They say there are moments in life that shape, define and profoundly affect us and I'd like to tell you about a couple. One which has delighted me and one which has devastated me that have happened since we last spoke.
Firstly the joy of a new life…a precious and much awaited baby girl has been born. Let me tell you a little more and for this I must take you back to 2001, the year of Tom's birth.
It was as the Special Care Baby Unit; the most incredible place where we spent Tom's first month of his life, surrounded by perpetually bleeping machines, oxygen and the weeniest baby birds, as I affectionately called some beautiful teeny babies, who I have since met as fantastic, healthy children.
It was in Special Care that I had the privilege of meeting another Mummy who was living through the daily torment of her first born, also dependant on oxygen, in a tiny incubator and with a daily diet of lumber punctures, tubes, question marks and fear. Certainly not the usual delights of having your first baby.
The first meeting of great friends
There was something so fantastic about this red-lipsticked, black-bobbed woman who sat expressing her milk for her son, as I did for Tom, which intrigued and inspired me. We connected and over the years have shared a passion for our boys – mine who has developed such an independence and zest for life and her delicious 'bear' who has shown such courage and joy from every inch of his body.
We shared the joy of our following four children, her two and my two being unencumbered with the difficulties of our first born and we share the spectacular highs and the equally spectacular lows of our children, their every incredible achievements and our hopes and fears for their lives.
So, it was with utter joy and terrific trepidation that I awaited the news of her fourth child's arrival… Hermione!
Why is it that people feel history will not repeat itself, or lightening doesn't strike twice? I know I couldn't accept that and neither it seems can all my special friends who have also experienced such devastating things in their lives. So to have an utterly divine and scrumptious little soft, sweet-smelling velvety baby in our midst feels such a blessing and one for which we are so truly, truly grateful. A completion of a family is a delight to behold.
Equally the utter despair of another family is just a moment away.
Tribute to a woman who was there for me
Once again I return to the same year when I had again the privilege to meet a woman whose care for me went beyond the call of duty. She was the midwife who encouraged me to breastfeed Tom and allowed me to talk, a lot, and gave me care and friendship which exceeded her duties as a midwife.
She went on to deliver Joseph, and fulfil my dreams to safely and naturally give birth. Yes, in her role as my midwife that was to be expected, but our friendship had been established, and after all the hours of labour we had discussed all and everything about each other…a precious time.
I have just come home after some time in the company of an amazing couple, her parents, having found out that the super strong incredible woman I knew, who brought such joy to my life and who made my babies birth's beyond perfect had taken her own life.
There is a story, a reason, an answer to accompany this, but one which is too personal to share. There is such a terrible sadness that pervades my consciousness and it's a time of acute reflection that I am experiencing.
I cannot even attempt to contemplate how her family must have felt and feel and I pray with every little piece of me that there is peace for her. And that in time, for those left behind an acceptance and peace, though I fear that is too great a task.
It has left me with a need to be kind, aware and oh so so grateful. I thank god I have my spectacular friends in my life, my wonderful special family and I feel so terrifically saddened that I cant change things.
Please forgive my less than joyous blog – I think it has been a little bit cathartic for me. I have never been able to hide my deepest emotions and if I have written anything that has upset any of you I can only say that from the bottom of my heart that that was never my intention.
With my love