11 October 2011

I'll dance for you, mom

Long Live the Queen - By Frank Turner

I was sipping on a Whiskey when I got the call
Yeah my friend Lex was lying in the hospital
She'd been pretty sick for about half a year
But it seems liked this time the end was drawing near
So dropped my plans and jumped the next London train
I found her laid up and in a lot of pain
Her eyes met mine and then I understood
That her weather forecast wasn't looking too good
So I sat and spun her stories for a little while
Tried to raise her mood and tried to raise a smile
But she silenced all my rambling with a shake of her head
Drew me close and listen this is what she said now

"You'll live to dance another day, it's just now you'll have to dance, for the two of us, so stop looking so damn depressed and sing with all your heart that the Queen is dead"

Yeah she told me she was sick of all the hospital food
And of doctors, distant relatives, draining her blood
She said "I know I'm dying, but I'm not finished just yet, I am dying for a drink and for a cigarette"
So we hatched a plan to book ourselves a cheap hotel
In the centre of the City and to raise some Hell
They waste to all the clubs and then when everyone else is long asleep
We know we're good and done

"You'll live to dance another day, it's just now you'll have to dance, for the two of us, so stop looking so damn depressed and sing with all your heart that the Queen is dead"

And South London's not the same anymore
The Queen is dead, and the last of the great has finally gone to bed

Well I was working on some words when Sarah called me up
She said that Lex had gone asleep and wasn't waking up
And even though I knew that there was nothing to be done
I felt bad for not being there and now, well, she was gone
So I tried to think what Lex would want me to do
At times like this when I was feeling blue
So I gathered up some friends to spread the sad sad news
And we headed to the City for a drink or two
And we sang

"We live to dance another day, it's just now we have to dance for one more of us, so stop looking so damn depressed, and sing with all our hearts, long live the Queen"

September ends

September has come and gone and we are heading steadily towards the middle of October. I can't believe how quickly this year is passing us by and how quickly my baby is growing up...he'll be 10 months old in a few weeks. Scary.

Last weekend we flew 'home' to commemorate the one-year anniversary of mom's passing. One year. I still find it quite ridiculous to think I haven't seen or spoken to my mom in a year. That fact that I have an entire lifetime of years ahead of me without her? Well, that's beyond ridiculous.

The day itself was a bit strange. The flight went well, but after we landed I had the biggest fight ever with a memeber of ground staff. It was quite crazy. We were waiting for our car seat (which we were told to check into oversized baggage when we were departing) when she approached us and told us we were supposed to pick the seat up from the plane. I told her that no one had told us this when we checked the seat in, and she proceeded to start an argument with me. Clearly she caught me on the wrong day and I ended up screaming at her, bursting into tears and having a complete meltdown in the airport. Awesome.

But sometimes things happen for a reason, because I think I got all my tears and frustration out in one fell swoop right there in the airport. I was completelyl in control, emotionally, for the rest of the day.

After settling in at the house we got ready and headed out to what used to be one of mom's favourite places - Goblin's Cove. It's a restaurant about an hour away and is all about fairies and goblins and lush forest and trickling streams. Well, that's what it used to be. When we got there it was far from that. It was run down, dried up and generally looking quite drab. We tried to keep upbeat about having lunch there, but when the waitress brought a bucket of ice with the beers (to cool them down because the fridge was broken) we decided to give it up and head home.

I felt a little sad that the place had lost it's magical charm, because that's what mom, with her whimsical, fantasy-loving side, was drawn to. But in another way I was glad we were leaving. This was mom's place and it seemed strangely right that now that she is gone, it the magic was gone too...

We ended up having lunch and some lovely family-bonding time at a restaurant closer to home. That night we gathered around dad's pub and at 9pm we toasted mom and then all went to bed. It was far from the anniversary I was expecting. Actually I don't know what I was expecting. After months of building up to it...it just seemed to just come and go without much fanfare. But it doesn't matter. What matters is that we thought about her the entire day. We were together as a family (minus some important family members living on another continent), and there was love. Lots of love.

Saturday morning it was tattoo time. My sister and I had booked our appointment weeks before and the day finally arrived for us to get our commemorative tattoos for mom. Both tattoo virgins we were decidedly nervous, but we grabbled a bottle of booze from dad's bar and headed off! It turned out to be an interesting experience because my sis wasn't able to get her tattoo because she was on antibiotics (!?). But I took a deep breath and got mine done on my own...and I'm so glad I did. I have conciously worn something for my mom every day since she passed - whether it was something that used to belong to her (clothes or jewellery) or something she bought for me, every morning I have scanned my outfit to make sure I'm wearing something for her. Now, with my beautiful butterfly tattoo on my foot, I dont even have to give it a second thought. I'll be wearing something for her every day for the rest of my life...

Sunday morning we set out the tea and cake and readied ourselves. We invited all mom's girlfriends to the house for tea and cake to celebrate what would've been mom's 50th birthday the next day. We were nervous before they arrived - it would be so strange having them there without her - but it turned out to be a lovely morning. The ladies were full of smiles and bought presents for mom's two grandbabies (she has two now, wow), and we commented on the fact that her grandbabies were getting the presents for her birthday - she would've loved that.

When we said goodbye to the 'aunties' we told them we would try and do something similar every year for mom's birthday. I really hope we do.

So September ended and I can't say I'm sad to see it go. I relived so many painful memories from last year throughout the month. I just want to start looking forward now.

I think we all do.

29 September 2011

365 days without you...

A year ago today I flew back to be with you after spending about two nights at home. I had been flying back and forth and trying to find a balance between helping nurse you and still keep my job - and I was six months pregnant.

I made sure that I flew in in the morning because I knew that that afternoon we were moving you. We knew the time to say goodbye forever was drawing nearer and we took a decision to move you to the beautiful Hospice we had chosen. The one with the bedroom with doors that opened up onto the most beautiful garden, filled with flowers...

I arrived at the house just in time. The moving process had started and the ambulance that was coming to transfer you was on its way. You had been in and out quite a bit lately, but on this day you seemed quite alert and full of smiles. I remember standing at the end of the bed and you mouthed something to me. I didn't understand and asked you to repeat it. You mouthed, a little more forcefully this time, I Love You. I said "I love you too my mommy." That was my last 'I love you' from you.

You weren't happy about being moved - with two broken legs any movement was extremely painful. But we had arranged for one of the ambulance drivers that you had grown close to over the past few months to come and oversee the process - even though it was her day off. She was more than happy to oblige.

I said I would drive in the ambulance with you. They wouldn't let me sit at the back with you - there wasn't space - so I climbed in the front next to the driver. You were scared. I spoke to you the entire way there. I kept telling you over and over that I was there with you, even though you couldn't see me.

We arrived and settled you into your room. The gardens really were beautiful and we opened the doors so you could face outwards and see the flowers. You were in a joking mood and even said you wanted to go the casino...we fed you ice lollies. When you fell asleep we didn't know it would be the last time we would hear you talk.

Leaving you behind was harder than any of had expected it would be. We just couldn't seem to make ourselves go - but eventually we had to. We took turns kissing you goodbye. You were asleep.

The next day we spent most of the day in and around your room. You were very asleep the whole time and very peaceful. We wandered around the gardens and went for lunch at a nearby restaurant. We went home for a few hours in the late afternoon.

That evening T, N and I drove back together, just the three of us. We spoke and sang the whole way. When we arrived dad and Pa were with you. We all sat together for a while and then dad and Pa left the three of us with you. We spoke, about things we would only have discussed with you. We remembered special times and, when we each took turns saying goodbye, it was without tears. T kissed you goodbye last and the last thing she said to you was "Don't worry mom, we are all going to be okay."

An hour after we arrived home the phone rang. They told us to come. When we got there they told us you were gone. We were devastated that we hadn't been with you, but one of the nurses told us that in her experience mothers hardly ever pass on with their children in the room...you waited for us to go.

They made us tea that we didn't drink. They gave us scissors and told us to go into the garden and cut any flowers we wanted. They let us light a candle for you. When we went in to see you we each placed our flowers on your chest. We cried. I kissed your hands, your cheeks and your forehead. And then, after looking at your beautiful face one last time, we left. When we got home we lit a candle at the front door and made sure it stayed lit, day and night for a week.

I don't know how I've survived an entire year without you. You've missed so much. But somehow I know you have been with me throughout this year - you've seen and enjoyed all the very special moments and you've gently guided us through the toughest times.

I know this, but I still miss you so very much. I dread facing tomorrow - and all the tomorrows for the rest of my life - without you.

I love you my little mommy...to the undiscovered universes and beyond.

26 September 2011

And we're off...

He did it. He crawled. It was such a special moment and I couldn't have asked for it to happen any differently...

It was our turn to have the girls for the weekend and when they arrived on Friday afternoon and were playing with N on his playmat I said to him, "Are you going to start crawling this weekend, while your sisters are here so they can see..?"

Low and behold...Saturday morning we all got up (nice and early as is the norm these days) and we were all sitting in the lounge. We are hardly ever all sitting together in the lounge these days. Either DH or I are busy doing something in the house/kitchen or one of the girls is up in their room, or N is asleep...But there we were just sitting around chatting and he got up onto his hands and knees and rocked (like he's been doing for about two weeks) and then just took off crawling across the floor - as if he'd been doing it forever! We were all in a little shock initially! And then we had loads of fun playing 'fetch' with him and clicking away, taking photographs and video-taping the moment. It was really special and I'm so glad the girls got to share such a big milestone with him and us.

What's the big deal? This crawling thing is so easy.
I couldn't be prouder of my big boy!

14 September 2011

Am I doing this right?

I have asked myself this question every single day since he was born. And I can't help but wonder when I will stop questioning myself. When will I just believe that I know what I'm doing, and that I know how to be a good mom? I doubt ever.

Being a mother is, without a doubt, the scariest, most demanding yet incredibly amazing and rewarding thing I've ever done. Let me tell you, it's exhausting being filled with such instense, conflicting emotions every day. There are so many things that I question: Am I feeding him the right foods, enough food? Is he sleeping enough, or too much? Should I worry more about the hemangioma on his side? Is he a happy baby? Is he developing at the right rate? Do I stimulate him enough? Or too much? It. Is. Exhausting.

Of course there are people I could (and do) ask. There are books and websites that I could (and do) read. But no matter what they say, I wish I could just feel, in my gut, that I'm doing the right things. I want to know, beyond all doubt, that I making the right decisions for him. They say that when you become a mother your 'maternal instinct' kicks in immediately and you know what's right for your child. I say "what crap!"

Something definitely does kick in when you become a mom. For me it was an insanely overwhelming instinct to protect my child from any and everything. But that doesn't mean you immediately know how to breastfeed...or whether you're dressing your child warm enough or too warmly...or why your baby is crying at 3am when you know they aren't in pain, hungry, too hot or too cold!

This is the most important job I've ever done and I have no way of knowing if I'm doing it correctly. I know I'm trying my best. I know I lie awake every night and question whether I've done the absolute best I could do for him that day...

29 August 2011

Happy 8-month birthday to the most beaaaautiful baby boy ever born. Ever. Yes, ever.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend this week, about how every mother and father thinks that their child is just the cutest thing ever to walk (or crawl ... or simply rock back and forth at this point for Mr N) the face of the earth! I mean, take me for instance. I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that my kid is cute. And I know this because ... well, hello:

But in all seriousness I can't help but giggle at the sentiment that all parents think their children are beautiful. I mean we all know that not all kids are good looking ...

The friend I was chatting to had mentioned that he and his wife had bumped into someone they knew at the Baby Expo that morning - and she'd recently had a baby. He said he absolutely hated to admit it, but the minute they walked away he turned to his wife and said "what a strange looking baby" and she completely agreed! And I know I've felt that way too at times about babies I've seen. They aren't ugly - how can they be - but some babies just aren't exactly boootiful ... Of  course their parents clearly think they are. I guess somehow that overwhelming love you feel for your mini human the minute they enter the world completely overshadows any and all rational thought - and you just know that you've never seen anyone more perfect. Love is blind they say.

Of course, not in my case, because...well...just refer to the above image for confirmation of my 8-MONTH-OLD's bootifullness...

Eight months. I can't believe how time has flown and how much my boy has changed in this time. And how much I've changed. As I went through the motions of feeding, bathing, dressing, giving him his bottle and putting N down last night I couldn't help but think of how much my life has changed in the last year. From the early days of breast feeding every 2 to 3 hours throughout the night (and wondering if I would ever sleep again), to now watching him as he sits perfectly by himself and now tries (although still quite unsuccessfully) to rock forward onto his hands and knees in an attempt to move...

We are enjoying him so much at the moment. He is such a smiley, happy baby and just loves his mommy and daddy and sisters so much. And we couldn't love him more if we tried.

Eight months ago today my life changed forever...and I couldn't be more grateful.

22 August 2011

Bad, bad blogger

Okay, so I'm new to the blogging thing. But I'm definitely not new to the 'journaling' thing. And, to be honest, I've always been a good 'starter' and really, really bad at seeing it through. When I look back over journals I've kept over the years there is a definite pattern. I generally start enthusiatically, writing every day and slowly it simmers down and then I'm only writing once every six months! I promised myself this would not happen on this blog - and here I am repeating the pattern! Urg!

The reason I don't want to let that happen here is mainly because I'm not keeping any form of a journal any more and there is SO much happening every day with my baby boy. I'm terrified that I'm going to forget the little things...well, actually, I know I'm going to forget them. I have to try my best to keep this blog going - even if I only write once a week (more would be better though) - so I have these extremely special moments recorded forever...for no one else but myself probably...but still. Okay pep talk to self over.

We're bordering on the eight-month mark (holy hell!) and the little man is just getting cuter and cuter by the day. Seriously, I can't believe how much fun we are having with him. He smiles all time. All mommy and daddy (and nanny Maureen) have to do is look at him and smile and we always get the biggest, cutest grin back. It's awesome.
I'm loving every moment of this montherhood gig - and even when I'm so tired I can barely see straight and I'm rocking him to sleep at 2am - I have to stop and thank my lucky stars. I keep asking myself, "how did I get so lucky?"

01 July 2011

Watching CBeebies

He's already a big fan!

29 June 2011

Rocky Balboa turns six months old

Our little man is six months old today and I absolutely cannot believe it! This time last year a lot of really crazy and scary things were happening in our lives, but at the same time I was also just over a month pregnant, and completed thrilled at the prospect of finally becoming a mommy.

In celebration of N's 'half birthday' today we scheduled a play date with his buddy J. Little J's folks were in the same antenatal classes as DH and I and we became firm friends pretty much from day one. I'll never forget the first class, when J's mom and dad walked in (she was a month further in her pregnancy than me) and sat down on the couch in the Storks Nest. The couch leg snapped immediately and the two of them landed gently (luckily) on the floor. It was hysterical and a great way to break the ice for our first class!

Anyway, I left work a bit early and we headed off after his lunchtime bottle. When we walked into their lounge, J's mom proudly told me that J (who is four weeks almost to the day older than N) had started a pre-crawl 'drag' and could now maneuver himself around on the floor! She was super excited and wanted J to demonstrate his new-found talent for us immediately. She plopped him down on the floor and tried, in vain, to get him to move. He was clearly much more interested in staring at the lady with a baby standing in front of him, and just lay there on his tummy with both legs and both arms in the air - skydiving style. "Oh well, I'm sure he'll show us his new moves in his own time," I said and plopped N down on the floor on his back (he is sooo NOT a fan of Tummy Time - to the extent that I am worried he will never ever crawl - but that's a whole different story for a whole different day…). Within seconds of me plonking N down, his buddy J went into drag-maneuver overdrive and was suddenly right next to him. Before we knew what had happened he reached out and grabbed onto N's face (I think he thought N was a toy that might squeak if he squished it really hard). Unfortunately he managed to grab a bit too hard and his nail gouged into N's skin, drawing blood. Needless to say N gave off more than just a little 'squeak' and when she saw the blood poor J's mom looked like she was about to sit down and cry herself! 

Once I settled N down and wiped away the little smudge of blood under his right eye I managed to calm J's mom and reassure her that he was okay! It was a helluva start to a playdate, but he is absolutely fine with just a tiny scratch under his eye. 

The whole thing freaked me out less than I thought it would. I know its par-for-the-course with kids and it won’t be the last time I’m sure! But it is still always hard seeing your little one in pain. We've had to endure it a few times so far in N’s life - with blood tests, vaccinations and a biopsy to boot! And consoling them when they are in genuine physical pain is heartbreaking. After his little mishap today, I realized that when I became a mom I signed up for a lifetime of consoling. I realized (especially as he’s a boy), that there would be a lifetime of scratches, bruises, bumps and cuts…and that doesn’t even begin to include the emotional pains that life brings with it. As much as I want him to grow and learn, I also wish I could keep him small and as protected as possible from all the dangers of the world. I only have to think about how much pain I have in my heart from losing you mom, and I wish I could spare my son this kind of hurt. 

I remember thinking, when we brought N home from the hospital how much I wished I could put him back into my tummy. Don't get me wrong, I loved having my baby here, but it was so much easier knowing how to protect him from the world when he was tucked away inside me.

But I know I can't protect him from everything. It's part of living... and I guess loss and hurt (both physical and emotional) remind us every day that we are truely alive.

24 June 2011


I stood staring, not for the first time since his birth, at the beautiful little person lying infront of me today and I was completely in awe. How did I get so lucky?

He is so perfect in so many ways and I feel both privelidged and terrified to have been given the unbelievably important task of being his mommy. I looked down at his perfect little features and he looked up at me with the biggest most beautiful smile. In that moment I promised myself, and him, that no matter what life throws at me, I will do everything in my power to give him the best life possible. I will try every day for the rest of my life be the best mom I know how to be.

He deserves nothing less.

23 June 2011

Those difficult days

Some days are just hard. I can't always explain why a day is hard...it just is. Sometimes it starts off okay and then someone or something will remind me of you - and the rest of the day is just unbearable. Everything makes me cry. It scares me how something really small can throw me off so entirely - to the point where I can't seem to 'get it together' for the rest of the day. I guess that's what grief does to you.

Yesterday was one of 'those' days. I woke up with a horribly sore throat and a crazy sinus headache and I knew that the mean bug that's been doing its rounds had finally caught up with me. This was my first experience of being sick and having a little one to look after - and it's not easy. Everything in your body is telling you to sleep and rest and yet there is still this overwhelming desire to care for, entertain and cuddle your little sausage...it's not fun.

But, while I'm sure the horrible flu didn't help matters, that was not what made me sad. No, what made me sad was the realisation that my little N is going to be six months old next week. Six months. That's half a year that he has been in my life. Half a year that you have missed. He is already completely weaned off of the breast now. He is eating three solid meals a day - and absolutely loving it. He is nearly triple his birth weight. And you've missed it all.

It gives me such an overwhelming sense of sadness to think that you haven't been here for all of this. Sometimes I feel like I can barely breathe. You were so excited to meet him. You wanted me to have a baby before I even knew I wanted to have a baby. Now our baby is becoming a toddler, and you've missed it. Sometimes I just want to freeze time. I look ahead to all the special moments that are coming in the near future - his first tooth, his first words, his first birthday, his first steps...you are going to miss them all.

You have been gone for nine months. Saying that out loud seems ridiculous. I have cried every day for the past nine months. That's a lot of tears. And to be honest, I'm really tired of crying. I'm tired of being sad. I'm tired of grieving.

I just wish I knew how to make the sad go away.
I wish I knew how to stop missing you.


10 June 2011

Our birth story

In a perfect world I would've started this blog right after our little N was born. But, between the chaotic madness that is life with a newborn, and I suppose the fact that I was still so raw and in such a deep state of mourning after your passing, I never got around to it. So we're getting going a little late. Five months late to be exact. Wow. Five months. I can't believe that five months have already flown since the night he came into our world.
The night he was born was both the scariest and most amazing night of my life. Everyone's 'birth story' is important to them (and pretty much only them) I guess. But I need to write our down so that I am sure I will never forget it - and this is as good a place as any to do that. I remember thinking the entire time how much I wished you were there, mom. I know in my heart you were with me...but there were points were I wanted nothing more than to have you holding my hand, telling me it was going to be okay.

I was diagnosed with a low-lying placenta early in my pregnancy, and we knew there was no way we were going to have natural birth. And I can't say I was entirely devastated about this. In my heart I think I always knew I was a ceasar-kinda-girl, even if I didn't say so in so many words. I guess that's not something many women are willing to admit. But hey, if I can't be honest in my own blog then where can I be? It's not that I had or have anything against natural birth. On the contrary, I have a world of respect for the women who bravely put all their faith into mother nature's hands, go forth and 'puuuush'. I just never thought I had it in me to do it. But, as fate (and maybe a little luck?) would have it, that decision was taken out of my hands. According to our gynecologist, Dr C, attempting to have a natural birth would have been extremely dangerous for both mom and baby (especially as I had already experienced a bad bleed and ended up in hospital for two nights at about 34 weeks).

Our ceasarean section was scheduled for 37 weeks, on 4 January 2011. Dr C didn't want to take a chance and push it to the usual 38 weeks, as he was afraid my placenta would abrupt and I would have an even more serious bleed next time.

Christmas Day came and went in a blur. You had only been gone three months and it was our first Christmas without you. It was a hard one. There were no special 'mommy touches' and to me it felt strained and sad. Add to this the fact that I was 36 weeks pregnant and feeling like a beached whale in the middle of a Southern Hemisphere summer and . . . let's just say it wasn't the most festive Christmas I've ever had!

On the night of 29 December, at about 9pm, I sat down on our bed and felt what can only be described as a large gush. My first thought was "oh, this is that pregnancy incontinence thing I've heard about!" But when I stood up and saw what looked like litres of blood pouring down my legs, I realised it was time to go. I stood calmly at the top of the stairs and shouted down to my Dear Husband (DH), "Babe . . . we need to go to the hospital. Now."

Things got a bit chaotic then. Poor DH went into 'crazy' mode and was rushing around, throwing suitcases into the car and then yelling that he couldn't find the car keys! Eventually we jumped into the other car (the one without the bags in) and headed off. I was scared. Dr C had told me that this kind of bleed could be extremely dangerous and, if I was to start bleeding, the urgency of getting to the hospital quickly (which was 20 minutes away) could not be emphasized enough. As fate would have it, about 3 minutes into the drive we had a problem. There wasn't enough petrol in the car to get us to the hospital and we were going to have to stop. I'm not a hugely religious person. But I started praying. I was lying in the back seat with my legs in the air and towels, drenched with blood by now, wrapped around me. Needless to say the poor petrol attendant got the fright of his life when we pulled up with my DH yelling at the top of his voice and throwing cash at him!

Time flew after that and we were at the hospital in what felt like minutes. I was wheeled straight up to the labour ward. They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and the minute I hear N's heartbeat I relaxed a little. Dr C arrived not long after that, wearing shorts and a t-shirt (it was around 10pm by now) and came in and told me it was ceasar time! He hooked up my IV, the nurse was struggling to do it, gave me a huge smile and told me everything was going to be okay. But despite his best efforts to calm me, I got nervous again. This time DH was the calm one. He kept reassuring me and telling me that it was going to be fine. He also told me that dad was waiting in the coffee shop downstairs . . . and for some reason it really helped knowing that my daddy was right there too.

Once I was all prepped - catheter and all (yuk!) - we were off to theatre. Like most women, the thing I was most nervous about was the epidural. But, in hindsight, it was probably one of the the least stressful parts. I was made to lay on my side and, with my DH seated directly infront of me and looking me in the eye the whole time, they numbed the area and inserted the needle. It wasn't fun, but it wasn't too bad. What was bad though was the almost instant nausea that hit me like a ton of bricks. As soon as I started going numb (which feels like your body heating up from the feet up) I started telling them I felt sick. Very sick. They gave me something to stop the nausea - and that's about the time the vomiting started! I basically vomitted throughout the entire birth. And about that . . . vomiting whilst lying on your back, numb from the boobs down? Not. So. Cool.

Most of the birth (which was super quick once they had me numbed) was a bit of blur. But when they hauled our little N out and I heard him scream, well, I have never heard a sweeter sound in my life. He was ok. He was here. All 3kg's and 51cm's of him.

Although there was nothing technically wrong with him at that stage, they weren't particularly happy with his colour and wanted to get him on oxygen as soon as possible. So it was literally a minute or two that they had him in the theatre, quickly holding him up for me to see and then rushing him off to NICU, with my DH trailing behind them.

They wheeled me into recovery and then into the ward. And it was over. By now it was around 1.30am. My little boy was in the NICU and DH went home to get some sleep. And that's when the tears came flooding. I was alone in the dark ward (everyone else fast asleep) and my baby was gone. He was taken out of my womb, where I had been working so hard to keep him safe for the past 36 weeks . . . and I couldn't see him. I was devastated. I wanted to see him and hold him and know he was okay. I wanted to feed him. There was a woman lying in the bed next to me who was still pregnant (she was obviously booked in for pregnancy-related complications). She was hooked up to a fetal monitor and all I could hear in the darkened, silent ward was her baby's heartbeat. I remember feeling so jealous. She still had her little one tucked safely inside her belly. I felt so alone.

By about 2pm the following day they still wouldn't let me see my baby. I was a wreck. He was not allowed to leave the NICU and I wasn't allowed to go in until they had taken out my catheter and IV. Dad and DH had been in to see me and baby N and had taken photographs and videos of him on their cell phones for me . . .

Needless to say by the time Dr C came around to check on me he was appalled to find that I hadn't see my baby yet. He instructed the nurses to remove the catheter and drips and bring me a wheelchair.

And then finally, we met. Lying on the bassinet in the NICU he looked so tiny and so perfect. I have never felt such a strong desire to protect anyone in my life . . . and I doubt I ever will again.

I have never loved anyone more.

01 June 2011

Our journey begins

I have been meaning to sit down and get this started for so long now. Finally, I have built up the courage to get going. It's not easy though. I miss you so much and actually sitting down and writing a letter (because that's what this feels like) is hard. I don't want to have to write to you and know that my words are not actually ever going to be read by you. No. What I want to do is pick up the phone and talk to you. I want to drive to your house, share a cup of coffee with you and tell you about my day. I want to tell you, in detail, about how incredible my life has become since the arrival of our little baby N. I want to ask your advice about so many things. But none of those things are going to happen. So, this blog is my way of attempting to fulfill some of those 'wants'.

My reason for doing this is twofold though. The first part is, hopefully, to satisfy (albeit even just a little) my desire to share N's life with you. But my other motivation is my desire to document his life. I can't believe he is five months old already and how quickly his little life is flyling past! I am terrified that I'm going to forget all the precious moments, special times and tiny details as he grows up. So this, I think, is a good way to make sure that I don't. This way I will be able look back and remember these moments...and who knows, maybe one day he will want to sit down and read about them too.

Mom, wherever you are, this blog is as much for you, as it is for me, our N and anyone else who might find that they can relate to our story.

Becoming a mom is without a doubt the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me. But losing you before our baby boy was born was by far the hardest and scariest thing I've ever experienced. Life can be so bittersweet...but I guess you know that better than anyone.

So here begins our bittersweet journey...