The night before Claire was born, I wish I knew that she was going to be born alive.
The day that we were given Claire’s diagnosis of Cri Du Chat Syndrome, I wish I knew that this diagnosis was going to result in me making some of the most beautiful friends I could ever have hoped to meet in my life.
When Claire was rushed by ambulance to hospital at six weeks old, and was back there again not long after her release, I wish I knew that things were going to get easier, and that hospital visits would soon be few and far between.
When I was weighing Claire on an almost daily basis, and stressing about her low weight, I wish I knew that the worry would soon become less intense, and that growing at her own pace, would be a more realistic expectation!
When I was feeling embarrassed at using sign language with a baby that wouldn’t even make eye contact with her mother, I wish I knew that Claire was taking it all in, and that it wouldn’t be too long before she started signing back to us to express her wants and needs.
When I propped Claire up on cushions for what seemed like the millionth time, I wish I knew, that in what seems now like no time at all, she would eventually be effortlessly pushing herself up into a seated position, and climbing up haphazardly onto our couch.
When everything got too much for one mummy to bear, I wish I knew that there would soon be brighter skies coming my way.
But, if I knew any of those things, at the times when I wished I knew them, my journey would not have been what it has been, and that would be a real shame. For as difficult as some of those moments in time have been, I really believe that they have shaped the person that I am today.
So, right now, while
…I wish I could know the exact moment my girl would walk out of that frame;
…and I wish I could know whether Claire will ever speak the words “I love you”;
…and I wish I could know what educational setting will fit her best;
…and I wish that I could know that there will always be someone looking out for her;
…and I wish that I could know that anxiety will one day be a problem in my past;
…I know that I can’t know these things for sure, and that there are so many other things that I can’t know for sure either.
But, what I DO know, is that all of these questions will be answered at some point along our journey.
And what an incredible journey this has been so far.
This kid has been breathing now for three whole years. And, while at times she has truly taken my breath away, I have managed to breathe in and out for that whole time too, and those breaths are finally becoming easier again.
Here are some birthday shots to celebrate Claire Matilda turning 3.