A year ago this week, I was trapped in a dingy, communal hospital room on a maternity ward, newborn babies’ cries echoing around the corridors, midwives laughing and clattering around in their staff room next door and I was exhausted. Every half hour or so I could hear women being told they could now take their new babies home.
But I wasn’t told that for a very long time. In fact, I didn’t have my baby on that ward with me like all the other mothers did. My tiny, premature, 6 hour old baby had been whisked away from me and taken somewhere I didn’t know, to doctors I didn’t know, and nobody could tell me what was wrong with her. I was utterly alone in a room full of people and I felt a failure.
Over the next 24 hours, as her condition worsened, I feared I would never be able to take my baby home like all the others, and my husband and I would be forced to leave the hospital as we had come- as two, not three.
I don’t want to dwell on all the bad stuff that happened now, but we spent a long and agonising 10 days in intensive and special care with our newborn daughter, before we were finally the ones hearing those longed for words- “You can take her home today.”
And as of Tuesday, 365 days on from her difficult and uncertain start to life, she is a happy, healthy, adorable little girl who is so full of strength and mischief, it makes it hard to believe what I have briefly described above actually happened to her. My teeny 5lb girl who looked more like a dolly than a real baby now fits nicely into her 6-9 month clothes and toddles around happily amusing herself with her toys and pretty much anything she can grab at. She can destroy a tidy room within minutes, yet melt our hearts within seconds. She is feisty, strong-willed and is developing an almighty temper, yet she is completely sweet, adorable, and never fails to make a single person smile. She is the definition of what life is and should be.
She is my dream baby, the one I always wished for, yet she is so different to what I imagined. She is absolutely perfect in every way and I’m so blessed to have her be mine. The last year has held some of my most challenging times but also some of my extreme happiest. I haven’t slept a full night for a whole year, not because Skye hasn’t, but because I want to make sure she is fine throughout the night, but I also haven’t lived a single day in the last year without smiling and feeling wholly content with what I have.
I love my beautiful one year old, I love my marvellous husband and I LOVE what the three of us have together. I can only be thankful and enjoy what Skye’s second year of life brings to us, but the only thing I ask for to change is for time to slow down a bit!