How do I feel about tomorrow? I think any mother is emotional for her children's birthdays. Especially first ones. The drama of their arrival is still pretty fresh and the many milestones achieved in their first year as they develop from helpless little newborns into great, big, chunky, wobbly toddlers.
I have spent a lot of time these last few days remembering Florie's arrival....
I do this with Harry around his significant dates too.
It was his birthday back in June and I didn't write.
Harry's second birthday hit me way harder than his first.
Remembering the build up to his birthday, like the day my waters broke, the day I was induced, and then watching the clock to the crucial moment when his bleed was discovered... all that time was really hard for me this year and I found myself in a very dark place indeed. Missing Harry has been an intense physical pain over his birthday period and thinking about all the things he was missing out on as a two year old is heartbreaking. This year, darkness overtook my life and made me feel numb, hopeless and emotionally and physically drained. I felt empty and just didn't know what would make this better.
I am better now, after realising I was in a dark place and learning how to cope with this and accepting that this darkness is a part of my grief and a part of my life now, as a bereaved mother. The club I can never leave, it is now part of who I am. I can try to keep busy and for me this works as an antidepressant to some point, but when I am not busy, the world is not a nice place to be me...
Anyway, back to Florie. I have been remembering when her movements slowed down and no one would listen to me. It was all about my anxiety after losing Harry and everyone shrugged it off. Thank God I put my foot down, as otherwise our little girl would've joined Harry, and I would be the mother of two angels. I am so lucky that at the right moment, I was listened to, and at the right moment our little lady was welcomed to the world.
She had a bumpy start, the doctors were very worried about Florence as she has some very irregular blood tests and they could not figure out what was wrong with her, and couldn't even tell me if she was going to live! They were really not sure what to do and talks of a transfer to Bristol were on the cards, and a full blood transfusion was just a few marks on her graph away. I was frightened but prayed harder than I've ever prayed. And somehow, by some total miracle Florie proved them all wrong and made a strong recovery, and we were allowed home.
(Here is a little video I made about her NNU journey... http://web.photodex.com/view/d78dwbm4)
Ever since then she has bought such joy to our lives. She has turned William into the most fantastic, caring, older brother. The brother he had wanted to be with Harry, he now can be to Florence. She loves him so much, she always has a smile for her brother. They love playing together and it really is a very special bond between our special boy who got us through the darkest times and our special girl, who has brightened the world for us.
She is a very happy young lady, very inquistive, very determined, very social and very vocal. I have no idea who she takes after! I love her so much, but having lost Harry before her makes her even more special and even more precious. I have seen how easy life can be taken away, and I am so protective of my little lady. I am also aware of how much love I had in my heart for Harry and how it was hard to know what to do with that love. So now I really embrace every loving feeling I have for my children and feel so lucky to have that chance to feel those moments.
I have been blessed with the ability to treasure every second of every day with my children, and watching them grow and learn has been a beautiful gift. Losing Harry broke my heart but it has taught me to be grateful for the small gifts life brings. Meeting new friends, the kindness of others, the laughter of children, giving a gift to someone, a sunny day, a beautiful new flower, a sunset, the way my dog greets me when I come home, the great feeling exercise gives you, an amazing cup of coffee.... just little things, but they make my day special.
Before Florence, I felt there was a massive void in my life and she has shown me the beauty life has, threw the darkness there is light. And when the light shines, life is wonderful.
What a gift to bring to her mother. How grateful I am.
I hope one day I can explain to her how precious she is.
Until then, I will enjoy the little moments :)
Happy Birthday gorgeous xxx