Definitely not in the plan

We survived Christmas, just.  It was as anticipated, fraught.  It was Daisy's excitement that made Christmas special.  Like any family with small children it was all about the carrot for Rudolph, the drink for Santa, hanging up stockings, coming downstairs early to tear off wrapping paper.

You all know how much Daisy loved Christmas.  So her absence left a huge void.  Suddenly we were being forced to transition to a grown up Christmas, acutely aware of who was missing.

And then something else happened which threw us even more.  Theo became poorly.  He had been ill for a good week before Christmas and when on Christmas Eve he was still spiking high temps I thought I should get him reviewed by the out of hours GP to make sure that he would be OK for Christmas Day.  The out of hours GP took one look and sent him to A&E for bloods and a drip.  What really shook me was in the absence of a bed space in the main area Theo was temporarily put in a bed space in resus.  The same one that is normally used for paeds, the same one that Daisy was in time and time again when she was septic or in status epilepticus.   Memories came flooding back, the familiar hospital sounds and smells, 11 months after I had stood in that space, here we were back again.

Theo had a really nasty virus that had affected his liver, by Christmas day he was jaundiced. We spent the Christmas period going back and fore to the day assessment unit for bloods and monitoring and I found myself pacing the same corridors I had paced 13 years previously when Daisy was in the neonatal unit and I was recovering from her delivery.  I couldn't believe it.  I thought my days of discussing liver function test results were behind me but over and over doctors asked if I had a medical background when I quizzed them on Theo's results.

The good news is that Theo is now recovering well, it will take a while for him to get his energy back but there will be no long term effects.  I don't know what we planned for Christmas but this wasn't in the plan.  I suppose it was a distraction but an emotional one which I (and the rest of the family) could have done without.

So we passed the Christmas milestone and now it's New Year's Eve.  I have not made a secret about how much I dislike New Year's Eve.  It was not always like this.  We had brilliant NYE's years ago.  But so many of the events of our life now focus around the changing year.  Today it's exactly 11 months since Daisy took her last breath and died.  This year my daughter died, last year we held her Daddy's funeral.  Time will move forward tomorrow, it will no longer be the year Daisy was last alive, the year after we said our final goodbye to Andy.

Time moves on.  And so it should.  Everyone who knows me, reads my blogs, articles, my book, you know that I am the most positive person.  Annoyingly optimistic at times, always looking on the bright side.  But there is something about New Year's Eve that throws my mood.  What will the next year bring for us?  Who knows? The only guarantee I have is that whatever happens we will keep attempting to make the best of the hand we are dealt.  It's what we do.

2018 is a big year, a significant birthday for me, hopefully Film School for Xanthe, progression to College for Jules.  So much to look forward to.  Life moving on.  And that's the problem. Life moves on and the gap between the time we were all together and our new normal widens.  My only hope is for no surprises, no curve balls, no traumas next year.

We all need some stability, time to adjust to our new life, time to start looking forward, time to work out who we are now.

Here's to another year on this planet.  Play your cards well.

(PS;  Thank you as always to our wonderful and incredible NHS.  Every single person who cared for Theo was kind, patient and understanding).

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