So I’ve just started blogging and mostly it’s been about my kids. This one however is about my best friend. The person that holds me up when I feel I’m crumbling , the person that wipes my tears when I feel I’m failing, the person that worries more about others than herself, the person that despite going through every parents worst nightmare still stands strong , stands tall and stands up.
This is myself and Steph . Steph is an incredible human being and later in this blog you will see why I love her so much.
So i’ll start at the beginning around 6.5 years ago I was in a hostel with my eldest daughter , my house had been broken into they had destroyed everything including all of my daughters things , her cot, toys , clothes the lot. I wasn’t bothered about my stuff but all of her memory box stuff was destroyed as well as her belongings. It was in the local paper and all sorts. I was on a bus one day and I heard “are you katie” from a young girl while I was admiring her beautiful baby in the buggy. So we got talking and she offered to help with things as we now had nothing. Added each other on Facebook and that was that I made a new friend. When I found out she had previously had beautiful twins born sleeping I wondered how the hell she functioned and was able to deal with that but I never asked, it was clear she was stronger than I think I would be in that situation and I didn’t want to bring it up and cause upset. Over the years we got closer sharing a mutual relationship with the children hospital as we both had poorly babies. Steph’s support was invaluable to me as she was there a lot with Harry as I was with Amie, but was a lot more knowledgable than I was with that side of things. We continued to chat regularly even if we weren’t in hospital with the kids and got to know each other better . Mainly over Facebook for about 18 months in total in which time I had, had my second child and Steph had, had Cody.
Both Harry and Cody were very poorly little boys the had a skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa. This is a skin condition that causes the skin to blister the boys were covered in dressings to keep their blisters clean and free from infection. Children with this are often referred to as butterfly children as their skin is as delicate as a butterflies wings. You have to be so gentle and even cuddling them could cause blisters. They both ended up having tracheostomies because they’re wind pipes became blistered and their airways blocked. We talked more about our babies and got closer. I went on to have complications in my next pregnancy with Gabriella and had an emergency c section at 28 weeks steph was there for me whenever I needed to talk no matter what time of day or night. She helped me so much in that time . I was in awe of her strength and knowledge and still am. We would be up late at night while in different hospitals with our babies. Meet up if we were in the same hospitals and try to support each other (although I don’t think I’ve ever told Steph how invaluable her support was and how much it helped and very possibly saved my sanity).
Gabriella came home around 18 weeks old and every day before that I spoke to steph she supported me through a massively scary nicu journey while having to provide around the clock specialist care for her own children. Gabriella came home tube fed as was Cody at the time. A friend of Steph’s had arranged a sponsored walk to raise money to get harry and electric wheelchair. There was no way I was missing this I wanted to help in anyway I could given how much I had grown to love Steph and the boys so I agreed to take part even if it meant taking a very small tube fed Gabriella in the buggy with me (which I ended up doing). I remember steph saying “I will bring Cody if he is well enough but if he pulls his tube out you’re re-passing it” as the slightest move wrong could cause blistering and I had, had to re-pass Gabriellas numerous times although steph had been trained she couldn’t bring herself to re-pass Codys tube understandably (luckily for me he didn’t need it redoing) lots of us did this walk and we raised enough to get Harry his wheelchair and more. I remember the day like it was yesterday. The link for the walk is here ..
We had a party after and the boys were there Harry was dancing and holding Gabriella he loved her so much .
I think that was the day I truly realised how much I loved and appreciated everything about Steph. How much she had done for us without a single groan, despite how much she had to do for herself and her sons. We started spending more and more time together and were inseperable from then on.
We would go out with the children visit each other’s houses.
Fast forward I found out I was pregnant again and was terrified (it turned out rightly so) again I ran into complications through my pregnancy and she was by my side for everything , sat with me in hospital taking photos of me in labour at 24 weeks, making fun of me, trying to take my mind off things while inside she was scared she didn’t once show it. (The birth of Billie is for another day) Steph was there when my baby was born and saw her before I did being wheeled away in her incubater while sat in the corridor unable to do anything but comfort Chris, as the moment Billie was delivered I was put to sleep and he was ushered out not knowing what was going on. I woke up in HDU and she was sat with me while Chris was pacing the hallways (as I told him he wasn’t aloud to be with me he had to be with Billie and they wouldn’t let him in to see her yet, but he didn’t want to upset me) and she stayed by side, cleaned up my vomit , listened to my slurred waffle about having to express and see my baby and re assured me. Again she supported me through every day of a very bumpy nicu ride without a single grumble about what she had to do everyday. Completely selflessly helping and holding me up.
Billie was a few weeks old and Harry got poorly. We had been for dinner the night before and he was fine I was so confused when I got a call while with Billie saying she was on her way to hospital with him. I went to meet her at the hospital and didn’t expect him in all honesty to be as sick as he was. Harry got transferred to another hospital with a picu as he was a very very poorly boy meanwhile Cody got admitted to the hospital harry had just left to help with his day to day needs. With all this going on she still checked how Billie was, how I was and made sure I was ok (I may of lied about Billie being ok so as not to put more stress on her and got told off for that later down the line) Then Cody got sick too. She told me to stay with Billie not to worry Cody had people with him but I couldn’t and spent a couple of days hospital hopping as they were opposit one another (the hospitals I mean) again through all this she didn’t stop asking about how me and Billie were.
On March 13th 2013 Harry passed away. Steph came back to hospital with Cody where he was worsening. Again still worried about how Billie was. On march 15th 2013 Cody went to be with his brother. Something no parent should ever ever experience Steph has experienced twice in 2 days, yet the stubborn mare still worried and checked regularly how me and Billie were. When it was discovered the boys had passed away from flu I wasn’t aloud in nicu to see Billie for an “incubation period” to which all Steph could do was apologise for. I promptly put her in her place and told her now is the time to stop worrying about us focus on you. Given everything you’ve already read do you think she listened? That’s right no , no she didn’t. The next few weeks steph had all sorts to sort and arrange and I was by her side as much as I could be she just kept saying “stop worrying about me focus on Billie” but she is my best friend of course I was going to worry. I helped with what I could and was there when needed (and when not needed to be honest lol)
March 27th the day of Harry and Codys funeral it was a perfect celebration of their lives with butterflies and storm troopers everything you could imagine for the two most amazing boys I have ever met in my life. Hundreds of people turned up. After the day was done and everyone had left you won’t guess what she wanted to do . She wanted to come and visit Billie and so we did. People other than me and chris weren’t aloud to touch or hold Billie but an exception was made that day and Steph got her first cuddle with our tiny fragile girl. All the time all I could think was why is she worried about us despite everything she’s going through, but that’s the sort of incredible person she is.
The next few weeks are a blur of emotions, nicu , home , and re admission for Billie what I do remember clear as day is every day, every single day while I was trying my best to be there for Steph and juggle the children at home and Billie in hospital without fail she would offer any help she could.
We continued to be as close as could be. Steph came on holiday with me and chris for his brothers wedding and Billies first birthday. She has attended every birthday party she can and is godparent to my children.
When I found out I was pregnant with Isaac she was mad at me because she was worried about what happened with Billie happening again. Yet supported me throughout she attended a clinic in London with me along with my friend Vicky for specialist testing as my downs screening came back high and although my decision on keeping him wouldn’t of changed I needed to be prepared . She sat with me at hospital apts Chris couldn’t attend. Everytime I was rushed into hospital she was there and when I was admitted at 28 weeks until he was born she would come visit as often as she could, she bought me food, sat with me watching shit telly, while shouting at midwives about why they weren’t helping me. Our hospital dates were amazing watching TV shows like judge rinder, eating chocolate and sweets like an old married couple. She laughed at me sending her pictures of me in labour while she was in bed and not aloud on the ward because it was too late. She was the first person I called when he came into the world. Shes not once moaned because she’s an amazing person . She’s visited my children in hospital even when the hospital brings back harsh memories for her. She has traveled two plus hours on a bus to come and see me as she knows my anxiety prevents me from traveling that far with the children on my own. Again she has not moaned. She has faughy my corner in hospitals against, nurses and consultants wether to do with me or my children.
We may not see each other everyday but we speak everyday, and she truly is my rock and I am (I hope) hers.
The saying is write every blond needs a brunett best friend and I’m so lucky to of found mine. She is an inspiration to everyone that’s met her and the strongest, most caring person I have ever met and I’m so unbelievably lucky to have her in my life.
So dear Steph thankyou for that day on the bus you have changed and bettered my life forever. I love you lots beautiful and hope your not crying to much reading this 😘