This day last year, I sat for hours in the hospital, waiting for my name to be called so I could finally meet my baby. I was so afraid of what was about to happen. I was scared of her heart condition and the surgery she would need to have. I was scared of Down syndrome. And scared of this new, unknown life that was being forced on me.
“She will be blue and floppy” they told me, and “worst case scenario, she will be taken to PMH shortly after her birth. Best case scenario, she will be in the neonatal ward downstairs and you will be able to visit her.”
But it was nothing like that at all.
At exactly 4.00pm on this day last year, Chloe Taylah weighing 2.7kg entered this world, all pink and strong and screaming her little lungs out. She was taken from me to be looked over by the paediatricians and shortly after, she and Andrew waited for me in my room while I spent time in recovery after my cesarean. We stayed together in the hospital for 6 nights and Chloe never left my side. Everyone was surprised – especially me.
Twelve months ago, I just wanted someone, anyone to tell me that everything was going to be alright. I needed to hear it constantly. On the day Chloe was to be born (and for many weeks after), I repeatedly asked Andrew “is everything going to be ok?” And he would always answer me patiently with “of course it is.”
Today, I look at my strong, happy little girl who has been through so much these past twelve months and I don’t need to ask that question anymore. I realise that our future will be different and maybe difficult at times, but I also know that everything IS ok.
I just wish that 12 months ago, I could have held my precious, sweet baby and been cool enough to know it then.
Happy birthday sweet Chloe. You are so loved (you would know this from all the kisses and cuddles you have been getting today from mummy, daddy, big sister and your grandparents!) and we cherish you on your special day. You have brought so much joy to our family and your first birthday is a celebration of everything we have been through, all that we have learned and how much we all love each other.
For me, this day is a memory of when you came into this world. I didn’t know it then but the moment I first saw you, the fear I had been holding onto so tightly took it’s very first step towards wearing away. You were a baby. You were real. You were mine. And you needed me.
You have changed me in so many ways baby girl. I have grown so much and you have shown me how very capable I really am.
Happy birthday to our sweet little star!