Thursday, 21 July 2011

Happy Birthday Benjamin, 2 Today

I can't believe it's 2 years since my little boy arrived into the world.  Sometimes it seems like an eternity ago but mostly, it feels like it was just yesterday.  I can still visualize holding him in my arms and feeling his soft chubby cheek against mine.  In fact, I remember every detail.

I didn't feel the same amount of anticipation for this birthday as I did on his first birthday but I thought about it all the time as the day got nearer & how we were going to celebrate it.  This year, I asked Phoebe what she'd like to do for Benjamin.  She said she'd like to make a cake, make a card & send some balloons up to heaven for him.

Phoebe lovingly made Benjamin's card with a glittery number 2 (pink of course!), feathers, sparkles pompoms & googly eyes (yes, googly eyes!) and she wrote Benjamin's name on the front all by herself.  We wrote some nice words & put it up this morning.  We let 2 balloons go, one for each year & then we set out for the Zoo.  We'd thought about what Benjamin might like to do if he was here with us, so the zoo it was.  We had a really lovely day & when we came home, we sang Happy Birthday while Phoebe blew out the number 2 candle on the cake we'd made for him. After the cake, we went into the garden & sent a sky lantern up to Benjamin.  As I stepped into the garden, the first thing I saw on the grass was a little white feather.  I like to believe it's a feather from my little Angel.  Phoebe shouted "bye bye Benjamin" as we watched the lantern disappear out of sight.

Of course, the day didn't pass without tears but it was slightly easier than last year.  I feel Benjamin around me a lot, so that brings me a great deal of comfort.

Tomorrow is another day but I won't be dwelling on that one.........

Happy Birthday my beautiful little boy.

Love forever
Mummy, Daddy, Phoebe & Matthew


  1. I just read my way through your blog. This is the most amazing account of motherhood, and all the love that comes with it, that I've ever read.

    To share your story must have been agonizing at times, yet your posts are so articulate, so positive and so full of love.

    Huge kudos to you! Benjamin must be SO proud of you!

  2. As a parent of a son called Benjamin who is under 2 weeks old I am unable to read your blog.

    I first became a parent almost 3 years ago to a beautiful little girl called Olivia and recently our second, a boy called Ben.

    I can not imagine the pain and hurt that you have been through. My thoughts are with you and your family, it'sa cliche to say you're all so very brave as life does go on and you have your little girl to look after but you truly are and I think it's a great idea to write your thoughts and feelings down in a blog. One day I hope I am brave enough to read it.

  3. I have just added your blog to my reader. Your story has really touched me and I think you are an inspiration hugs to you and your family x

  4. It is rare that I feel compelled to comment on such stories. When I first saw the gist of your story my initial thought was why would you put yourselves or your family through the pregnancy when there was an alternative. Having read your blog I understand that this was absolutely the right option for you and that you took the most natural course available. Far too often today we do things medically because we can, rather than because we should (working in a PICU you get to appreciate the differences) not that I think any family wouldn't want to try everything possible for their child. I think your story is incredibly moving and so brave of you to commit this to writing, and I hope that it helps many others.
    I wish you all the best with your family for the future and may Benjamin's memory live on forever. xx

  5. Hi Nicola, I've just read your blog sent by a friend as I today said goodbye to my little boy at 14 weeks pregnant.
    This time last week we were looking forward to our NT scan and getting the all clear. As per my previous pregnancy I had my worries as I'm 37 this year but put this down to paranoia as my beautiful 2 yr old girl can evidence. When the sonographer told us there were anomolies with slow heartbeat, shortened limbs, and the fluid around the head was literally 'off the chart' we were devastated. As per your blog she thought it may be edwards, patau or other chromosonal syndrome and went through our potential options if this was diagnosed at CSV. Those 3 days were the worst, the thought of having to make a decision on a termination either early on so that we didn't have to deal with people asking us, at 22 weeks so we didn't have to go through full labour to deliver a child who wouldn't survive, or to go full term in the hope that the child would survive but need such intense care that it would spend more time in hospital than at home. We decided not to think about this until the CSV results but of course agonised in private. When we went for the scan before the CSV on Weds the consultant sadly couldn't find a heartbeat and the guilt at being relieved of the decision making was as overwhelming as the grief itself. We agreed a medical miscarraige would help us feel more in control esp as our 2 year old needed us. So we numbly went through those 2 days and today we finally said goodbye to our little son, the staff were amazing, and put him in a basket with a blanket for us to talk to and pray over, he did have cleft palate and enlarged head and short legs but he was perfect to us, and we miss him so much already. Thank you for posting your blog, Benjamin is beautiful and I like to think that had our little boy not already passed i would have read this blog and been persuaded that allowing him the opportunity to live and experience life with us for a few minutes, days or months would have been the right choice for us. Take care and God bless you and your family.

  6. I got to know this Blog through a retweet by Wayne Rooney. After reading it I just a few words to say and those are: if I were Benjamin I would be really proud to have such brave parents. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Loads of love from Madrid, Spain.

  7. Hello, I've read this twice today and showed it to my husband. I have just miscarried my first baby at 13 weeks. Before that, I wouldn't have been able yo understand how you could put youurself through carrying the baby to full term, but now I can see how incredibly brave that was and I understand completely why you had to and needed to do it. You made him part of your family forever. Reading some of your feelings has helped me, although what happened to you was so so sad. Thank you for sharing your story as I'm sure it will help many people who have been through losing a baby at any stage.

  8. Hi, I read this after seeing it retweeted on Wayne rooneys twitter and really believe it is a sign! I have written on one of your other blogs about the fact that at the moment going through what I can only describe as the worst experience any parent can go through! I have been told to have a termination by the doctors at the hospital due to my waters breaking at 19 weeks and there only being a little fluid around the baby, which doctors believe will mean his/her lungs won't develop properly making the baby not viable outside of the womb. My baby is moving around everyday and the thought of being the one to stop that is truely unbearable for me, there is no definite abnormality at the moment, my family much like yours are clinging to hope and preying for a miracle but me I just want to know that I have given my baby every chance it has of having a life! Thank you so much for writing this blog I feel that I was meant to read this tonight and It has certainly guided me in the path i should take and keep fighting my baby's cause with the doctors! You are your partner are truly inspirational! Love to you and you're family xx

  9. Only just got round to reading this post. As I've said before during our conversations on Twitter, you are so strong, and so positive...and even though Benjamin only lived for a short while, I am positive that as long as you have breath in your body that little lads name will live on forever. You are getting the word out there - and showing other parents that they are not alone (which was my reason for starting Jack's website all those years ago). Big hugs...big massive hugs to you and yours xxxx

  10. I have just read your whole blog about tour precious baby boy.
    You are an inspiration to other families who are in the same situation as you. Your positivity is simply amazing. To give your boy an identity was the right decision and also the love which he received from you all.
    Sleep tight Benjamin
    Lots of you xx

  11. I just read all ur blogs.... Had to walk away an have a wee cry afew times, as a mother i express my deepest sympathy.. No parent should have to put there child to rest, but also i would like to thank you for sharing your heartwarming/personal story. I have miscarried twice an it wasnt easy, especially when you plan and dream of your future child, i was only in the 1st trimester when i lost my twins, ppl say well at least it was early in the pregnancy.. But i always wonder... What would my babies look like?... Thank god u were strong enough to keep Benjamin and have the pleasure of holding, kissing him :) all the best for the futureuch luv frm New Zealand x