Auntie C

I really should tell you about our guardian angel. Seriously, I believe that we have a guardian angel, but she doesn’t have wings (well, none that I’ve seen), instead she wears a nurses uniform and looks after hedgehogs.

Let me explain.

Auntie C lives two houses up from us and we did know her before we had Samuel but only really just to say hello to. We got to know her husband much better as we were trying to sort out some problems we were having with the neighbour inbetween us.

But then Samuel was born and the day after he came into our lives, he was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where Auntie C just so happens to work. A few days into our stay (I’d not seen her working there at this point) we came into the unit, went over to Sam’s incubator and there waiting for us was an absolutely beautiful photo of Sam, his ink footprint and a gift bag full of baby goodies. That was the first of a thousand wonderful things Auntie C has done for us.

She has become so involved in our lives, such an integral part of our family that we asked her to become one of Samuel’s Godmothers when we had him Christened shortly after we came home from hospital.

Auntie C has been a nurse for over 25 years and in that time she has seen so much, seen just how damn cruel nature can be, so when I tell her the worst, the hard details of what the docs have said she doesn’t flinch. But I can see it in her eyes, the saddness, not just for Samuel or us, but for her as she absolutely adores him.

Until we start having respite with our local hospice, Auntie C is our only babysitter. Although our families continue to be supportive to us, emotionally (particularly my mother who has been terrific) and financially, they don’t feel confident in looking after Sam on their own and neither do any of our friends. So it is Auntie C who comes to the rescue!

But Auntie C’s wonderfulness doesn’t just stop there. When the premature babies in the unit reach 100 days, Auntie C (out of her own money & in her own time) bakes the parents a yummy cake to celebrate. When the premmies reach 1 kilo she bakes the parents a cake. When the babies have their first bath in the unit she gives the parents a tiny rubber duck for their memory box. When it’s Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day or Fathers Day she takes a photo of the baby and puts it in a card for the parents.

And there is more. She also takes in baby hedgehogs, injured birds, squirrels, ducks (yes ducks) and nurses them back to health before releasing them.

She is always on hand whenever we need some advice. Or just some moral support. When Sam’s Dad and I recently caught a bad tummy bug from when Sam was in hospital, she went to the chemist for us and brought round a gallon of lucazode while we were laid low.

She always buys Samuel lovely presents (and us!) and fancy dress costumes – his first Christmas while in NICU she dressed him as Christmas pudding, a bunny (with carrot) at Easter, a pumpkin for Halloween and this Christmas, well, he was a snowman.

No present, no card,  no words can tell her what she means to us. We could never in a million years repay her. But I know she loves her cuddles with Samuel and has spent many hours here on our sofa giving him a good squeeze.

To us she is our guardian angel and we will treasure her forever. x

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Happy anniversary!

Today is the one year anniversary of when Samuel came home from Neonatal Intensive Care.

I’m sure most parents don’t mark when their child came home from hospital, just their birthday, but for us it is particularly significant.

We spent 8 weeks in hospital watching doctors desperately trying to find the right medicine concoction for him and being warned that we may never get him home. They’d come over to his cot, scratch their heads and say, ‘well he’s a bit of a tricky customer isn’t he’. Tricky, but so very precious.

In some ways the last year has flown by, in others it feels like Sam has been a part of our lives forever.

We don’t have anything particularly remarkable planned to mark this day, instead Sam and I will spend the day cuddling and appreciating the important things.

The first post

I am mum to the most special and beautiful boy in the world, Samuel Luke, who was born on 10 Nov 2010. He is the most beautiful baby I’ve seen in my whole life. He has the most amazing blue eyes and the most riduclously long eyelashes any woman would be proud of. My son has an extremely rare genetic disorder called ARX which causes severe epilepsy. Sam spent the first two months of his life in Neonatal Intensive Care, cared for by the amazing doctors and nurses who we owe so much to. He continues to have seizures every day but they are much better than what they were. He is still very much a baby baby, but boy, he does love his cuddles. That’s when you know he is happy when he is having a good long cuddle.Because of his condition, we know that we may not have him for anywhere near as long as we should, that is why we celebrate every day with him. Every day is a beautiful miracle.But if you held him, he may not look at you, but you would feel how much he likes to be cuddled and you would come away realising how much you enjoy cuddles too and perhaps even how much you needed that warmth at that moment.He is our boy Sam. xx