One year ago today, you made your appearance Earthside. You were born after the most peaceful labour, just as the sun was rising, at 4:19am. You were a big boy – weighing 5lbs1oz and measuring 54cm from head to toe. The circumstances weren’t ever how I envisaged them to be. You were beautiful; pure perfection in every sense of the word, but you weren’t living. You were born silent, and still.
I should have broken in that moment. That’s what I had prepared myself for during the 18 hours of agonising contractions. But I just couldn’t. For 35 weeks I had grown to love you; grown to know you; and had been excited to meet the little boy I had growing within me. I had looked forward to seeing who you looked like; finding out what colour hair you had, if any at all; and putting a face to the monkey who liked to keep me up all night every. single. night. I was beyond amazed by this being that had been placed upon my chest, and I was happy to finally meet you. I had you. I could cuddle you, kiss you, touch you, nuzzle my nose to your head, and read you bedtime stories as I wished.
I was worried, however. I was worried that your arrival would mean that the end of your story had been reached. You lived, then you died, then you were born. I was worried that, in saying hello to you, we were also saying goodbye and there would be a ‘you’ no more. I couldn’t have been more wrong … Your arrival was just the beginning of the most wonderful story. Though your chest ceased to rise and fall; though the blood had stopped running through your veins; though your heart had stopped; and your mind no longer was … you were born in every sense of the word.
I would give anything to change this situation, but I can’t. I would take my last breath in a moment, if it meant you taking your first. Nothing I do or say can bring you back, so I choose today to embrace the time you WERE here. I choose to embrace your trust in me by choosing me to carry you, to birth you, and to live for you. I choose to embrace the 35 weeks and 1 day we had you alive, the 72 hours I spent cuddling you after you were born, and being surrounded by nothing but love on the day we put you to bed just one short week after you arrived, for the very last time as your tiny coffin was lowered to become one with the Earth.
I choose to embrace you. Wholeheartedly. Completely. With every piece of me.
You are ‘the one’ …
The one who learnt how to fly before learning to walk. The one who plays in the stars instead of on Earth. The one who gave me forever in the numbered days, 246 to be precise. The one who moves mountains in his eternal sleep. The one who’s forever dreaming fills the entire sky. The one who changed the course of my life in it’s entirety. The one who made me a better person. The one who truly took my soul, and wiped it clean. The one who’s eyes I never saw open, but who looked into the very core of my being. The one who taught me how to spread my love so far that it spans the gap between the Earth and the stars. The one who I was never given the chance to watch grow up, but who’s 1 year old appearance I could describe to others in detail through simply being your mummy.
I’ve been asked numerous times if I would do this again, knowing the outcome. Please know that my answer is always ‘yes, of course’ … I am proud to be your mummy. I am proud that you chose me. The pain I feel for having lost you is worth the happiness I feel for ever having you in the first place. You are mine and I am yours, regardless; no passage of time, no space nor distance will ever change that. The one thing stronger than death, is love. It transpires all planes – ‘until my skin grows old, when my breath runs cold, I will be thinking about you.’
I would give anything to be bringing you downstairs to your pile of presents today; to watch you excitedly open your gifts with Cora and Maisie; to laugh as you shove your chubby little hand in to your cake and cry when I say you can’t have it for breakfast … I can’t do that. So today, I celebrate YOU. I celebrate everything that you were, everything that you would have become, and everything that you are.
Happy 1st Birthday, Otis.
I hope we do you proud today, and I hope you have fun dancing in the sky with all of your angel friends. I love you so, sweet boy. I only wish I could put in to words how much.