Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

So, today is Isla’s (my Nieces) first Birthday! I got to see her on the actual day itself, ahead of her first Birthday party tomorrow. I couldn’t help thinking back to this time last year, over at Maidstone hospital… You can read my blog entry from back then here.

She was so tiny, so weak, so small, so helpless… And now, a year on, she’s got two teeth in her head, is almost walking, has more hair than her Daddy, and is as strong, fit and healthy as ever a girl was!

I’m bursting with pride as to what amazing parents Claire and Danny have become, and to being part of such a fantastic family.

Happy Birthday Isla. I love you ♥ xxxx

On 16th March 2011, my sister gave birth to her first child. A daughter; Isla Marian Eve Hudson, by emergency c-section. She came along very early, at just 31 weeks after my sister encountered a problem with her diabetes which caused the baby to become distressed. And she was tiny. Only 3lbs 11oz in fact. Isla would almost certainly have come along a little early anyway, as diabetic mothers are usually induced a couple of weeks ahead of their due date.

Isla, aged 1 hour old (9 weeks premature)

It was a really harrowing time for us all, but especially for my sister and brother-in-law who were suddenly thrust into parenthood with almost no notice, and had the added stress and worry of a very premature, weak baby to contend with.  My sister also had her diabetic episode and c-section op to recover from and spent a week in hospital afterwards whilst she recovered and her blood pressure and levels returned to normal.

Isla spent the first (almost) two months of her life at Pembury Hospital in Tunbridge Wells, where she received excellent love, care and support from all of the nurses and staff. Pembury is not local to my sister or indeed any of the family. However, they have  specialist neonatal and diabetic units there and the hospital is brand new, having only just opened. My sister was one of the first to have her baby at Pembury and I must say the facilities there are second to none. I cannot fault the hospital, the staff or the care we were all shown during our time there.

As the days turned into weeks, Isla continued to fight and grow stronger, progressing from the Intensive Care Unit (where she was in an incubator and ventilator), to the Special Care Baby Unit (where her ventilation was reduced to something called C-PAP and Vaportherm- two little plastic tubes that sit inside the nostril to supply a steady flow of air to assist the underdeveloped lungs of premature babies), then finally on to a regular Baby Unit – the last stop before home – where she eventually came off all her monitors and machines.

During this time, every day, my sister and brother-in-law were at the hospital, keeping watch over their precious little bundle. Watching her grow, get stronger, progress. Myself, my mum, dad and other relatives also paid daily visits – both to see Isla, and to support the new parents.

Babies are real ‘time-wasters’ – I spent hours and hours just watching her. I wanted to cuddle her, but I was frightened to. She was so tiny, so fragile. I could easily break or hurt  her, and I would’ve been mortified if I’d done that. However, the lure was too great and finally, one day, I got my first hold of my new Niece.

My first cuddle with Isla

Then, on 25th April 2011, she was strong enough to come home! The new parents were unsurprisingly petrified at finally being solely responsible for Isla. At home. With no nurses, no monitors, no ‘professional’ assistance just round the corner, or an emergency buzzer away… They needn’t have worried.

Homeward bound, with Mummy

Both of them took to parenthood like ducks to water. I was filled with pride, almost to the point of tears, when I watched my sister and the way she so confidently handled, loved, cared for and adored her daughter. And my brother-in-law was just as amazing. He took 2 weeks paternity leave off work and they got on with being parents.Yes, there were (and still are) sleepless nights, crying, shitty nappies, vomit and temper tantrums. And that’s just the parents! But seriously; they just get on with it. They’re so happy together, it makes my heart swell with pride to have such amazing family.

Lots of friends and family have been to visit in the subsequent weeks, and everyone is doing brilliantly adjusting to their new roles; My sister at being a Mum, my brother-in-law at being a Dad, the new Grandparents, the new Uncle (that’s right, me), great Aunts and Uncles and  great Grandparents.

Having a cuddle with Daddy on the sofa

At this point, I must also praise all my friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter who have been subjected to countless pictures of Isla and her development over the first two months of her life. Every single one of you have been awesome, lovely, friendly, supportive and full of adoration for the little mite, for me, and for the newbie parents – so I thank you, all,  from the bottom of my heart. And so does my sister, brother-in-law and indeed Isla herself – or she would if she could!

Having a cuddle with her Uncle

Isla (like all new babies) has no idea just what an impact she has had on so many people, and just how much she is loved, adored, cherished and protected. And that’s how it should be. I wish nothing but the very best for her, and intend to do my bit to ensure she has a wonderful, happy, healthy life – filled with love and laughter always.

Yes, little Isla, I love you – and I’m not the only one…

With Mummy and Daddy at Home in the garden