Don’t be deceived by the title of this one; it’s not fun. Well, by that I mean it’s not as fun as it should be, but I guess a lot of things aren’t “as they should be” this year. I’m referring to Teddy’s first birthday; it’s hurtling towards us at a pace I never imagined. How is it nearly a year? Where has the time gone? I know all new Mums say that; usually as they watch their tiny babes growing into toddlers. What about the rest of us? What about the Mums who can’t believe that time is flying past and we are leaving our little ones, the moment they were here, further and further behind?
I have found that the faster the date approaches us, the more friends and family start to tentatively ask, “So, are you planning anything to mark Teddy’s Birthday.” Part of me wanted to organise something big, a huge fundraising event in his name. The other half of me isn’t strong enough yet; I fear if I were to try and achieve something huge in Teddy’s name I would simply crumble under the pressure of actually trying to be my “old” self. So this year, as it’s our first, we’ll just try and make it through in one piece. I can tell you it’s not easy thinking about planning a “party” for a first birthday when your baby isn’t physically here. I feel like we should mark it, for Teddy, and for the fact that we’ve actually made it through this past year. We are still standing, and learning to smile again; we’ve survived the unthinkable. This past year, it’s been Teddy, his legacy and his existence that have kept us going. Teddy made me a Mummy, he is my first born; no matter how many children we may go on to have, nothing will change that fact. I want to celebrate him.
We’ve been putting off planning anything, as I think we were both trying to push the thought of us having lived a year of this as our new reality to one side. You can’t escape it though, can you? Time. Whether you are wishing it to hurry up, slow down, or freeze altogether; it always wins. Teddy’s birthday is now a month away; so what do I want to do? Well, what I really want to achieve is our fundraising goal. When we set out to raise money in Teddy’s name I didn’t really have a “figure” in mind; but as the money began to add up, my hopes to make a difference through the money we raised became greater, my ideas grander. Our goal is now within reach, I want to raise £20,000 of donations (pre gift aid) by 16th May 2017. That will be Teddy’s legacy; saving the lives of other babies who pass through that NICU; sparing other parents from the nightmare we have lived through.
On the day of Teddy’s Birthday we’ll be away; we’ve decided to get away from it all and head to Cornwall (I know, predictable!). Then we’ve got another treat planned for later in the week. We’ll be celebrating the weekend before with friends and family at home; where we would have been had Teddy been with us. I don’t know if I’d call is a “party”, I mean, I’m sure there’ll be cake, maybe even balloons; but it feels ever so surreal having a birthday party for a one year old who isn’t actually one year old. I’m sure he’ll be with us in a different way; I’m sure I’ll feel his presence as I do most days.
So, I’m on one final push (feels like labour again!), to raise these funds. With help from my lovely friends at West Stanton (online) with our “Teddy for Teddy” and my insistence on making sure as many people possible read Teddy’s story. I’ve been incredibly lucky to share it over on the fabulous Rock My Family blog, and for this I am hugely grateful. Every time someone reads, shares, donates; I feel like we are one step closer to breaking the silence of neonatal death and stillbirth, and we are one step closer to reaching that fundraising goal and saving the lives of other babies.
After all; what better legacy could our little boy leave? Proud doesn’t even begin to sum up how I feel…..
If you’d like to donate to Teddy’s Legacy please click-
To buy your “Teddy for Teddy”….