Wow! What a year to reflect upon. Ash & I are sat here after having spent the entire evening and every evening this week, preparing for the boys big day tomorrow.

We decided to read through the blogs from start to finish, to reflect on the past year but also to put together some kind of summary of what we have survived, for us, to give us a reality check, but also for the boys to look back on. We found it really emotional looking back, Ash wasn’t sure if he was ready to read back, but we did, together and as a result here is what we concluded…

But we made it. We survived!.

Reading through the blogs and reflecting sparked discussion of our most poignant memories, the best and the worst, so here they are…


  1. Our first cuddles. I waited 11 days to cuddle Rory, 16 days to cuddle Austin and 17 days to hold them both together and them holding hands when back together and having cuddles.
  2. Screaming ‘its too early’ when I was in labour and distraught at the thought of losing them.
  3. Daddy spending time with both boys the day before Rory had his tracheostomy and fearing for the future.
  4. Bringing both boys home on the hottest day of the year, with emergency fans everywhere.
  5. Our first family holiday ending in disaster / Rory ending up in Resus after windpipe collapse and stopping breathing on way to hospital. Will haunt me until my dying day.
  6. Being desperate beyond belief when Rory was seriously ill in hospital after the tracheostomy and being helpless.
  7. Daddys first time EVER being left alone with a baby, being in the caravan the night that I spend in hospital with Rory in Hull.
  8. The Gala day where we live, being surrounded by flocks of people all wanting to see our miracle boys. overwhelming.
  9. A new memory EVERY morning when both boys smile INSTANTLY when they wake up.
  10. Sitting up through the nights and doing 4 hour sleep shifts during winter, watching films with the log burner on to keep ourselves awake for our 4 hour shift suctioning Rory. Don’t miss those nights and certainly won’t forget them in a hurry.

So what have we learnt this year? I personally think that not only being a Mum, but being a Mum to Austin & Rory and all of the challenges that brings has made me the best person that I possibly could be. I have learnt so much about myself, gained so many new skills and a completely new outlook on life. I still stand by my 5 mantras…

  1. Whatever it is, is it about me or is it about them? If it its about me, get over it. (example: finding it difficult seeing Rory sedated on the ventilator, it wasn’t about him, he was fine, it was the best safest way for him to get better, it was about me, I didn’t like it, it wasn’t normal for a mum to experience, but it wasn’t about me, my feelings didn’t matter, as long as my kids were ok, that is all that mattered and so I was able to use this mantra and get over it)
  2. You cannot control everything, ride the wave. Obviously IVF taught me this, you just have to quit fighting for the control and just go with it.
  3. You have to play with the hand you have been dealt. You cannot change it so rather than waste energy moaning about it, just deal with it.
  4. There is always someone fighting a bigger battle than you. Spending time on the intensive care unit, you see the children who will NEVER make it home. Thats when you become grateful that you have a smiling little boy with a piece of plastic in his neck. In the grand scheme of things it is no big deal.
  5. Never Give In. because really, what is your other option? There were many times that I just couldnt do it any more, but realistically, what was I going to do? run away? Abandon the children I had longed for? exactly. So I just kept going.

I have learnt that some things just aren’t worth bothering about. So what if they mark the wall, scratch the car, Sick their orange dinner on their new white top…..they are here, alive, breathing and loving life. What else REALLY matters? really?!?

I asked Ash what he had learnt in this difficult year and his response was very different to mine;

  1. Some things in life are just out of our control
  2. No point being negative, just get on with it.
  3. yeah, we have had it rough, people our there have it a lot worse.
  4. We have great support and there are lots more people who care than he thought would.
  5. We stick together and just do what we need to do for our boys.
  6. We have a really strong relationship and can get through anything.

Ash also said that when I was pregnant, he never thought he would have the bond with the boys that he has now, they are really close and they respond to him really well and that means a lot to him.

Cue: shiny eyes.


The boys watch MILKSHAKE after breakfast every morning and so me and Ash made a card (literally took us 10 minutes one evening, it was actually entertaining) and we have sent it to MILKSHAKE, we hope that they show it, but just in case they don’t, here it is…

We have decorated the house ready for the boys in the morning…

Our house is already full of early birthday gifts, The Range Rover in my kitchen from Auntie Mandy & Auntie Chloe, the outdoor play equipment from Nannie & Grandad Hardy and our little bench from Nat & Big T. We really didn’t know what to get the boys, they are having a party and we are hoping to have a weekend away depending on how well the boys are, but with regards to a present, they literally have EVERYTHING and more (a lot more) than what they actually need, for the next 5 years at least, and so although we considered trikes, we decided against them as we already have multiple modes of transport and only a single garage (and kitchen) to keep it all in and so instead decided to go with a STEP 2 TWIN WAGGON to keep at Nannie & Grandads caravan so that when we go, we can pull them around the campsite…

We had a cake made for the nurses and doctors on the NICU at Jessops and will visit tomorrow. We want to visit every birthday so that the boys will always be grounded and won’t forget how special they are, and how important the Jessops Superheroes are. Here is the cake…

Thanks to our friends and family we have also managed to raise over £2000 for the Jessops Charity in the boys first year alone. We will continue to raise funds for this amazing charity. So awe inspiring!

So. The boys are fast asleep and now that all of the preparation is done, I think me and Ash will be shortly following them.

What an absolute milestone!

Thanks to everyone who has supported us! We love you!

3 Replies to “WE MADE IT!”

  1. What a very difficult but very special year. You and Ash have been totally amazing, but most of all these two beautiful little miracles have made it through everything they have had thrown at them. So there’s nothing more to say but a GREAT!! BIG!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! BOYS xxxxx


  2. We are so lucky to have a Speciel family living next door but one We have two little miracles and there amazing Parents plus Beau jangles we all send our love and hope the boys have a great Birthday love to you all from number 42


  3. I actually felt really emotional reading this. I’ve followed the blog for a long time and I am so happy to see this.

    You are all fighters, well done for getting through this difficult first year. Onwards and upwards!



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