Thursday, 3 January 2013

2012 in Review

It's been quite the 366 days for our family this year. Utterly worthy of noting down for reference in years to come.

Q1 - Jan - March

This was our most tumultuous time. We had brought Holly home from the hospital days before 2012 began, and it was a year sold to us that would be unrivalled - Jubilees, Olympics - Britain would never have it so good.

Come February, we'd received the news we didn't want to receive, but really knew was coming - Emily got her Autism diagnosis. Close went the door with the small chance that it was really a learning difficulty, and we struggled to come to terms with our first born dealing with a life long condition.
Our little girl in ICU.

March saw Holly have a cardiac arrest and die for around 20 minutes. The vision of a blue, lifeless 10 week old child in my arms sputtering her last breath, mixed with blood is one I will never be able shake - as much as I try.

We spent a month in various hospitals - including a very tense week in ICU at Evelina Children's hospital at St. Thomas', near Westminster.

March also saw Emily turn 4, celebrating near Holly's hospital with all four grandparents in tow. Probably the first and only time this will ever happen. Speaks volumes of the "global community" these days.

Q2 - April - June

Emily as flower girl at Dave and
Amanda's wedding
Mere days out of the hospital and still on the rocky road to recovery, we all bundled over the sea to Northern Ireland for an Easter holiday - complete with local hospital and doctor details and medication for Holly.

As Holly's condition improved, the weather went in the other direction and we had quite a wet trip of it. A weather phenomenon that we're still experiencing in January 2013.

June found us in sunnier climes as we flew to Spain to celebrate the wedding of our friends Amanda and Dave. Not yet 6 months old and Holly is already a Euro-traveller! Emily was even flower girl for the happy couple.

Q3 - July - September

Sue and I celebrated our 40th birthdays during Q3 of 2012. Momentous occasions for both of us. In August, Sue took both the girls to Australia for three weeks to celebrate PROPERLY. Of course, the trips down and back were not without their peril, but they made it back and Holly added another 10,000 miles to her already impressive first year haul.

Emily in her new school outfit.
September also saw us move into our new house, complete with sizeable girl's bedroom. Holly, for the time being, would reside in Sue and my bedroom - mainly so we can keep an eye on her, but also so she doesn't wake Emily up at 5am.

Mid-September saw Emily start big girl school. We got her into the Rainbows Opportunity Base (that's fancy talk for "Autism special needs school") at Green Wrythe Primary School near St. Helier's Hospital.

Thankfully, as it's quite far away, we also managed to maintain the transport she had for Dragonflies, complete with the same escort - Claire!

Q4 - October - December

Sue's maternity leave ended during this quarter, and she went back to work three days a week. The other two were taken up almost exclusively with medical appointments for one or both of the kids.

Holly and Em had their Canadian grandparents come over and spend Christmas. Their first UK Christmas since 1974. They DID reckon a few things had changed since then - including the abundance of Christmas lights everywhere.
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