Happy First Birthday Jack!

I cannot believe it’s been a whole year. The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions.

Last Thursday, 17th November, was both World Prematurity Day and one year since I was sent to hospital and told my baby would be born at less than 29 weeks. I kept looking at the clock thinking “this time last year they said that” and “this time last year I was having a panic attack” etc and I had quite a rough day. I even cried when we went to have a 8 x 10 photo printed off of the day he was born and realised that “Oh My Effing God that’s life-size and how small was he?!”

His actual birthday on Friday 18th November was wonderful! We had homemade American Pancakes and Maple Syrup for breakfast (Thanks Hubs!) and then we went to Chatsworth House because it is all decorated for Christmas with the theme as The Nutcracker.

It was beautiful and Jack loved all the fairy lights everywhere! His little head was all over the place not knowing which way to look until he had to have a power nap to recharge! We also went round the Christmas Market that was outside the house and Jack managed to charm the hot chocolate seller into giving him a marshmallow!

Afterwards, we went to this little hidden gem of a tea shop called Edensor Tea Cottage which is near Chatsworth and it was incredible! Hubs had a Posh Breakfast and I had a Ham and Cheese Oatcake and Jack tried a bit of everything! Greedy chops! He also had a big portion of the icing on top of Hubs’ piece of caramel cake and the butter cream from the top of my Brownie. It was so wonderful to see him try and enjoy all these foods and chew them! This is obviously why he had such a good weight gain this time as he’s now 15 lb 15!

On Saturday night we went for a meal at the local Indian Restaurant with Hubs’ family who had come from far away for Jack’s party. Jack was very well behaved and liked seeing his cousins. I think they love him too!

The party on Sunday 20th November was amazing. So much love in one room! It was a bit stressful organising everything but my Mum was amazing and took care of the food and cake. Mum works at M&S so this helps a lot! There was probably about 60 people there, all come to celebrate Jack’s first year. We all ate buffet food (the little mini cheese muffins from M&S party range – mmmmm) and Jack tried some of mine obviously! He was such a well behaved boy, yet again, and sat in his high chair plaint with his toys an his spoon for most of it before his Daddy took him round to say hello to all the guests. All the other kids there were happy playing with the box of toys we’d taken or colouring.

I am so happy with how his cake turned out. We bought a plain iced cake from Marks & Sparks and put the Twirlywoo cake toppers on top that I’d bought online. He loves the Twirlywoos, in case I haven’t mentioned! Laos on the cake table were the pictures we’d had printed that I cried over on Thursday. What an amazing difference a year makes!

The other funny thing that happened was that people said me and my sister look alike. This doesn’t happen. Ever. What do you think?

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Also, I was pretty damn proud of my make up. As you will appreciate, winged liner is a bitch to get even but I managed, hurrah! And look at my brows! Thank you to Benefit’s Ka-brow stuff for that! Was a sad moment to wipe it all off at the end of the day and I was emotional already…

We have got a video of my little speech and then the happy birthday song but that isn’t being put out there in public for two reasons. A – For the part that is my speech all you can see is my sister’s knee. B – When she finally pans up in time for the singing bit, I look like a big fat whale and it makes me cry. So no one is seeing it. Honestly, I really thought I looked alright in that dress. Gorgeous dress. But I look so fat. *Cries.

Like I said, I’d written a little something to say before we sang happy birthday and I really did intend to keep it together but it was about how this time last year I was looking into an incubator not knowing when he’d be able to breathe for himself or when I’d be able to hold him but that he’s now healthy and happy. My voice shook a lot. But I managed it.

After we cleared up from the party (which Jack napped through) we went home and opened all the lovely cards and pressies that people bought. We really didn’t expected lots of presents and were so touched by how thoughtful people were. Jack loves all his new toys and plays with all of them in turn!

It was such a wonderful weekend filled with love. I’m so proud of my boy. It’s a long road for everyone when you leave the NICU but so very rewarding too.

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