To my beautiful and precious son, Oscar.

Today you are five years old.

Happy Birthday!

I am finding it hard to believe that five years have passed by so quickly.

Where does the time go?

When I look back to the day you were born three months prematurely and your stay in the NICU, I do not know how we got through that time.

I guess you do not know how strong you are until being strong is the only option.

You did not cry when you were born and I remember being frantic.

Daddy was telling me that you were breathing but I could not hear you.

I could not hear my baby crying.

I always think that when you have a baby, your baby giving that first cry is the sign that everything is alright.

But, everything wasn’t alright.

There were no cuddles once you had been born.

In fact, it was two weeks later before I got to have my first cuddle with you.

The doctor let me have a brief look at you before you were whisked away to NICU.

You were beautiful.

You still are.

We did not get to see you for a couple of hours but when we did it was a mix of many emotions.

We were overjoyed that the child we had waited so long for was here but desperately worried as you were so poorly.

Your skin was see through, we could see your heart beating through your tiny chest.

You were ventilated and had tubes coming out of you.

We could hardly see you for all the tubes.
 

There were monitors beeping all around us.

It was very frightening.

The day after I saw the consultant whilst I was sat beside your incubator.

It was very early in the morning and I had not had much sleep.

Daddy had gone home for some sleep and hadn’t got back to the hospital yet.

The doctor explained what had been happening and what the next steps would be but at the end of medical jargon, he turned and said to me ‘You do understand that your baby is extremely poorly?’

I will never forget those words because I know what he was trying to tell me.

That you might not survive.

But, you are strong.

You did survive.

Despite all you went through you battled and won.

The day we took you home was very emotional.

I could not believe that we were finally leaving the hospital and that we could go and start our life at home as a proper family.

And, it was all going well until we noticed that you were not reaching milestones.

When you were nine months old our worst fears were confirmed.

You were diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy with Cystic Periventricular Leukomalacia.

We were devastated.

But, I want you to know something.

Your diagnosis did not change how we feel about you.

In fact, if it is even possible, it made us love you more.

I also want you to know that I am sorry.

Although, Daddy will shout at me for this, and the doctors couldn’t tell us why you had been born early, I always feel like it was my fault, that I somehow didn’t protect you enough and that I failed my first test as a mother.

I promise you though, for as long as I live, I will love you, take care of you and fight for you.

I will never, ever give up on you.

I will always be there for you.

I never knew being a mum would be so challenging and worrying but I also did not know how much love and happiness having you would bring.

You are brave, strong, cheeky, funny, loving and a very determined little boy and I am so proud of you.

I truly couldn’t have been given a better son.

You make me smile and laugh everyday and I feel very privileged to be able to call myself your mummy.

You make my life complete.

I hope you enjoy your special day little man.

Love you always, lots of hugs and kisses,

Mummy xx

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