To My Beautiful Zara,
Today is you are one, Happy Birthday darling girl! This year really has been the quickest of my entire life so far. It seems like just moments ago that I was heavily pregnant with you, yet I can barely remember a time where you did not exist ether.
We had a bit of a rough ride when you were born. I had been induced for preeclampsia symptoms on the Tuesday morning. Nothing seemed to work until Wednesday night. Unfortunately the hospital staff did not believe that Mummy was in labour and refused to move us to labour ward.
On Thursday morning, less than 20 minutes after a consultant told us that nothing was happening and it would be hours, if not days, I turned to Daddy and said, “Waters abut to go, need to push”. Daddy pressed the buzzer, midwives came running in and they barely got my trousers off in time to catch you.
You were (and still are) absolutely perfect. We never made it to labour ward. After you were born on the antenatal ward, they let us go home within 3 hours. I was tired, but happy and keen to take you home to meet your siblings.
On Saturday night, I became quite unwell. I felt freezing cold, was shaking violently, felt weak and just could not think straight. Luckily, Daddy took us back to hospital where they found that I had sepsis. I will forever be grateful that he acted so quickly and probably saved my life. The idea of what might have happened and the fact that I might not have been able to have been there for you, your brothers and sister makes be feel positively sick.
So there we were, back in hospital. I felt terribly quilty that your first trip out was back to the hospital where you were born, but at least you were with me so that I could continue to feed you and look after you. Don’t get me wrong, looking after a newborn and being so very unwell was not easy, but I could not have standed to be separated from you, so wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I also felt so terribly guilty for leaving your siblings, who came down with chicken pox the following morning. Not only did I fell guilty for not being able to look after them, but they couldn’t even come and see us in the hospital.
After 4 nights in hospital, we were discharged so that I could recover at home. I was so delighted to be home with all 4 of my babies.
When you were just 3 weeks old, you developed a couple of suspicious looking spots. I assumed it was chicken pox, but was not overly concerned, as they had tested my blood in the hospital and informed me that I was immune to chicken pox. They said that my breastmilk would more than likely prevent you from getting it at all, and if you did have it, that it would be very mild indeed.
I called NHS Direct, just to be safe. They wanted you to be seen in the GP out of hours, as you were only 3 weeks old. The GP felt it necessary to send you to the Paediatric Assessment Unit, who felt that you needed 10 days of intravenous antiviral medication in case the chicken pox went to your lungs or brain. I was devastated. My poor, beautiful little baby was so poorly and there was nothing I could do to help. So there we were, back in hospital together. The staff said that I could go home and see the others if I wanted to, but there is nothing on this earth that would have torn me away from you. Luckily Daddy was able to bring Dylan, Wills & Bella in to see us each day, although I still felt so guilty that I couldn’t be with all of you.
I tired to make the most of our time in hospital. Although it was the last place that I wanted us to be, I did my best to savour every moment. You see, my darling girl, I knew that as soon as we were home for good, that it would not be just the 2 of us, that you would have to share me, more than your brothers and sister ever had to. I spent hours in that hospital just holding you, staring at your face and holding your little hands.
Finally we were home and normal life began. You fitted in to our family just seamlessly. Dylan, William and Bella adored you instantly. I felt truly blessed to be alive and healthy enough to look after you all and to get down to the day to day life of just being your Mummy.
You were much smaller than the others when you were born. Dylan weighed 8lb 12oz, Will was 8lb 4oz and Bella weighed a whopping 8lb 15oz when she was born. You were born 3 weeks early, weighing just 6lb 7oz. You were like a little doll. As you were so tiny, you seemed to stay a “newborn” baby for much longer than the others. As you are my very last baby, I loved this. The fact that you allowed me to savour that tiny newer stage for that little bit longer was very special.
All too quickly, the year was speeding by and you very quickly developed your own vibrant personality.
I will admit that when I was pregnant with you, I worried that your big sister, who is quite a force of nature herself, might boss you around a little as you grew up. I think that I was worrying unnecessarily.
You are a strong, independent and amazing little girl and I cannot imagine anyone ever getting away with pushing you around.
A few weeks ago, Bella started school. She is only in half days, meaning that with 3 pick ups a day to manage, we spend more time in the car than anything else. Still, for a couple of hours a day, you get me all to yourself again, for the first time since we were in hospital together. I often feel guilty that you have not had as much one on one Mummy time as the others had, but you have something else – 3 siblings that adore you.
So now that you are 1, I am sure that you will be walking soon. The others didn’t walk until a number of months after their first birthdays, but I suspect that you are too impatient to wait much longer.
I imagine that you will always be keen to get on to the next stage, as you don’t seem to want to miss out on anything. You already have a wicked sense of humour and are developing just beautifully.
But my darling, if I could ask just one thing of you, please don’t grow up too quickly. Enjoy being little while you can, as if the speed the last year has flow by is anything to go by, I will blink my eyes and I will be writing to you on your 18th birthday.
So Happy Birthday my beautiful princess Zara, I love you more than you will ever know.
Love from Mummy xxx