Thursday 31st January 2013

It is hard to believe that Bethan will be three tomorrow. We have been planning her birthday weekend alongside James' Christening for a number of months now and with the imminent arrival of all of our family from Wales and Manchester, it is hard not reflect on the fact that if it wasn't for the wonders of modern technology and the genius of Mr Tsang, her surgeon, we wouldn't be celebrating anything right now.

It is also a wonder that the good people of Ipswich have not locked their cars away in fear that their wheel trims might get nicked because of the slightly tainted reputation of Mancs and people from the Valleys. They have nothing to fear; those days are long behind me now. I'm a respected member of society in a reputable job with two young children to look after. Plus, with the economic downturn, wheel trims just don't hold their value the way they used to ;-)

Seriously though, this is the first time that Bethan will have had any immediate family with her for her actual birthday and it certainly feels very joyous and exciting. She hasn't been too well (raised temperature and all that) but I feel calm(er) than I thought I would. I know she is strong enough to fight any infection after fighting off several deadly ones when she was born and her bowel began to necrotise.

Up until this year I have selfishly dreaded Bethan's birthday because the memories of what happened up to her being born and then what happened immediately after were still painfully raw. Although I remember we had a good do for her first birthday as it coincided with Bethan being discharged from the care of the surgeon. We invited everyone including friends of ours who do not have children. One of them asked if they could bring anything so I said that they could make some jellies. When she turned up with vodka jellies I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself. I had to make sure that none of the children mistook them for the jelly that was to go with their ice cream.

Yes; tonight I will be raising a glass to all those amazing people who work in neonatal units around the country. And, like every night, I will say a wee prayer for Tommy, Amy-Leigh, Maxi, Ruby (with her angel wings), Evie, Bethan and Harriet and their mummy's and daddy's. We shared such a time on the intensive care unit and we still managed to laugh. Especially when we were sneaking in contraband teas and coffees to the unit :-)

Love you Bethan Alice; you're amazing xxx