My little miracle Jessica celebrated her third birthday at the weekend. It is amazing to look back and remember how bleak her prognosis was and here we are now, blessed with a beautiful 3 year old who is doing so well. Her birthday is also one of her heart days as she had her first open-heart surgery at just eight hours old. What an emotional rollercoaster that first day was! There were some lighter moments though – I still vividly remember hubby taking me to work with him the morning I went into labour as he was setting up an event that day which was ‘en route’ to the hospital. Asking me if I had any black maternity clothes so I would blend in with the rest of the crew; the look on the security guy’s face as I signed in (I could almost see the words ‘health and safety’ running through his mind) and hubby calmly introducing me to the person running the event with the immortal line “This is my wife. She’s in labour, but don’t worry, she’s just going to sit in the crew catering room and get on with it.” For the next couple of hours, everyone who walked into that room looked at me like I was a ticking time bomb about to give birth on the floor at any moment! In hubby’s defence, I was a midwife at the time and well aware that I was in early labour so he did trust me to let him know when we needed to go!
The moment Jessica arrived and was briefly placed in my arms – that sheer overwhelming moment of joy hearing her little cry for the very first time. A precious, precious moment and a memory that I will treasure forever. Our time together that day was so very brief before she was whisked off to theatre and then the long, awful wait until she was finally back and on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). And now I look at her – so full of life, so happy, and loving, living life to the full and bringing so much joy into our lives.
We had such a lovely day celebrating her birthday – having lots of family members (and godmummy Katy) popping in to see the birthday girl. Lots of lovely presents including a camera from Mummy and Daddy (Jessica loves taking photos with my phone and loved having a camera of her own – admittedly most of the photos are of people’s knees, the floor and the sofa but she’s having fun), a doll’s pushchair from Nanny and a bike from Grandma and Grandad (a little too big for her as yet but she had fun being pushed around on it and she will grow). Sophie also enjoyed playing with Jessica’s new toys – we did try to distract her with a new toy of her own but Jessica’s ones were much more interesting and thankfully her big sister was fairly happy about sharing some of them.
Jessica got very excited when she saw herself inside Mr Tumble’s spotty bag on her birthday card on CBeebies – “Look! That’s Jessica” she kept saying. She loves watching Mr Tumble on the TV so when I came in with her cake, she got all excited again – “Mr Tumble’s spotty bag!” We nearly lost half of it though when she stepped forward to blow out the candle and promptly reached out to grab a big handful of cake!
Birthday cards in the post plus the Little Hearts Matter magazine – and there on page 10 was an article written by Daddy all about his thoughts on being a heart dad – and a book all about Peppa Pig going to Jessica’s birthday party – such exciting birthday post!
A fun day was had by all and it was a very tired and happy little girl who went to bed that night and a very thankful Mummy and Daddy – such a wonderful blessing to be able to celebrate another birthday with our little girl and we hope and pray that we will have many more birthday celebrations in the future.