Something lovely happened in our world two weeks ago, and I have been dying to say it out loud ever since.
My sister had a baby!
It has been like a huge secret that I have been bursting to share, and I can feel a ridiculous grin spread across my face as I type because it really is the best thing that has happened to our family in quite sometime. Nowadays the prevalence of social media means that you have to be careful when getting excited about someone else’s news, and of course it has not been my news to ‘tell’ really so I have kept quiet (well as quiet as is possible for me).
When I first read Lisa Lynch’s blog Alright Tit.com there was a point where she found out that she was to be an auntie to her brother’s baby entitled Auntie Gobby. This little moment of happiness, of hope, she fixated on and she clung to with everything that she had. I now understand all of her feelings, because all of a sudden we have something positive to focus on – something that matters so much more than any of the small things. My mum is a proud granny, my sister and I are humming with excitement, the children are excited to teach the new addition to the family all of their
naughty ways. For months the children have tried to guess whether it would be a boy or a girl, Noah wanting it to be a boy as we are girl heavy on our side of the family. Isla willing it to be a girl, and choosing a very traditional name Emily, which I knew my sister and her husband would never opt for. We went to great lengths to explain to them that it did not matter whether it was a boy or a girl because the most important thing was that the baby was healthy, this of course fell on deaf ears, because the boy wanted ‘team boy’ and the girl ‘team girl’ in the most obvious child like way.
Well she is a girl, and a very perfect one at that. She has dark hair like my sister’s girls but lighter skin like Noah. She has a look of my niece when she was a baby, but at the same time she has a look of her very own.
It is difficult for me to explain my feelings about my new niece other than to say that there are certain times in your life that fit together like a jigsaw. Ashani Lye is one of the missing pieces of my jigsaw, I haven’t even met her yet (which is hurting my heart) but she has fit right in just where she belongs. She is a miracle baby in more ways than one, and there is no doubt in my mind that she will continue to be very special indeed.
Isn’t life funny? one minute you are rushing around, never quite taking stock of the important things, and the next minute something so wonderful happens that forces you to stop and realise that the privilege of life is a wonderful thing. I suppose that is just the way it is, and I more than anyone should know that. A lot of the time my jigsaw is at the confusing strewn all over the floor stage and some of the time I stare around at it and think ‘where the hell do I even begin?’. Sometimes though, just sometimes, everything seems to fit into place.
The new addition to the family has brought things into sharp focus for me. A few years ago when we were considering the possibilities of IVF treatment before my chemotherapy began, I had a very different view. We had decided not to have anymore children. We had concluded that we were more than satisfied with our ‘lot’ in life. We had two healthy children and as we sat in the consultation room we decided that we would leave things up to nature from now on. We were well aware of the side effects of chemotherapy, and yet do you know what? It was still an incredibly difficult pill to swallow for me personally (you would have to ask my husband how he felt about it all). Even though we knew we were lucky, and even though we decided to put my health first – the reality of someone telling you that you will not be having anymore children and the decision being taken out of your hands is as unfair as life gets I think. So much so, that when good friends of ours announced they were expecting again I burst into tears, completely irrationally of course because I was so happy for them, but I felt selfishly sad for something that maybe could have been. Having said all this I am left with more than my hands full, and in reality a third child would have left us squarely outnumbered I am sure.
The past few weeks both myself and my sister have worried so much for our younger sibling as we know only too well that being a mum is hard. On the day(s) she was in labour I had a fleeting conversation with my cousin, stating out loud that I wished I could have gone through it for her. Of course I couldn’t, but the want to protect someone you care about from going through unimaginable pain is a real one. Everyday we are dying to ‘help’ or impart knowledge from our own experiences, but she doesn’t really need that, all she really needs is sleep… and perhaps a hot shower.
And so I will continue to grin at my little darling niece. The baby who makes me smile a ridiculous grin each time I see her. The baby who cheers my whole day up in her little combat onesie, and the day dreaming thoughts of finally having my cuddles with her. She makes me forget about things that have been, and look towards the nicer things to come.
A little reminder that life goes on, one of the final pieces of my jigsaw for sure.
To Jay and Paul, thank you for making us all smile (and sorry in advance for anything her cousins teach her in the future)
Source Art: Yolande Sanchez and Disney image from Pinterest, Alexazdesign Etsy.