perfect little girl, who will be going home when she gets good and ready. I felt nothing but peace.
Today I needed to see for myself, five years later, that this hospital is no longer the place where the girl who was pregnant, or the girl who left in the dark of night, exist- those girls are both gone. Well, they have been transformed into a mother. A mother of three-one sassy little girl, one happy little boy, and one always perfect baby in heaven.
There is nothing left for any of us in that place. Turns out it is, after all, just a place.