Birthday Preparations

Their birthday…I need to write about this but I honestly have no idea where to start. Theoretically my children turning one and two should be the happiest of occasions. That still is the case of course, in some ways. But a year ago on the birth of my youngest daughter I nearly died. And so did she. I woke up on my daughters first birthday attached to machines and in agony. I didn’t see her when she turned one.

Birthdays at such a young age are about parents and family. Poppy will never know or be angry that we weren’t there for her on her first birthday. But as her mum that breaks my heart.

Poppy’s 1st Birthday

Why does it upset me so much that I missed her birthday. Well simply because she’s my daughter and that isn’t what anyone would ever hope for. But Poppy, my daughter who had gone through all these health problems had made it to the age of one.

Poppy playing with her birthday present box.
The only picture we have of Poppy on her 1st Birthday – Playing in the box of her new toy

Medically looking back on her pregnancy she shouldn’t have even been born alive. So really her having a stroke in the womb was us being lucky.

But after all the complications and adversity she had come through I was looking forward to 29th September 2018. My baby girl turned one.

The Birthday Reality

Poppy spent her birthday with my mum and brother. I knew she was okay, I knew she was happy. But selfishly or not, I wasn’t happy for a number of reasons.

Throughout my whole pregnancy I just wanted us to at least get to Poppy’s birthday before anything else happened. If that was me being admitted until birth or her being born early.

I spoke to myself repeatedly, like I was talking to a higher power although I’m not religious .To please let me and my family have this one happy day.

We didn’t get it.

baby in neonatal on poppys birthday
How we actually spent Poppy’s 1st Birthday

The reality is we spent her 1st birthday in hospital, I met her little sister for the first time. Her sister got very sick again on that day.

The Guilt

Although neither of my girls will ever remember that birth or birthday it will live with me forever.

It hurts…the guilt hurts. Reliving the pain hurts, looking at my scar hurts.

Not the type of hurt that upsets your brain, but the hurt you feel in your chest. Like you’ve been stabbed in the heart.

I always feel like I failed as a woman, I couldn’t carry two babies well at all. They were both at risk for their whole pregnancy. At risk of dying at any moment, at risk of being born too early. When you boil down the facts of why men and women were originally put on this earth it was to procreate. I couldn’t even do that right.

Reliving the Pain

The pain starts on 27th September, that’s when I had to go back into the hospital as I’d started to bleed again. Expecting the same routine I wasn’t panicked. Bleeding in pregnancy is never normal, but it had happened to me to often it didn’t really scare me that much anymore.

On the evening of 27th I cleaned the upstairs of our house, we had people coming over in two days for Poppy birthday. And although I’d never been told to not do any heavy lifting by the doctors I was always very cautious. This cleaning wasn’t intense, just a wipe around and a hoover.

Did that cause that bleed? Did it start it? I’ll never know.

But for months I struggled to clean the upstairs of my house. Now the idea of cleaning it makes me feel sick but I can actually clean it. The idea of cleaning the house for their birthday party this year makes me anxious.

Of course I’m not at risk of bleeding and giving birth, I’m not pregnant. But just reliving that exact situation.

Making New Memories

This year is about making new memories. I’m not going to lie, I’m not enjoying the build up. I’m so scared I’m not going to enjoy it. It’s not healthy to live in the past, but I can’t help it.

Maybe this year, this is where I need to be mentally so that next year when my girls may have an idea what their birthday’s actually are I can be happier.

I wish it didn’t make me feel this way. Believe me I am unbelievably thankful for my life and my daughters. But when you learn how quickly life can be taken away it put a horrible fog over happy things.

I hope so much that the 28 and 29th of September are happy days. I hope they are filled with fun, laughter, happiness and joy. For everyone. For my husband, their grandparents, their uncles and their friends. I hope no one dwells on last year too much.

I’m sure I’ll be updating you next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me, I need all the luck I can get.

Danielle Swan x