As we approach Jude’s second birthday this weekend, I’m feeling more than a little reflective and remembering exactly how I felt this time last year.
My little boy was about to turn one, that huge milestone in all babies’ and parents’ lives, and I wanted to throw a little party for his first birthday. But the reality was I was sick with worry about him, we knew something was wrong but didn’t know what. He couldn’t even sit up alone yet or clap his hands. All my brain kept doing was compare him to my oldest boy Ray who was running around on his first birthday and it felt awful. The last thing we wanted to do was shine a spotlight on Jude, highlighting everything he couldn’t do. I felt in a way like we had nothing to celebrate, which sounds so harsh. Writing that down makes me feel guilty for thinking that, but I remember just wanting to hide him away from the world, from the judgement, the looks, the unsaid comments on people’s faces. I know this all sounds very negative, and this post isn’t supposed to be negative so bear with…
I’m getting around to the fact that, a year on, we’re reaching another big milestone, his second birthday, and I feel very differently to how I felt 12 months ago. So much has happened in the last year. We have a diagnosis and are slowly coming to terms with what that means. Time is proving to be a great healer and a very important part in the acceptance process. We’ve moved to an amazing new home and met some lovely new friends. I’m really lucky to have great support around me, to have such a beautiful family and wonderful husband. I feel much more positive about Jude and where he’s headed. He’s achieved so much in the last year proving to us what a brave little fighter he is, and how much determination he has. He crawls, claps, climbs the stairs and stands on his own. I had quietly hoped he would have taken his first steps by his second birthday, but I know that will come. I need to be more patient still. Patience by the bucket load is needed with developmental delays. There is no point in putting unnecessary pressure on something we have no control over. He will do things in ‘Jude time’ and will get there, eventually.
He’s making lots of sounds but as yet no words – despite me saying ‘mama’ to him a hundred times a day! I’m very hopeful that he will learn to speak, but for now he can communicate with us in his own way. In the meantime we get to enjoy his quirky little character, cheeky smile, infectious laugh and gorgeous cuddles.
Birthdays are always going to be slightly bittersweet, but instead of looking at what my baby isn’t doing, I’m focusing on everything he has learnt to do. Even the littlest thing takes him so much more effort than most, and I’m so proud of him.
May you continue to fight your fight and show us your strength of character and determination everyday little man. Here’s to the next year of being your mummy ❤️
Happy second birthday to our beautiful Jude Bear X