Sentimental Me: The Graduation

And what a graduation weekend it was.

Oh my goodness.

So many emotions flooded through us all, over the weekend.

It was incredible.

Sentimental Me; The Graduation

Just in case you’re new to IMS, here’s a touch of Beckie’s back-story.

When our girl was born at 28 weeks 23 years ago, the possibility of her ever attending University, was the furthest thought from our minds.

Our only hope was that she lived. Truly.

She just needed to survive, anything else was a bonus.

On her side, was that she was never ventilated.

Small I know, but this made a huge difference to her frail body.

Even though her tiny lungs were totally underdeveloped, they still managed to work hard (with help from some mighty fine oxygen as well) and keep her with us.

Yes, there were several moments throughout those first days, weeks and months, where I completely lot the plot.

She decided to stop breathing quite a few times.

It was hellish. I panicked. A lot.

There were also times when I doubted my belief, that she would survive.

But thankfully when I look back; those heart stopping moments were, for the most part, few and far between.

When she left Intensive Care, the consultant gave us a very unexpected reality check.

He told us not to expect miracles.

But for us of course, she was already a miracle.

She had survived when the odds were stacked against her.

No. Nothing could dampen our belief in her.

She was battling though and very much alive and adored.

The consultant also emphasised that many premature babies can be left with serious developmental issues, in particular:

  • Hearing.
  • Eyesight.
  • Speech.

He was correct, Beckie was left with problematic ears, which resulted in 2 lots of surgery under the age of five.

He also said feeding and growth was often an issue.

In my mind I remember thinking “No bloody way”.

I’m a Cancerian. I’m a nurturer. Feeding and spoiling, is my thing 😉

There was no way I could let that happen.

BUT, the one thing I could never let go of was:

  • Learning difficulties.

This was the biggie for me, because as a Mumma, you never want your child to feel different or not capable.

And just because she weighed less than a bag of sugar, didn’t mean to say I wasn’t going to try.

Anyway, the poor kid stood no chance with me as her Mumma.

Before she was even 12 weeks old I was singing all the times tables to her.

Every time, I picked something up, I told her what is was. I talked for hours about colours, numbers and words – all she did was smile and gurgle back at me.

All in the hope that somewhere inside her beautiful little brain, I was leaving a library of knowledge.

So I must admit, even though that ‘broad’ prognosis scared the living daylights out of me. I refused to let is ruin our beautiful life together.

Instead, I popped it into a pretend box in my mind, surrounded it with top-level security and decided to do parenting my way.

i.e. no bloody idea, except love and devotion.

Thankfully, I think it worked out.

Sentimental Me: The Graduation

The Graduation

On Friday morning we dashed to Brisbane.

I had booked us two nights at the Emporium (oh how delightful it was) to celebrate Beckie’s awsomeness and our wedding anniversary.

My hair was also booked for Friday afternoon – yep, the badger was back (dark roots down my centre part for the unfamiliar 😉 ), so  I was desperate for a colour refresh and a nut cut.

The baby lawyer joined me at Blow for a quick Mumma daughter catch-up and a couple of glasses of champagne (this salon is the bees-bloody-knees I tell ya), while Jonny had a quick snooze  power nap, followed by a beer in the hotel bar while he waited patiently for our return.

On the evening we met Beckie’s Dad and his wife Carole for drinks in the bar before the big day.

They had flown over especially, which was wonderful and such a treat for Beckie.

Dinner was just the three of us at the Mecca Bah – the food was delightful and the company exceptional, I honestly could not have asked for a nicer way to celebrate.

When the three of us are together we never stop giggling, these relaxing moments truly mean the world to me.

Sentimental Me; The Graduation

Saturday morning was the opposite of relaxed though – it was a huge rush.

We had to be at the Uni parked up, robed and ready for 8:30

Beckie decided to leave the ironing of her dress and robe until 7:30 – hells bells…thank goodness Jonny is the de-creaser in our household!

The day was so emotional, seeing Beckie for the first time in her cap and gown made the floodgates open.

Sentimental Me: The Graduation

After the ceremony, there was a reception at UQ for everyone. Besides enjoying a couple of glasses of bubbles, we also took loads of pics.

Next we shot across town to Bucci on James Street for a big family lunch…which ended up with Jonny and I getting back to the Emporium at 11pm.

I know –  15 hours in heels but I was still grinning from ear to ear.

I also shed big happy proud Mumma tears.

And thought about just how far my little premature baby had come since that original prognosis.

Who would have believed it possible. We now have a baby lawyer in the house!

 

What I Wore:

My dress was the Broderie Handkerchief Dress $249.00 from Country Road – I had the neckline altered to a V.

Beckie’s dress was from Keepsake the Label.

And finally…

Thank you all so much for popping by and either saying Hello or simply reading my ramblings. Your endless support and encouragement this year, has truly meant the world to me.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, may the day be filled with love and laughter. xxx

 

Bev,

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  • Aww what a lovely mother-daughter moment! You must be so proud of your not-so-little girl, well done to her!

    Hope you had a magical Christmas and have a happy new year.

    • Thank you so much Mica. Yes, I’m super proud and extremely excited to see what the next chapter holds for Beckie.
      Christmas and New Year were wonderful thank you…it was just a pity that I had to work for a few of the days! Wishing you a fabulous 2016, may it be filled with love and laughter xx

  • Lauren @SAHM I am

    This is such a special moment in your lives, thank you for sharing it with us! Miracle babies can often surprise us, and I know that your daughter knows how much you love her. You must be so proud!

    • Oh Lauren thank you. Beckie often tells me that she feels so loved. And when she does I smile and feel totally complete. She is our miracle and my sunshine xx
      Wishing you and your family health and happiness for 2016

  • Yvonne Duke

    What a beautiful daughter you have what a beautiful mum you are !! I know exactly how you felt in those early days with Bec as my twins were born at 26 weeks. Sadly Hope didn’t make it, but our son Innes has just graduated from High School after being School Captain this year. And yes you always worry about potential problems from their prematurity but Innes is so healthy, he is our miracle. I have loved reading your blog, you are so honest and have such a great relationship with your daughter. I know like me , who’s from Scotland, you will find Christmas a bit strange in the heat, but have a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016 xx

    • Oh my goodness Yvonne. 26 weeks is so so early. Trying to get to 28 weeks was my birth target from the moment I found out I was pregnant. Both of my previous pregnancies (before Beckie) had been twin pregnancies, but sadly my body just couldn’t cope.
      Innes sounds like a true fighter Yvonne and a very healthy one at that! I just know you will have had so many proud Mumma moments over the years too.
      How lucky we both are to have our miracle babies.
      Wishing you and yours health and happiness for 2016 xxx

  • I just love reading your posts Bev you really write from the heart and you carry me on your ride of emotions and experiences. Thank you for your honesty and the love that just seems to pour out of you whenever you write about your girl. Mumma’s love is really like no other – I always want to go tell my kids I love them after reading one of your Sentimental Me posts. Have a fabulous Christmas with your miracle girl and your handsome husband. xxxx

    • Karen than you so much, your response has truly melted my heart. Honestly, there were times when I never thought I would ever be a Mumma. So when Beckie did arrive, even though the prognosis was hard to hear, I decided to just throw as much love as I could at her. Because in my eyes (and I’m guessing in yours) that a Mumma’s love conquers all, right?
      Ps. a thousand apologies for the late reply, Christmas kind of snuck up on me and I really wasn’t ready! xxxx

  • Congrats Beckie and congrats Bev – what a way to celebrate that milestone xxx

  • Kathryn

    What a lovely day, and you can rightly be super proud of your girl. Congrats Beckie! And the parenting, love it Bev xx

    • Kathryn thank you so much. I always cherish every single second that I’m around Beckie but graduation day was something else xx

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    This is a beautiful post Bev,you must be so proud of your miracle daughter,congratulations to her and you for being the Mumma,the pics are beautiful.
    Wishing you and your family a restful Chistmas and a Happy,healthy and safe New year,much love Xxx

    • Thanks so much Lisa. I was simply bursting with pride all weekend! My little baby did so well – I think its only just hit me exactly how well!
      Wishing you and your gorgeous family a very Happy Christmas, filled with love, laughter and togetherness xx

  • merilyn

    what a beautiful daughter you have bev! … love those cancerians too!
    no wonder your pride is popping!
    congratulations beckie! … no mean feat!
    merry Christmas to you all and have a well earned rest, with a bit of swanning around maybe!
    lol m:)X

    • Awwww thanks so much M. I do feel totally blessed…in fact I’m still grinning like a cheshire cat!
      Merry Christmas to you and yours, I hope its filled with copious amounts of love and laughter xxx

  • Amanda Bexon

    Congratulations to you all ? Hoping your Christmas & New Year continue to be blessed! Good health, good cheer & a whole lot of love Hohoho ?

    • Thanks so much Amanda – it was such a beautiful weekend.
      Wishing you a wonderful Christmas filled with love and laughter xxx Ho Ho Ho!

  • Petra

    That’s so very exciting, and what an achievement. I don’t blame you for the tears – I blubber over everything!!! Enjoy your Christmas with your gorgeous family – “see” you next year!

    • Thanks so much Petra, Anything to do with Beckie always reduces me to tears, but seeing her graduate was a biggie! Merry Christmas to you and yours, have a fabulous time. Eat drink and get very merry xxx

  • Congrats to both of you. You must be so proud.

  • Congrats, Beckie! What an achievement. You should be so incredibly proud of yourself. Merry Christmas to you all. May 2016 be all that you wish for and more. x

    • Thanks so much beautiful. The whole weekend was simply joyous. Seeing Beckie stand on stage turned me to complete mush! She is incredible. Happy Christmas to you both, revel in the love that shines bright from you both for each other xxx