Brotherly Love

My last few blogs have been pretty heavy and emotionally draining so I wanted to share something a bit more light hearted and positive with you all.

Some of you know I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 4 weeks pregnant over 6 years ago now (ok, ok I know this doesn’t sound positive but please bear with me….)!

I made the decision to continue with this pregnancy against my oncologist’s advice because, I knew this was my last chance to give L a sibling. Also, my experience losing Pablo and the pressure I felt to end that pregnancy because he had a rare lethal chromosome disorder, had devastated me. I would not let myself be pressured into letting go of this baby who could be perfectly healthy for all the Doctors knew.

Me straight after my first chemo session 💖

The upside of this decision was that I felt super positive and determined to get through treatment and have a healthy baby. I had this incredible motivation to just get on with it, to look after myself and to ensure we both survived. People used to say how brave I was but I wasn’t brave at all, I just had my eyes on the (baby shaped) prize and I trusted that we’d both come out the other side.

So H was my constant companion though treatment. He survived a general anesthetic during my mastectomy at 5 weeks gestation. He accompanied me through chemo from 15 weeks gestation. And when he was delivered healthy at 34 weeks, the look on L’s face was like someone who’d won the lottery.

H at approx 9 days old; L was 3 and a half.

This photo is their first cuddle after H ripped out his feeding tube and aspirated on his vomit at 9 days old. He scared the life out of us all, but the wonderful nurse at Worthing SBCU saw the opportunity for L to have a tube and wire free cuddle rather than just stroking him through through the incubator. The rest as they say, is history.

Today they still love a snuggle, last night’s bath time being a good example. I don’t know how long it will be before they decide they want separate bath times, or whether they will get fed up with me always asking to take their photograph. But for now I will enjoy every second. It’s moments like this when they are so loving to each other, that I feel truly lucky, glad and relieved that I trusted my instincts and kept my faith.

Snuggle buddies xxx

Don’t get me wrong, they squabble and fight like all siblings do. Some days by the time N gets home from work I’m half way hanging out the kitchen window about to do a runner as I can’t take their bickering any more! L & H are both Autistic like me so with the three of us being highly sensitive, outspoken and rather inflexible, it’s no wonder N says that we are not Neurodiverse but in fact Neuro-Difficult!

The upside is we have amazing banter, we laugh every day and we see beauty and adventure in the world so clearly where others may see doom and gloom. N is our safe place, our protector, our common sense and he helps separate us during a meltdown! The boys have a running joke about my weight at the moment as I’m always on a diet so when they catch me with a slab of cake or a bar of galaxy, they will shout ‘aren’t you meant to be fasting?!’ Or ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea do you Mum?!’ Recently H took my face between his hands and said solemnly ‘God had created a wonderful creature….Fatty Boom Boom’. I still cry tears of laughter every time I recall this!

Together the four of us have so much fun. The national lockdown due to Coronavirus was actually a real positive for us as it gave us so much time as a family to be outdoors, walking, running, swimming, and discovering places we never knew about before.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, even in the toughest times, the saddest times, you can find moments of joy. Twinkles of happiness. My boys cuddling in the bath yesterday, joking about weeing in the water and giggling when one of them farted, gave me 10 minutes of uninterrupted thankfulness, the benefits of which I can still feel today 💖

So as you go about your day to day, undoubtedly carrying pressures, worries, sadness and responsibilities of your of own, look out for those twinkles, those lighter moments, the things that make you smile. They are more refreshing than a £5 shot from a fresh juice bar and they last a lot longer too.

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