A time for celebrating – Dottie turns 2!

A special birthday for a special little girl

I wrote this 1st birthday post about Dottie last year thinking that maybe the worst was behind us. I even finished with the lines: Happy first birthday Dottie! Here’s hoping I can make it over there for your second!

But no that didn’t happen!

I live in Australia and Dottie, my granddaughter, lives in Cheddar in the UK – so with a global pandemic raging, celebrating a birthday isn’t all that easy.

Nor did we expect to hear that Dottie would celebrate her birthday in hospital, near where she’d been born 2 years before. Thankfully, she’s now back at home and is recovering well.

Dottie’s story – born at 25 weeks

I can still clearly remember getting the phone call that Monday night (Australian time) back in August 2019, telling us that Melanie, our eldest daughter, was about to have her first baby, probably that night.

I was in shock! She was only 25 weeks pregnant and to my knowledge that was far too early to have a baby. We finally got a message that Dottie had arrived safely weighing a mere 845grams (1lb 13oz). Mother and baby were OK but Dottie had a long hard road ahead of her. She started her life fighting and we were all willing her on from all corners of the world. She’s still fighting, especially now with a pandemic raging around her. She’s had to spend a lot of her life ‘shielded’ and in a form of isolation, due to her extreme prematurity.

And so Dottie became our little star. Everyone is aware of Dottie and she is almost famous. We can’t go anywhere in our little town without being asked how Dottie is getting on 🙂

Dottie spent 14 weeks in NICU

I managed to fly to England back in 2019 and was there within a week of Dottie being born. I stayed for a month but I didn’t get to cuddle Dottie until later that year. We had planned a trip for when she was actually due, so we were able to be there when she came home from hospital. I flew a lot of air-miles that year – thank goodness it was then and not now!

Dottie spent 14 weeks in NICU, coming home from hospital 98 days after being born, a week before her due date in November 2019. I finally got my first cuddles, having to be aware of oxygen tubes and connections.

Granny Deb with Dottie
Granny Debs with Dottie in December 2019

We last saw Melanie, Craig and Dottie in January 2020, as we were together when she came home from hospital and for Christmas in 2019. I’m so glad we were able to spend those months with them, as given the conditions at the moment, I can’t say when we will be able to travel to England again.

At that time we were panicking about bushfires threatening our town of Tumbarumba and wondering if we would have a house to return to, (we did), unsuspecting of the pandemic which was just around the corner. Dottie has had to be shielded for most of her life as she can’t risk getting any infections, let alone Covid. It’s been a hard time in so many ways.

Hooray – Dottie turns 2!

The good news is that Dottie is now going well. She is a feisty little character and is such a sweetheart. We have lots of Facetime chats with her and she often points to Melanie’s phone and says Deb-bie, meaning she wants to talk to me, Granny Debs!

She giggles at us, pokes her tongue out, shows us her belly, crinkles her eyes up and blinks and generally has a great little chat, showing us what she can do and what toys she likes playing with. Melanie shares lots of photos of Dottie’s activity with us in a family group chat so we always know what she’s getting up to.

And then earlier this week Dottie fell ill and had to go to hospital, back to where she was born and back onto oxygen. It was a blow for everyone, particularly Melanie and Craig.

Not the way her 2nd birthday was supposed to play out.

It just makes the distance so much harder when these things happen but we can’t go anywhere at the moment, we can only send love from across the world and wait for the word that she has recovered enough to be able to go home. It’s been extra hard, because of Covid her daddy wasn’t able to visit, but thankfully they made an exception for her birthday and allowed him in. It was what they all needed.

Dottie turns 2
Dottie turns 2 in hospital

My daughter wrote this lovely post on her Facebook page this week. It says it all.

Dottie is 2 💕 – The days are long but the years are quick – never a truer statement. I have no idea how she’s now 2 but before our eyes she has become such a happy, funny, smiley, chatty, clever and inquisitive little lady. Most days we think she’s a genius, others she full of the sassy attitude of a 16 year old. She’s still super dinky but she really is the bravest and toughest little girl we know. She loves her furry brothers, goes nuts for ice cream, gives the best cuddles and the girl loves to dance. We certainly didn’t expect her 2nd birthday to be spent only a few hallways from where she was born. She’s been in hospital since Monday and whilst we are hoping she’d be well enough to come home today that was not the case (fingers crossed for tomorrow 🤞). We tried to make her day as good as possible with cake, presents from the nurses, lots of games, the best gifts I could find from the hospital gift shop and the icing on the cake, the nurses let Craig come in to see her which absolutely made her day (and his!) Thank you everyone for your texts, messages, videos, gifts and birthday love for our special little girl. We love that she’s loved by so many and can’t wait for her to celebrate her birthday when she’s back home.

Melanie’s Facebook post
Melanie and Dottie Aug 2021
Melanie and Dottie on her 2nd birthday, Aug 2021

I’m a proud mother and a very proud Granny.

The days are long, but the years are short.

Gretchen Rubin

Happy 2nd birthday Dottie! Here’s hoping I can make it over there for your third birthday!


I’m joining Denyse for #lifethisweek with the prompt of Time. My WOTY for 2019 was all about time and each month I’d write an update on how I was going with my Word of the Year.

It’s quite appropriate that my journal has the following quote for this week –

In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.

Victoria Moran

We all need to remember that!

Take care and use your time as best you can, in the moment you’re in.

Granny Debs xx

Dottie 2nd birthday pin
Dottie 2nd birthday pin

You can also find Deb’s World in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

Copyright © 2023 debs-world.com – All rights reserved


51 Replies to “A time for celebrating – Dottie turns 2!”

  1. I’m shocked that little Dotty is turning two. As I read your post , it only seems a little while ago still nice you were posting about your new little granddaughter. Happy Birthday to Dottie. My fingers are crossed for you that you’re able to cuddle her again before too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it’s hard to get your head around sometimes Jen. Time just flies and yes here’s hoping we can travel over there, safely, before too much longer.


  2. What a little fighter and how frightening for everyone. Just hope you can make it back soon! Would you consider going for three months which is how a few of my friends are travelling, back to see relatives in UK and US, very expensive though

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Ali, she is a a little star and keeps us all on our toes. Yes I’d definitely consider going for a length of time, we’ve done that before and enjoyed it.


  3. My goodness, how can it be 2 years from when she was born already? What a little cutie she has grown to be. I’m so sorry she’s in hospital for her birthday. I hope she is well and home again soon. I know it must be so hard for you Deb to not have seen her in so long. Big hugs to you all and a very big Happy Birthday to little Dottie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Min, it doesn’t seem like 2 years since we were going through hell trying to work out what to do! She is a real little cutie and so sweet natured. She’s home from hospital now but it’s a stark reminder that she will need to be watched for simple viral infections that other kids just get over quickly. Thanks for your kind thoughts Min, it’s much appreciated xx


  4. Happy birthday to Dottie – and I know she’ll kick this latest setback in the butt and be out and about in no time. Loved seeing her with “Bluey” – a nice touch of Australia to remind her of her roots. And thank goodness for Facetime – what would we do without it? x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Leanne, Facetime is my best friend at the moment with all the kids in various stages of lockdown. I really don’t know what we’d do without technology! She is a real fan of Bluey (as are her parents) so getting a big Bluey and Bingo for her birthday made her very happy. She’s back home now but it’s a reminder that they have to be careful with what infections she is around. Thanks 🙂


  5. It’s hard to believe she is two. What a shame to have to spend her birthday in hospital but I am sure that they will make up for the celebrations being belated now she is home. She is a lucky little lady to have such a loving family all around the world. Happy birthday Dottie x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those two years have certainly flown! So sorry you couldn’t be there for Dottie’s 2nd birthday and that she had to spend it in hospital. Sending every best wish for a full and quick recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It was lovely to read about Dottie and hard to believe she is already two – but so heartbroken to hear of her setback. I’m afraid my little granddaughter (5yo) has been in hospital for the last couple of weeks and the doctors are struggling to help her – so can share in your feelings. But I have no hope of leaving Canberra at the moment. Hoping Dottie is back home soon. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Toni, it’s certainly gone by fast but a lot has happened.I hope your granddaughter is OK and they can find out the issues soon. Not good being so far away and unable to get up there. Take care Toni and sending hugs your way x

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That sweet angel. So glad to know she is now home from the hospital and doing well. Hate that Dottie had to celebrate her birthday from the hospital but I bet she was treated like royalty by all of the nurses and doctors. She is such a cutie pie. Such a miracle baby. Hope you are able to visit your daughter, SIL and Dottie long before her 3rd birthday. Must be so hard to be so far away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely thoughts Leslie, She is back home and recovering well, getting her strength back. The nurses were great with her and she is so sweet they couldn’t not treat her like royalty! It’s hard being so far away but one day soon we will get over there!!


  9. Those little preemies have to fight so hard to get ahead and as you said it’s so easy for something that seems ordinary to knock them down. Sending her birthday wishes and hopes that sometime soon you can all visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it’s so hard for them to get ahead and stay ahead. Dottie has been fighting since she was born, she’s a real little star. Thanks for your understanding and good wishes too BernieLynne.


  10. This was a special post to read but also a stark reminder of how life has changed around the world and for your family in particular. I am so sorry nothing has gone to plan for your family’s reunions and that “one day” as they say, you will be able to do so. I am following Melanie’s page Dottie Wombat and love her creativity. And that was where I first learned about spending a birthday in hospital. Love to you all…..
    Thank you for joining the Life This Week crew on my blog with your post. Next week the optional prompt is sharing your snaps. I hope to see your post there, on or off prompt and wish you well too. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my goodness, Debbie! What a story! Dottie is such as champion! as are her parents! and grandparents! It really does take a village to nurture a child!

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. Heart-wrenching and breath-taking! It must be so difficult for you to be so far from them; I really do feel for you. I have been talking a lot to my sister (I live in Singapore and she in the US); she has been undergoing serious health issues and we are wondering when we might be able to meet again (the last time we meet was more the 3 years ago – we were meant to meet in Japan with other family, right a the pandemic hit).

    Thank you for sharing your daughter’s FB post – it brought a lump to my throat. My younger daughter spent the first 6 months of her life in a hospital as well because of a congenital heart condition, so I really do feel for her. Dottie really is fortunate to have parents like them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Ju-Lyn, it’s been a harrowing time for a few years for our family and that’s not counting the pandemic! I hope you too can get to see your sister soon x


  12. I love this sooo much, Deb, and I have been following Dottie’s journey on FB and Instagram with Melanie’s posts. Leaky eyes reading your post. I cannot imagine the challenge of distance, illness, pandemic, feeling helpless. I am a believer in the energy of “love” and “sending love.” The whole Daddy thing gets me leaky eyes again. I am a fan of Gretchen Rubin, too. Staying in the moment is a key, as you well know. Hugs to Granny Debs and the entire family. Always sending the energy of love your way. xx ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks Erica, you are such a sweetheart! We see things in a similar way and value our families so much I think. Yes to staying in the moment, I have been loving your summer holiday snaps and stories and can’t wait to catch up soon. Thanks for the hugs, they are much appreciated xx

      Liked by 1 person

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