I think it's normal to find the birthday's of your children hard in lots of different ways, I still do with Theo as it's a reminder that they're another year older, another year further from them being your little baby...weep!
But with Rohan as much as I'm so happy to celebrate his birth and two years of him being part of our little family, this time is always tinged with sadness too. I've been quiet over the past few weeks, taking a step back from social media over the holidays, and now too because I find it difficult. I've written here a few times about how I find it hard to not compare myself and Rohan to others, but around this time when there are so many others who were born at a similar time to Rohan celebrating their second birthdays and becoming proper little toddlers, I find it hard to stay positive. So rather than wind myself up and start feeling resentful and angry it's best to just step back.
There is, and probably always will be that element of "that could've and should've been us" of watching other people live through the life that we thought was so clearly laid out for us. Celebrating those baby milestones at more or less the same stages as everyone else. Those first steps, the first words and sentences, the first proper meals, the first bike or scooter ride and all those funny (and sometimes not so funny!) two year old quirks starting to come out. Where as we're stuck in slow motion and non-verbal land.
I also find it strange to be celebrating Rohan's second year. To us and developmentally he is still around one year, so whilst I feel like we're going in slow motion I also feel like some of our time has been taken from us. That first year where we spent so much time in hospital, that newborn stage evaporating into long days surrounded by beeps and whirrs from the many machines, unable to feed or properly hold my tiny baby. When finally we brought him home the rest of the year was spent learning and adjusting how to care for a baby with additional needs, physically and mentally overcoming so much. My only social life consisted of appointments and chatting to nurses and doctors. There were no baby play dates or baby classes or coffee mornings with other mums. When finally I felt a little like we were finding our feet we moved house and in all the commotion and stress that brought we didn't quite realise how thin and then how poorly Rohan became in a matter of weeks. Not long after his first birthday (which I don't think we were quite ready for then either) he was back in hospital and I was living through my biggest fear of not being able to leave once more.
Eventually we did, and since then Rohan has gone from strength to strength. He's learnt and developed so much and his little personality is really coming out now (I do want to do a proper update so I can record things in more detail, so stay tuned!)
We have had a year of firsts, they may not be in line with others his age, but he's hit milestones and we're so proud. I'm proud of what we've achieved too. I've managed to let go more, feel more comfortable in talking to people and being more social. I know I still have a huge way to go in being ok with talking more about Rohan but I know I can do it. This year has been hard, everyday is hard in it's own way, and I know our lives are always going to be different from others, and from how we thought it would be, but that doesn't stop us loving this amazing little boy we have to celebrate.
Rohan I can't believe you are two, but I'm so happy to have had two years of you already! You are strong, funny, so happy, wilful, cuddly, wriggly, scooting, playful and obsessed with your brother and the cat's food bowl...
Here's a quick look back at your first two years...