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.
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.
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
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!
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
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A tragic accident at age 17, resulting in a Bravery Award from the Queen, didn’t deter Debbie from travelling the world. A young retiree, after being made redundant from her 22 year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre, she now loves reading, blogging, riding her ebike and a good cup of tea! Also known as Granny Debs to her 4 grandchildren.
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