Wednesday, October 27, 2010


You should see the rust & cobwebs on my dear old bike...........and I am a
blog-virgin too!!

Liza & her husband Dibs Patel came into my life only four years ago -
introduced through a mutual socialite - and they very quickly became firm

We had dinner parties, BBQ's and brazier fires together with a great circle
of people and Liza and I came to get to know one another very well.

Liza is one of the feistiest, driven and caring people I have come to love
and we spoke of times in the past when mountains had been climbed (as
friends do!) so it was a cautionary start to discovering the joy of a
miracle conception - Joss really had the odds against him as Liza had
experienced loss before.

This courageous woman did everything she could to ensure that carrying this
child would be conclusive - then all hell broke loose. I would have to say
the most frightening look on anyone's face I have ever seen, was at a nice
BBQ night at my home at 19 weeks of pregnancy when Liza returned from the
bathroom, ashen faced and announced she had had an early bleed.

Confined to bed rest in a hospital was the designated fate from that point
on, so Liza became all to familiar with a side of the hospital that appeared
hard at the time - try containing an organized, wilful business woman (yes
she still had wireless and a laptop in her room!) for long periods!!
Visiting with chocolates, and juices and other morsels to 'make it nice' was
a dawdle in comparison with what lay ahead.

I recieved a phone-call on Boxing Day 2007, when I was all the way up
country on Xmas break with my children and I could not comprehend what Dibs
was telling me! Liza had had the baby at 23 weeks gestation and he had been
named Joss. I experienced tears of both joy and fear for them and annoyance
at being so far away for a friend - and yet fate was beginning to bring her
closer to the most amazing network of woman, bound eternally in mutual love
and fighting spirit - at that very time.

There was nothing I could do in being there anyway as the care and nursing
for the entire family - Liza, Dibs and Joss - had begun in earnest and it
was an "around the clock" dedicated team that surrounded all of these new
friends and gave them 110% of their skills, love and time to get through
such an incredibly tough journey.

I had the pleasure of being 'snuck' into Wellington Hospital's inner sanctum
(where Joss was transferred to for only a few days).

This happened to coincide with my return from up North, thus being an early
rare moment I could meet my new wee friend!, and I was struck by three
things - the absolute miracle of casting one's eyes over the most perfect
human form at only 550g; the eerie peacefulness of such a place that had
such harrowing tales to tell when babies struggle (and all of my bike-riding
companions can and have told these very tales); and the stunning letters of
hope and support from the other mothers, fathers, families or, in fact, the
very children who had experienced this strange juxtaposition of both the
misfortune and the honour of being through the care of Neonates.

I have met most of these women I am riding with and I consider it a bloody
privilege to sweat my butt off for a great cause with them!
They are the greatest Mums and all have had the most beautiful children and
are so spirited after their collective ordeals.

Testament to my belief in this support - is that I, like my pal Liza -
actually abhor physical exercise generally and personally would rather sit
and observe others engaging in this sought of madness.

Joss is the dearest, sweetest, smiliest little mate in the whole damn world
- God bless to the team of folk that kept him here. May you continue to
unite together many more women, men, children and extended whanau like these
special ladies - I am SOOOO gonna enjoy comparing bruises and having a toast
to Neonates when we are done!!

A very special mention to Liza's Mum Liz who is Joss's caregiver too.... She
has relocated herself from London and jumped through hoops to regain her NZ
residency in order to be there for the family and her special grandson Joss
(no mean feat!!) - yet another example of how the Neonates journey has
created upheaval yet cemented caring, kindness and togetherness.

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