One. Probably the cutest age. I remember your cousin Bobby turning one, we made him a custom built balance bike – totally age inappropriate but amazing.
One whole year ago I gave birth to you. We arrived at the hospital a couple of days after your due date in labour. All was going well. The atmosphere was jovial and the monitors showed you were doing well and so was I. Then things turned on a knife edge.
We met you and as soon as we did you were resuscitated – those minutes were agonising and we will never forget the look in the doctor’s eyes when he told us there was nothing more that could be done. To arrive at hospital with our full term, perfect healthy baby boy and have an easy labour for you to die is unbelievable – We didn’t know it could happen but it does far too often.
On the 18th December 2021 we met you – our perfect firstborn son at 7.20am. Just 27 minutes later our world came crashing down as you were pronounced dead. At this moment we discovered that profound love, joy, pride, adoration but also despair, heartache, and a depth of pain beyond our wildest imagination can coexist simultaneously.
We held you in our arms and couldn’t fathom that we weren’t taking you home. We still can’t. You felt warm and soft, you looked perfect. In my worst moments I close my eyes and think back to holding you in my arms – that is what keeps me going. Those precious moments spent with you.
In the hospital I couldn’t see what our world would become and it’s hard to believe that a year later here we are having also lost your brother, Bhai too. Our two perfectly healthy boys who died after straightforward healthy pregnancies. We have learnt that the world is really cruel.
We promised you in the hospital we would stick together and survive this as a team – I can assure you we have done that. The bond between your dad and I is unbreakable. We promised you we would speak your name every day, love you forever and let the world know your name – we certainly do that. We also promised we would take you on adventures in our hearts and take opportunities that you didn’t have for you in your honour – well here we are little Lenny lad a year later cycling the length of New Zealand and setting up a charity in your name.
People said we just needed to get through the first year and it would get better in time – those people have not lost a child. It’s true there have been particular hurdles in this first year like investigations, post mortems and your funeral but it hasn’t got easier. It’s harder. As time passes we move further from you, there are more things that you and we miss out on and there are more children who look a similar age to you. Your death will always be uniquely and indescribably painful but your life will always be our most precious gift.
Your existence has changed our lives forever. You made us parents and you showed us what unconditional love is – we are more compassionate, gentle and more loving people because of you. We are also braver, stronger and more resilient than any human should ever have to be.
You are the most perfect handsome little boy and we are privileged and proud to be your parents we only wish you could have stayed. People warned us about how hard parenting is (I now realise they are so unbelievably privileged they don’t understand how hard it actually can be parenting a dead child). No one told us about the love – the unconditional unbounded love.
A year without you has been gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking – a lifetime without you feels like unfathomable pain. We have missed out on so much with you. We will miss out on so much more.
Your life was short far far too short but it was and is incredibly important- we will take care of that.
Love you always and forever,
Ps I’m only making it up these hills for you, your brother and your sweet friends. I’m nowhere near as fast as when I was pregnant with you