The Second Anniversary

Emma Louise Cheetham by Emma Louise Cheetham Additional Needs

Emma Louise Cheetham

Emma Louise Cheetham

I live in Stockport, UK. I have Borderline Personality Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. After years of therapy and getting back on my fee...

Time is passing by so quickly and now we are rapidly approaching the end of the year.

In just a few short weeks, 20th October to be exact, my son and the reason I write these blogs will turn two.

Yes, it’s his birthday first and foremost but it’s still very bittersweet for me. As soon as 20th September passes and it’s less than a month to go, I begin to fill with panic and anxiety. Instead of stressing about what gifts to buy or what celebrations I need to arrange, I find myself worrying about how I’ll navigate my way through the traumatic emotions and difficult flashbacks I’ll inevitably be faced with.

Last year I found my struggles really hit me a week before Jaxon’s birthday. What would’ve been my due date the year before and why if I’d gone into labour around that time or been induced, I might have no reason to be here writing this. Instead I would’ve been trawling the internet late at night wondering what my happy, typical, probably a bit boisterous two-year-old would love to open on the morning of his birthday.

Sadly, that’s far from my reality as Jaxon has very few interests and doesn’t interact much with toys. The ones he does interact with are special but there’s few different varieties so finding a birthday gift that he’ll like but that’ll be different from what he already owns may prove troublesome this year.

Already I can’t help but reminisce about how life was two years ago.

How excited I felt about the prospect of becoming a Mummy for the first time. How all my dreams were about to come true. “This time two years ago...” I’m saying it a lot at the moment despite the fact it’s entirely unhelpful.

As my mood dips at the thought of reliving the traumatic moments I was unexpectedly rushed to theatre for a category one caesarean section in a frantic attempt to save my child or as I was told my child was alive but had sustained a significant and severe brain injury, I have to remind myself that I was told he more than likely wouldn’t survive the night.

I have to think back to the moment we signed the DNR but he turned everything around and surprised every single member of the neonatal team by breathing unaided upon extubation. I have to remember that whilst my life is not how I imagined, I really am one of the lucky ones because we came just that close to losing him.

Even once discharged from hospital at a month old we were warned that life would be far from easy and that we would likely spend more time in hospital than at home. I’ll never forget the moment that Jaxon’s paediatrician told me he was unlikely to reach his first birthday and the intense pride I felt when we did get to celebrate that incredible and miraculous milestone.

It’s a journey like no other. But my child is amazing in his own way and for him I will do whatever it takes to manage my own feelings so that I’m able to celebrate his birthday in a way that he deserves.

It won’t be easy.

I’ll allow myself time to reflect and think about the emotions that arise the week before as his birthday approaches. I can all but guarantee I’ll shed a tear at the exact time his lifeless body entered the world and resuscitation began two years previous.

I’ll allow myself that time to cry, to grieve. But that is all. Jaxon deserves only sunshine, joy and happiness on his special day, I’m determined to make sure he gets just that.

Hopefully as the years pass it’ll get easier. I only hope years from now that the traumatic thoughts won’t be so intense, the sadness won’t completely crush me and I’ll be able to feel excitement as the little boy who wasn’t expected to get this far, celebrates yet another milestone.

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