May 17, 2004, was my most memorable birthday ever. I was turning twenty-six and had given birth to my fourth baby four weeks earlier.
My precious little boy was more perfect to me than I could ever have imagined. Placid from day dot, he fit in like a cherry atop a sundae. Three older sisters smothered him with kisses and showered him with love, as we all did.
Back when my children were little I didn’t waste hours, that I could spent with them, on doing housework. I much preferred to conduct craft activities, visit friends or do whatever the day presented. Night times were for cleaning, so whilst the household slept I ensured order was returned to our home, ready for a new day.
My children’s dad and I share the same birthday, so I was up later than usual making birthday cakes and wrapping gifts. Little did I know that this was the greatest gift of all.
It was twenty minutes past three in the morning, not an unusual bedtime for me, when I decided to call it a night. As per usual, I checked on each of my sleeping beauties, last my baby boy who was in his bassinet beside my bed.
His colouring was not as it usually was, tinged with purple and growing darker ~ he was silent, yet clearly choking. I snatched him from where he lay and supporting his body with one arm, I tilted him at an angle and pat his back to try to assist him to breathe. But, it didn’t work.
I’d like to say I remained calm, but that’d be a lie. I screamed like a banshie, almost giving his father a heart attack, I’m sure. Thankfully, he kept his cool and managed to get our baby boy to breathe again.
I don’t think I slept a solid night again for years. Every night I would watch my beautiful boy sleep, and every day I am grateful to have him in my life.
He lights up my world beyond bright.