The Best Things In Life Are Free…

I’m writing this with an empty heart, I’m all on my own having just spent a lovely half term week with boys. Back to reality with a bang!

Last weekend though, I had such great plans for us but as usual, it being only weeks since Christmas, finances dictated and ruled. That was okay though as the boys were quite happy to chill and take each day as it came.

We mined. Lots! I’m sure I’m not the only one whose little people are into Minecraft… *whispers* well so am I 😀  We all join the same game and work together and then fight over the only diamond sword we manage to make, Bruiser usually gets it though, he steals it from our chests while me and Wriggler are mining. It’s actually quite amusing, he waits till we are down in our mines and then you can see his gamertag move across the top of your screen as he makes his way to our house on the surface and then its a race against time to get out of our mines and up back to our houses to stop him!

The boys love spending time with their uncle, he’s really down with the boys these days, he even has Minecraft too now and had a lesson from the boys! In the morning though we all went with him and Zeus the family dog to the woods. It was nice to blow away the cobwebs out in the sticks, quite literally! It was good for the boys too to challenge themselves on the near vertical muddly slippy hills that took no prisoners. We made it all in one piece though even if it was with mud up to our ear lobes!

We lost hours in ‘their world’ the lego, ninja, space, make-believe pirate adventures that are something else let me tell you. Everything gets mingled together. Wriggler has quite the imagination, Bruiser goes with the flow. The remnants of those escapades are still littered around the house which makes me realise I really should start tidying up, ha! Maybe tomorrow 😉

The boys spent some quality time with their Daddy over the weekend too while I escaped with a lovely friend; lunching, hand bag shopping and cinema going (yes I have a social life!). He took them on a bike ride up the Trans Pennine Trail. They love it down there.

the best things in life are free

In between all that, we’ve partied, we’ve visited Great Nan, a much-loved Aunt, the boys delivered their valentines gifts, cuddled, crafted, giggled and generally had lots of family fun.

At the end of any time together we always ask the boys what they’ve enjoyed the most. Sunday night while having cartoons and a cuddle before bed we asked them what their favourite bit of the week was. Bruiser enjoyed the bike ride most. Wriggler gave us his top three; no.3 the walk in the woods, no.2 the bike ride down the TPT and no.1 spending time together!!

It brought tears to our eyes. There was me feeling guilty that we hadn’t done much, or gone very far but the reality is; it’s not about what you spend on them, it’s about the time you spend with them that means the most.

Five weeks and counting to our next school holidays…..

 

A Letter To Bruiser

Dear Bruiser

Today is your first day at school. Your Reception year and full-time school. You looked so smart and grown up in your uniform this morning. You were buzzing with excitement and you couldn’t wait to leave the house. I couldn’t even get a picture of you stood still.

While you enjoy your first morning with your new teacher, im home thinking about you, wondering what you will doing, wondering what you will be learning about. Gone are our days together where we would play, cuddle, watch cartoons, have playdates, take afternoon naps. Gone are our days filled with giggles, trips to the park and baby groups.

Me and Daddy and Wriggler are soooooo incredibly proud of you and what you have achieved in your little life already. The obstacles you have over come. The battles you have fought. Because there was once a time when we never thought this day would come. You were only 5 hours old when the Doctors told us to let you go. But we weren’t ready to let you have wings and I don’t think you wanted them either. We fought for you then and we still fight for you today. Its been the fight of our lives but just look at you now….

You learnt to crawl;

crawling

You learnt to walk;

You learnt to wave;

You learnt to talk, your first word was ‘Mam mam’. It was awful when you stopped talking. Overtime though you learnt to communicate using Makaton and that gave you a voice, until you found your voice…

Ryan signing to bath

Bruiser signing to bath

then, you learnt to talk, AGAIN!! Because you really are that amazing!!

You started nursery;

started nursery

With the help from your amazing big brother Wriggler, you learnt to play and imagine;

play

You learnt to ride a bike;

As we made our journey together through the autism diagnosis process, something that we were beginning to think would never happen, you made a friend. A best friend. A partner in crime. A friend forever. Your ‘Avaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’

best friends

~

And here you are now on your first day at school…

I’m glad you didn’t cry this morning. You made it so much easier for me. But it broke my heart anyway. It was the start of a whole new chapter in your life. You are no longer a baby, a toddler, or even a preschooler. You’re a little boy now and you’re ready to go find your place in this world!

I’m going to miss you my baby.

Love Mummy xxxxxxxxxxxx

The Impossible Hug

Have you seen the wonderful video Bliss have produced to mark World Prematurity Day? 

It’s such a simple video but yet it speaks a thousand words, stirs up a million emotions and pulls on every heart string. You see, for the 15 million babies born prematurely across the whole world each year, this is the heart ache experienced by those parents. They cant hug their babies for days, weeks, some even months! Can you even begin to imagine how that feels?

Hugs are something that we all take for granted, especially those first hugs with our new-born babies.

I remember when Wriggler was born, he was placed onto me straight away, I got immediate skin to skin contact, he was cleaned and swaddled and given straight back to me to hold and cuddle. I didn’t want to let him go for even a second.

When Bruiser was born however, it couldn’t have been anymore different. He was delivered very early at 31 weeks and it was an emergency c-section. I didn’t even get to see him, never mind hug him. He was so poorly that he was whisked away to the NICU where the doctors spent the next 48 hours trying to stabilise him. When I did eventually get to see him something like half a day later, I wasnt even allowed to touch him. All I could do was sit next to his incubator and talk to him and look at him… that first hug felt like it was a life time away.

During the days that followed his birth, I got some contact. I got to hold his tiny fingers and tiny toes. I got to put my hand on his head. But because he was ventilated, I wasn’t able to do much more than that. I couldn’t even do his cares because his skin was so very fragile and sensitive. The nurses were great though and they showed me how to touch him and how to comfort him without causing him any pain through two hand-sized holes of the incubator that surrounded him.

(facebook status 29.Jan.2010 3.am)

“I’ve just shared a magical moment with Bruiser. I can’t cuddle you or hold you close to me, but I can scoop you up in both hands while the nurse changes your cot sheet cos you wee’d on it while mummy changed your 2nd poopy nappy of the night!”

I‘ll never forget the day I got my hug though. Bruiser was 5 days old. The day preceding it he had been taken off the ventilator and was now breathing on cpap. He had also done his first wee (this was HUGE, it meant his internal organs which were in failure were now showing signs of functioning) and he had his first taste of my liquid gold through a tube into his tummy (which made him do his first poopy nappy that night). I went into the NICU that day to do Bruisers morning cares (clean his face, eyes and mouth, change his nappy). His nurse that day had a little more in store for me…

1st mummy cuddles

My 1st Hug

In that moment my life was perfect. The previous 5 days seemed but a blur. Bruiser still had a long way to go but, it made me realise that the impossible is possible, you just have to believe!

You can get involved in Bliss’s Impossible Hug campaign for World Prematurity Day by sharing a photo of you, your friends and family and little ones giving a hug on their Facebook, twitter and Pinterest, or email your photos to mediateam@bliss.org.uk and they’ll share them on their special World Prematurity Day Flickr page.

Do it for all the families across the whole world that can’t share a hug with their babies.

That First Precious Cuddle

Nine long months we carry our babies. Some of us not even that long! But, all the time we are longing for that 1st cuddle.

Out of all the books you read, all the advice you receive, all the stories others tell you about their birth experiences, none of them prepare you for that moment. The rush of love that flows through your body the moment your baby is placed in your arms is overwhelming and out of this world. Absolutely NOTHING beats or even comes close to that very first cuddle with your new-born baby. The ultimate #magicmoment in my opinion!

~

When Wriggler was born he was placed on my tummy and chest immediately after delivery for instant skin to skin while my Hubby cut the umbilical cord before he was swaddled up and placed in my arms.

My 1st cuddle with Wriggler, he was minutes old.

My 1st cuddle with Wriggler, he was minutes old.

~

With Bruiser, my first cuddle didn’t happen at birth as he was whisked off to the NICU (which was heart breaking). What do they say?? The best things come to those who wait?! Boy did I have to wait. But you know what that didnt take away any of those feelings. It made it all the more special!

My first cuddle with Bruiser, he was 6days old!

My first cuddle with Bruiser, he was 6-days old!

~

I’ll never forget those 1st cuddles for as long as I live. If I close my eyes, I can still feel them!

~

Makaton Monday ~ Puppy Love

This weekend was a first for Bruiser in that he met a little tiny puppy. He’s grown up with relatives and some friends having (big) dogs but he’s never interacted with them or seemed that bothered about them. However, this puppy brought out a side of him that we have NEVER seen before. He was so interactive with it, he talked to it (in his own little way), he was affectionate with it. At one point, he even used the puppy to interact with the other children in the room. Bruiser being ‘social’… another first 🙂

Cuddles

Snuggles

Giggles

Its evident from pictures that ‘Jess’ liked Bruiser as much as he liked her.

~

Following on from his experience this weekend, this week, we are going to introduce other animal signs into Bruiser’s ‘signabulary’. Starting with these…

DOG
Bruiser has learnt to sign and say this one this weekend!

CAT

FISH

RABBIT

HORSE

~

Is that a new addition to the family I see on the horizon?? 😉

~

Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.