Celebrate. There’s not been much of this the past two years. Yes, we celebrate Toby’s successes and there are happy times but the shadow of what has happened looms over us. Every moment is tinged with sadness, something is missing and things just feel off.
At the end of 2015 I decided that Matt was going to have the best 40th ever and that included a surprise party. I figured that if the frozen embryo transfer booked for January 2016 didn’t work, then we needed something to look forward to, a chance to celebrate.
As it turned out Henry was born still on Matt’s 40th birthday (it was also Father’s Day – double yay!).
The party was booked for a date 5 days later (on a Friday to accommodate the cricket season). I had to tell Matt that there was a party when we found that Henry was poorly, it only seemed fair. I didn’t tell him the details so there was still a small element of surprise!
After Henry was born (and died) we thought long and hard about the party and what to do. We both agreed that we needed something to keep us busy, a chance to come together with family and friends. Also the prospect of sitting there on the Friday evening thinking about another ‘what might have been’ moment would be worse than actually going to the party.
The first hurdle was telling everyone the party was still going ahead. Most seemed to get why we had to carry on, I’m sure others thought ‘what the fuck are they doing’.
The second was finding a dress, the sequinned maternity dress I’d bought was no longer appropriate so John Lewis mail order came to the rescue and I settled on a green dress and sparky shoes.
The third was attending the party. It was a weird, happy, sad party but ultimately it was a celebration of our little family, our biggest boy, our two stars in the sky, and a celebration of Matt who has quietly soldiered on and cared for me and Toby for the past two years.
To those who attended – thank you for joining our celebration, thank you for getting it and thank you for being there for us when we needed you.