Happy birthday chickie

To my beautiful baby girl,

I can’t believe you’re turning 3 next week. Three whole years of age!

It’s been so fast and yet it seems like a lifetime ago that you were placed on my trembling body in the operating theatre after an emergency C-Section. My body went into shock. I couldn’t stop shaking and was so worried when they said they were going to place you on my chest. I wanted to hold you so badly, but I was quaking so hard that I was afraid you’d fall. But you didn’t fall. Instead the most amazing thing happened – they placed you on my chest and my entire body stopped trembling; it became completely and utterly calm. It was the most overwhelming and out-of-this-world sensation. Then, as soon as they lifted you back up, the shaking started all over. And my life with you has been like this since – when I’m with you, I’m at my calmest. You have a magical ability to just calm. me. down. You, baby girl, are my centre.

You made quite the entrance that day, and everything about you has been unforgettable since. Your beautiful, happy face. Your mop of crazy curls. Your impish sense of humour. The way you skip instead of walk. The way you always ask me to dance. Your sparkling eyes that can light up the darkest of moods. Your naturally caring character, so often checking that the rest of us are ok. A compassionate, funny little bundle, at just (nearly) 3 years of age.

Three is such a significant number for us. Because at just three weeks of age, you were diagnosed with CF – a twist in the tale that nearly broke us. But a twist that has also made us the family we are today.

CF reminds us that we can take nothing for granted. So it’s made us more loving, more resilient and more appreciative of life. It’s made us feel more, worry more and cry more. But it’s also reminded us to laugh more.

And so on your third birthday, we think back to your two hospitalisations in the last year and wish with all our hearts that you hadn’t had to go through them. But we’re also grateful that the number is that low, because we know so many have had to endure much more.

Our promise to you on your birthday is that protecting your life will be the purpose of ours. We promise to do everything we can to beat CF. We promise it won’t define you, despite you fighting it every day. We promise that we’ve always got your back, that we’ll always listen and that we’ll always fill your life with love and laughter. We promise to always encourage you to believe in yourself and to shoot for your dreams. We promise to fight for every single CF drug that science can think up (#Orkambi is just the start – come on @campaignforleo!). We promise to fight for every single breath. Because, in you, we have been gifted a breath of fresh air.

Happy birthday chickie, from your Mammy, Daddy and Bro (your three biggest fans). xx

Illustration courtesy of the talented Olivia Golden @goldenwonder1