For Lewis on your 12th birthday

Dear Lewis,

I can’t quite believe that I am writing this, that you are now twelve and growing up so fast. These past twelve years have been such a rollercoaster for the two of us, so many highs and lows and yet you, my darling boy, have been the best thing to ever happen to us.

When I found out that I was pregnant with you, aged 23, so soon after losing our first baby, I was so nervous that the same would happen again. Despite having early scans and constant reassurance, those first twelve weeks felt like a lifetime. At the twelve week scan when we were told that you were growing strong and healthy, we finally allowed ourselves to relax. We were so wonderfully naïve back then and your pregnancy was the only one that I truly enjoyed.

At our twenty week scan we were told that you were a little boy and it was no surprise to me, I had known since day one. We immediately knew that your name would be Lewis and gave you the middle name Robert after your Dad, your Grandad and the generations before him.

I used to spend my days reading pregnancy magazines, going for a daily swim, eating turkey sandwiches stuffed with salt and vinegar crisps, wishing away the days until you would be here. We enjoyed countless shopping trips, relished in buying you the most gorgeous little outfits, preparing your room and imagining what you would be like. I loved those days, the anticipation, the expectation, the unknown adventure of what lay ahead.

Three days before your due date, on Friday the 16th April 2004, when I woke with niggling stomach pains I wasn’t sure whether to be alarmed or not. By lunch time, as I lay in the bath, the hot water easing the cramps, I asked myself if this could be it, that you might just be on your way. And by mid afternoon I was certain that you were coming, and we made our way to the hospital, giddy with excitement that the next time we returned home we would be a family of three.

You were in such a rush to arrive, the only time in your life that you have ever been in a hurry, and came screaming into the world at 16.06 weighing 6lb 5.5oz. And you were completely and utterly perfect. I will never forget the moment that they lifted you onto my chest and I looked into your eyes and knew that I would love you forever.

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When you were just a few days old your Dad and I took you to the supermarket, keen to show you off and stock up on some more little outfits for you, and we beamed with pride as others admired you down every aisle we turned. As we were leaving an old woman approached us, admired you and stroked your little face, and she looked at us with an eery smile and she told us, “This little boy is special. He has a gift and will achieve great things. Mark my words!”. And we had smiled nervously until we had got into the car and there we mocked her, repeating her words in witch like voices as though we had been casting a magic spell, laughing ourselves stupid at the hilarity of it all. Little did we know how right she would be.

Because you are special, and not just in the way that all children are to their parents. You are special in ways that I could never put into words, in ways that are impossible to express, or even pinpoint exactly what it is that makes you so special. Throughout my battle with post natal depression, it was you who saved me, pulled me back from the brink every time with your soulful brown eyes and the way that you would nuzzle into my chest and remind me that you needed me, that I had to get better for you. Through our heart ache over losing Joseph it was you who kept me alive, who gave me a reason to live, a glimmer of hope that we would find a way to be happy amongst so much sadness. With every baby we lost, every battle we fought, there was always you, holding my hand, stroking my cheek, showering me with kisses, telling me that you loved me and always with that look in your eyes that told me, “Keep going”, “You can do this!”. And you pulled me through, time and time again.

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When you were just four years old and your Dad and I split, it was just me and you and our lives were very different. And again, you were a pillar of strength to me through that time and you grew up very quickly. It was such a difficult time for both of us and yet during those days we made so many memories together just you and I. We enjoyed days out, holidays away, trips to the beach, out to eat, hours playing power rangers and transformers and watching WWE on repeat And I loved that time with you, however sad it was at times, and our relationship changed in a way that made us closer than I could ever have imagined. We were a team, you and I, “Me and you against the world!”, we used to say.

So when Gaz came along it was difficult for you at first, you needed constant reassurance that he wasn’t going to take your place or that I would love you any less. And yet in no time at all you allowed Gaz into your life, and ultimately into your heart. And the two of you were, and still are, so alike, and the bond you share is so special. I always say that it wasn’t Eva who made Gaz a Daddy, it was you.

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With the arrival of a baby sister you were ecstatic, the proudest big brother that ever there was. You had waited for such a long time and yet here she was, and ours to keep. And I loved you even more for how much you loved her, the two of you became my whole world.

On our wedding day you stood beside Gaz at the end of the aisle and as I walked down there it was your eyes that I met first, the look of pure love and happiness on your face, the understanding that we were to become a family again, that finally we had found our happy ever after. Your reading at the wedding stole the show and I have never been as proud of you as I was right there and then, watching my baby boy on one of the happiest days of my life.

With the arrival of Megan and Harry you took it all in your stride. You adored your siblings and the only ever sadness was that you didn’t have Joseph here to share that with you. I feel your loss every single day, along with my own, and I wish more than anything that you had him here to grow up with. He would have loved you so much I’m sure, and you would have been the best of friends I have no doubt.

And yet here we are, and being eleven has been a difficult year for you, leaving primary school and starting high school, so many adjustments, new friendships and changes for us all. It was very hard for me too, to allow you the freedom to grow, to find a way to suppress my own worries and fears, and yet we found a way to adjust and in the same way that you have done your whole life, you sailed through the transition as though it was no big deal at all.

And now you are twelve and I still can’t believe where the years have gone. We have survived the worst of times and lived through the best of times. You have endured the loss of your brother, of family members and life as you know it. You have lived through a divorce, three marriages, four different homes, four schools, four new siblings, and I have no doubt that all of that has made you the person you are today. I know you hate me making a fuss, apparently its “not cool” but I am so, so very proud of you Lewis. You are so handsome, on the inside and out. You are funny, you are kind, smart, intuitive and a whole host of adjectives too many to mention. You have made my life so wonderful, through all of the heart ache there was always you. I am so honoured to be your Mum, so proud to watch you grow and so happy that you came into our lives.

 

 Happy 12th birthday Lewis, to the most special little boy who first made me a mummy. xxx

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73 Comments

  1. April 16, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    What a lovely post, and really nice pictures! Happy Birthday Lewis! Xxx

    • April 16, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      Thank you!! My baby all grown up…sniff….😭 xxx

  2. April 17, 2016 / 1:40 am

    I’m probably becoming a boring broken record saying this but I honestly don’t understand how you do it. (Funnily enough I just caught the first paragraph of your Why Do I Blog post which I’ll read tomorrow as it’s now almost 4am eek.) You could write hundreds of heartfelt posts and they’ll never be tired and I’ll never tire of them. As per usual, you had me almost gripping my laptop just trying to hold myself together. The emotion just pours out of this post. What a gorgeous boy he is, what a rollercoaster life you’ve had and yet you keep smiling, and how lucky you are to have each other. My heart just aches at the thought of him losing his brother. That just breaks me. But that smile…
    xx

    • April 17, 2016 / 2:09 pm

      Aww thank you so much. That’s just so lovely of you to say! He is my absolute world, I think going through everything we have gone through together has made us closer than I ever imagined. I just pray that as he approaches his teens that we keep that bond and most importantly the communication!! Thank you so much for reading, I hope you got some sleep!!! Xxx

    • April 17, 2016 / 2:07 pm

      Thank you, yes definitely! When he’s over the impression that I’m an embarrassment!! Xx

  3. April 17, 2016 / 2:03 pm

    What a handsome young man. Hope you have a very Happy Birthday Lewis, you have a very proud Mum there!

    • April 17, 2016 / 2:05 pm

      Thank you. I couldn’t be prouder! Xx

  4. April 17, 2016 / 3:24 pm

    What a gorgeous boy you have! That was a lovely post you sound super proud and so very in love with your son <3 I hope he had a lovely birthday. Nice to read a lovely story of meeting someone after you split. I hope for that one day too x

    • April 17, 2016 / 3:54 pm

      Thank you! Ahh I honestly never believed that I would meet anyone after my husband and I split. We had been together for 11 years and at 29 I felt as though I had missed my opportunity. I actually went to school with my husband and we had a similar social circle, so when he asked me on a date I agreed and within a year we were married with a baby and another on the way, swiftly followed by another!! I totally believe in a happy ending, you will find yours, perhaps he is already right under your nose. xxx

  5. April 17, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    Oh my eyes are full of tears and i think my heart stopped momentarily – just a beautiful touching post and you really do write so beautifully. What a wonderful keepsake for Lewis – if he dosn’t appreciate it now he really will when he is older. He is so very lucky to have you as a mummy – you make the most brilliant team. Beautiful photos and a beautiful post #KCACOL

    • April 17, 2016 / 7:26 pm

      Aww thank you. I am so proud of him, it’s lovely to share that with you all. Thanks for reading. Xxx

  6. April 17, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    Congratulations on having been blessed with a beautiful family. A very emotional and lovely post. Your son looks very much like you, I wish you all a wonderfully happy healthy life.
    Amanda. #kcacols

    • April 17, 2016 / 7:28 pm

      Thank you! Everyone says that we look alike, not sure if that’s a good thing or not!! xx

  7. Baby Anon
    April 17, 2016 / 7:09 pm

    What an absolutely beautiful post and fabulous pictures. He will be very, very proud when he reads this and realises just how much he means to his mum. A wonderful tribute. The comment from the old lady reminded me of when I was tiny and a man said to my parents ‘how lucky are you?’ when he saw me and it nearly made my Mother cry. #KCACOLS

    • April 17, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      Aww that’s lovely of someone to comment that. It’s funny how things stick with you, I will never forget that lady. Thanks for reading. Xx

  8. April 17, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Happy birthday Lewis, your next one will be the one which sees you enter your teenage years, so enjoy every minute you have x

    • April 17, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      Haha I know!! Dreading it already! We’ve been spoilt so far, he’s been a breeze, not sure that will last…..!! Xx

  9. April 17, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    This is lovely hun,I am so proud of what Lewis has become and to hear that he helped you overcome Post-Natal Depression and helped you cope with the loss of Joseph I think that is pretty incredible!

    • April 18, 2016 / 10:32 am

      Thank you! He’s an amazing (not so little) boy and my absolute world. The best part is that he has no idea how wonderful he is, I think that makes him all the more special! xx

  10. April 18, 2016 / 7:54 am

    This is such a lovely post! What a handsome young man you have – so many lovely pictures. You write so beautifully, I’m sure even if it’s a bit uncool to him now, he’ll treasure this in a few years (and I’m sure that secretly he thinks it’s the coolest thing ever even now!) #KCACOLS

    • April 18, 2016 / 10:31 am

      Thank you, I think he likes it too to be honest but he’s a boy, and it’s cool to be cool!! Sigh….! Thanks for reading! xx

  11. April 18, 2016 / 10:20 am

    Beautiful post and celebration of 12 years, happy birthday to your son X #kcacols

  12. April 18, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    How lovely to see so many photos of your son growing up! He’s really doing you proud.

    • April 18, 2016 / 3:27 pm

      Thank you, he really is. I couldn’t be any prouder! xx

  13. April 18, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    What a gorgeous post it brought tears to my eyes (like many of your posts!) Such a special boy and what a wonderful and rather amazing Mummy you are XXX

    • April 18, 2016 / 3:27 pm

      Aww thanks lovely. I haven’t always been the best Mummy, I will feel guilty of that forever, but I have always been the best Mummy that I could possibly be during the dark times that we went through. And actually, Lewis has turned out to be the most rounded, confident, thoughtful person I could have hoped he would be! Thanks for reading! xxx

  14. April 18, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    An beautiful post, I teared up a little. Lewis is a very lucky kid. Take care of each other. #KCACOLS

    • April 19, 2016 / 7:28 pm

      Thank you, I am definitely the lucky one. xx

  15. April 19, 2016 / 2:13 am

    Lovely tribute. He looks so much like you- gorge!

    #fartglitter

    • April 19, 2016 / 7:25 pm

      Thank you!! He’s definitely his mamas boy! xx

  16. mackenzieglanville
    April 19, 2016 / 3:44 am

    what a lucky mummy you are, he sounds like an amazing son, and he is so lucky to have a mother like you who has taught him love, compassion and strength. You are beautiful family and I am s moved by this post. My daughter will be 12 in May, where does it go? Our children really are such a blessing! I loved all the photos too!! #mg

    • April 19, 2016 / 7:25 pm

      Thank you so much. Twelve feels so grown up doesn’t it? The last birthday before the teen years, and then that’s where the fun starts…!! Thanks for hosting! xxx

  17. April 19, 2016 / 6:32 am

    Oh I don’t think I need to say that this brought a tear to my eye! Beautiful. What a wonderful son you have, your happiness and closeness shows in all those beautiful pictures. And you look alike! I especially love the one with Eva in hospital, the joy just radiates from you both. Happy birthday to Lewis! #fartglitter

    • April 19, 2016 / 7:25 pm

      Ahh thank you. He’s the best thing that ever happened to all of us, really don’t know how we would have survived without him. Thank you for reading. xx

  18. April 19, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    He sounds like a very special young man and an excellent big brother. I have a suspicion that he and I share a birthday from this post. I couldn’t think of anyone better to share it with. Happy belated birthday Lewis

    • April 19, 2016 / 7:21 pm

      Thank you! And Happy Birthday to you!!! xxx

  19. min1980
    April 19, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Another lovely post, and beautiful pictures. I feel as if I know you just from reading your posts-they are all so emotional and heartfelt. #theBabyFormula

    • April 19, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      Ahh thank you!! That’s such a lovely thing to say. I feel like that about a lot of the blogs I read, you really build up a relationship with some don’t you? Thanks for reading. Xx

  20. April 19, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to your story in almost every way. He sounds like a very special boy and I hope he has a lovely birthday #TheBabyFormula

    • April 19, 2016 / 9:28 pm

      Thank you!! He really is, it’s lovely to be able to share that with all of you. Xx

  21. marilyn1998
    April 19, 2016 / 11:59 pm

    Such a lovely tribute. He will cherish it forever. Thank you so much for linking at #overthemoon! I look forward to seeing what you share every week. Please come back for #WonderfulWednesday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Don’t forget to comment your link #’s so I can be sure to visit. Pinned and shared.

    • April 20, 2016 / 8:34 am

      Thank you, will check out those other links now! xx

  22. April 20, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Lovely post and lovely pictures – I hope he reads it one dayx #KCACOLS

    • April 20, 2016 / 9:56 am

      Thank you. When I’m not so embarrassing I’m sure he will. Xx

  23. April 20, 2016 / 11:49 am

    I am reading this at work and I really hope nobody comes in as I have tears rolling down my face it is so beautiful. you have been through so much together and I am sure your son will really value this post in the future! x

    • April 20, 2016 / 6:46 pm

      Aww bless you. Thank you for reading, he’s a gorgeous boy, inside and out. xx

  24. twotinyhands
    April 20, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Such a proud Mummy! He’s a credit to you. Such a lovely smile! What a beautiful post and I love the idea of writing a birthday letter to your child. #Bloggerclubuk

    • April 20, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      Thank you. I love the idea that they will have all of these to look back on when they are old enough to appreciate them. Right now Lewis hates the gushy emotional stuff, but one day he will be glad of it I’m sure. xx

  25. The Pramshed
    April 20, 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Such a lovely post Laura for Lewis, I am crying reading it, whilst my little one plays around at my feet. Lewis is such a lucky boy to have a Mum like you, Gaz and four other children in his life. I’m so pleased that you found happiness after such a difficult time, I can’t imagine what that must have felt like. I wish Lewis a wonderful and happy 12th birthday, and I hope he keeps bringing all the happiness that you deserve. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back next Sunday. Claire x

    • April 20, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Claire, sorry I made you cry though! He is such a lovely boy, I am the lucky one to have him, I just hope that he continues to make us proud as he hits his teenage years…!! See you next Sunday! xx

  26. April 20, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    What a wonderful post! I felt tearful reading it. What a beautiful boy you have and an amazing story x

    • April 21, 2016 / 8:27 pm

      Aww thank you. I am very proud of him. Xx

    • April 22, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      Thank you! Thanks for hosting! xx

  27. April 22, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    Beautiful words – how lovely for him to have all that written down. Such a gift. And he sounds like an extremely special young man too. Happy Birthday Lewis. #BloggerClubUk

    • April 22, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      Thank you, he sure is! xx

  28. April 25, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    Simply beautiful. What a beautiful son inside and you have. Proud mummy X #marvmonday

    • April 25, 2016 / 3:20 pm

      Thank you, he’s very special. xx

  29. April 26, 2016 / 8:52 am

    What a lovely post Laura. You both have been through a lot and your closeness shows in your words. How creepy of the old lady, but it takes all sorts to make a world.

    I am sure Lewis will continue to be a loving son and big brother, because that’s the way he is.

    xx

    • April 26, 2016 / 9:07 am

      Thank you Debs, he really is growing to be such a lovely young man, I do hope that it lasts. The two of us are still so close, I hope we always will be, even though it’s soooo uncool to hang out with your Mum!! Xx

  30. Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    April 26, 2016 / 11:50 am

    What a heartfelt & touching post – you yet again have me in tears reading your words. It really is amazing the instant love when your first baby is born. Lewis does sound so special & sounds like you two have a wonderful relationship. Happy birthday Lewis! Thank you for sharing with #bloggerclubuk x

  31. agentspitback
    April 26, 2016 / 11:56 am

    What a gorgeous letter! I love the way you write – the emotions, the real-ness, the warmth…I had to stop myself from tearing. It is indeed amazing to see how your child has done so well and how he’s come out stronger and most of all, how he is your rock. He is a testament to your love and you as a parent. Happy Birthday Lewis! I am sure you will have another amazing year ahead. #MarvMondays.

    • April 26, 2016 / 1:59 pm

      Aww thanks lovely, it’s so lovely that others can see what an amazing young man he is becoming. He really has been through so much and yet he always uses his experiences as a positive and I know that one day he is going to make someone the most wonderful husband and an amazing Daddy. Not for a long, long, LONG time yet though!!!! xxx

  32. April 30, 2016 / 10:51 pm

    What a beautiful boy and relationship you have with him. A first born is always special, but it sounds like you have a bond and relationship that is so strong and beautiful. Such a lovely post to share, you have obviously done a fantastic job as a mummy raising him into a boy that you can be proud of 🙂 Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

    • May 1, 2016 / 12:17 pm

      Thank you. I am so super proud of him, I always feel like I’m gushing about him and in all honesty, he isn’t perfect, his bedroom is a disgrace, but he’s been through such a lot and we’ve survived it together. Thank you for hosting. Xx

  33. May 16, 2016 / 11:39 pm

    Your son truly is special. Congratulations on making it through so much together.
    We are on #BlogStars together thanks to Prabs.

    • May 17, 2016 / 1:23 pm

      Thank you so much, he’s got me through some really hard times. And yes! Congratulations! I have all of the posts bookmarked to work through later! xx

  34. September 4, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    What a beautiful post. Please send birthday wishes from me. Our children are such gifts, and despite all of the hardships, you are gifted. XOXO #mg

    • Laura Dove
      September 5, 2016 / 6:58 pm

      Thank you Lisa. He’s an amazing young man, he has done me so proud. I am most definitely gifted with these children of mine. xxx

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