Well, what a year. The most difficult we have ever faced, filled with the most bone-aching pain but also the most joy. Welcoming our adorable little girl into our family has just been total perfection. Now I love to celebrate every little occasion so I was concerned at just how I would deal with Harriet’s birthday. It is desperately hard not to think back to the day she was born and then the subsequent horror that unfolded. I knew the day itself would be brilliant but it was the days afterwards which weighed on my mind. All the memories flooding back, such a confusing, train wreck of a time.
All the more reason then to celebrate a triumphant year for our girl. The manner in which she deals with everything that cystic fibrosis has thrown at her is just unbelievable. Three major operations, regular hospital trips, daily physiotherapy and countless medications – like water off a duck’s back to her. (Although she is not liking her medicines at the moment!) As she grows she needs higher volumes of everything and her prophylactic antibiotic does not taste very nice. Lately she is prone to letting it just fall straight back out of her mouth and to be quite honest I don’t blame her. I could taste it for hours after I tried it, poor baby. The only way to get her to take it is to deliver it in tiny amounts very slowly which is not great if you are in a hurry to be up and out with two little ones! In the future she will take all of her medicines in tablet form which will hopefully be a little easier.
For her birthday we invited family and friends to our house to help celebrate and eat cake. We were, again, blown away by the kindness and generosity of our nearest and dearest; Harriet was truly spoiled. She seemed to really enjoy herself too, as she sat all day happily playing with all her new toys. My lovely friend Marie, who was part of Team Corr in The Great North Run, made her such a gorgeous cake too which was beautiful; her skills are wasted as a teacher!
In terms of her development Harriet is doing so well considering she’s had a few setbacks. She is now bum shuffling along at quite a speed – apparently she gets this from her dad who also never crawled! She has seven teeth which I think have caused her some upset at times but nothing major. She loves to scream as loud as possible and has the most infectious laugh. Anything her older sister does she finds hilarious. That for me has been one of the joys this past year, to see the interaction between the girls, to watch them laugh and play together just melts my heart. They idolise each other, it is true love!
Last year we missed out on going to our local illuminations and Halloween so this year I was determined we would do both. The day after Harriet’s birthday we went to the seafront and had such a great family night. Harriet was well wrapped up in her new snowsuit and got to breathe in the sea air which is reputed to be beneficial to those with CF. (I just need to win the lottery now to get a house on the beach!) We are going big for Halloween; costumes were ordered months in advance and more decor has been added to the already mountainous array of tat in our house. Harriet was actually discharged from hospital on Halloween last year but it was late in the evening so we missed all of the fun. I did, however, dress her up in the hospital which the nurses all loved.
Without getting overly emotional, I can’t believe what has happened to our little family but I know one thing for sure is that we are so lucky and so grateful to have two beautiful little girls to share our lives with.