Trigger Warning: Please do not continue to read if you suffer from post traumatic stress disorder that concentrates on premature births, birth complications, infant morbidity and mortality].
Time is our most precious and limited resource. I only truly understood the meaning of that when Aurora was born three months early. She was only one and a half pounds and had to depend on an incubator to live. She was there for three and a half months. Everyday I wondered if it was the last. Extremely premature babies have many complications after all. I knew that a little too well from being a pre-nursing student. I knew that each moment would be a mystery. She could be stable one moment and the next; gone. Aurora’s room only housed two premature infants due to their high level of care and attention. I was there from the afternoon till dawn every day. I witnessed many emergency alarms go off and the neighboring infant needing surgery from lung and heart complications. They never returned. One of the worst part of it all was witnessing too many of them getting abandoned by their parents. I remember one beautiful baby boy whose father visited two weeks after his birth. He had soft lavender eye lids and had what seemed like every life aide machine attached to him. His father just stood and stared at him for a second and left without uttering a word to him, never to be seen again. His mother never visited. The next day, I was not allowed in the room to visit Aurora since the boy was having heart surgery. I never saw him again. It was only Aurora who stayed in that room consistently. I was 21 when all this happened. At the end of it, I felt I had become forty and I could no longer relate to my peers to most things anymore. I became a very different person. I think of those babies quite often. I wonder if they ever made it home or found a home. This painting is dedicated to them. They would be four years old this year like Aurora. I hope they are all running their healthy hearts and lungs out and playing happily like my family this morning, here on earth or with God.
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors: Titanium White, Neutral Tint, Payne's Gray, Burnt Umber, New Gamboge, Manganese Blue Hue, French Ultramarine, Undersea Green
Princeton Aqua Elite Oval Wash 3/4"
Silver Black Velvet Flat 1/2"
Silver Black Velvet Round 4
Silver Black Velvet Round 2
Fluid 100 Cold Pressed 8" x 8", 300lb/640gsm
Artist: Shulammite Reece
Photo reference taken by artist