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A fish tank full of Hope

January 18, 2012

Firstly sorry for the information gap – a long time since January 4th and my last entry and the world has changed totally since then … and secondly …

The Spaniard has landed, been unzipped and released into the world … and in a wistful sort of a way I am terribly terribly sad to say that The Spaniard, that special little person who has endured through the last long months since May 6th with me, who has given me hope and dreams, terrified me and lifted my spirits so high, is no more


we now have HOPE… beautiful extraordinary Hope.

Hope, our beautiful baby girl (and there was everyone telling me The Spaniard was definitely a boy – how wrong are old wives tales!!?), was born at 3.43pm on Thursday 5th January 2012 by cesarian section. She was born at 36 weeks and 6 days which made her one day premature and even with that she weighed some 6lbs 12oz. She is perfect … I would say that of course … but she really is… and cheeky, mischievous, stubborn, noisy and determined (no idea where she gets any of those qualities from!).

She spent 3 nights in intensive care for babies at the Special Care Baby Unit under the care of some remarkable people particularly an equally feisty girl called Becky who tended to her every need and diligently fed her through a tiny nose tube and put the antibiotics into her little tiny canula. I spent time being monitored due to my heart issues but was soon released back to the blue curtained gloom of the main ward amidst the Mexican wave of baby cries … it was very lonely without her and then very very terrifying when 3 days after her birth a small plastic fish tank was wheeled round the corner and left by my bed. Rather odd, I thought and then had a total panic when I looked into it and realised it wasn’t just a small holding bay for when The Spaniard was finally bought back to me, but that it was in actual fact a Fish Tank Full of Hope.

She has an absurdly long name which I shan’t go into but the short version of which is Hope Susannah … Hope was the name that was right from the start (never had a clue really about boy’s names… possibly Digby, or Clarence or Rafael but none of them was absolutely perfect). Hope summarises all this little perfect person is to us and all we have been through. Susannah is after a very very precious and very dear friend who has travelled the world with me, put up with tears, tantrums, drunken moments, long rambly explanations for things and many different types of anxiety over the time since we first met over an ice cream fridge in a pasta restaurant we both worked in a million years ago .. or was it when we were both trying to snitch sneaky bits of parmesan cheese when nobody was looking … I don’t recall. Hope has other names which are equally meaningful to me and pay tribute to other friends who will help shape her world and get her into trouble, adventure and onto the right track as and when – but it’ll be up to her to share those names in due course.

Her funny brown withered bit of umbilical cord (fastened with a blue clip) has fallen off now and she has her own proper real tummy button … as to whether it’s an innie or an outie … that’s up to her to share as well and not for me to divulge.

Over the next few days I’ll fill in the gaps, share the highs and lows of the time in hospital … and try and give a picture of how it all was …

In the meantime please please raise a glass of something very special in memory of my precious Spaniard … and when you’ve done that and dried your tears, please drink a toast to Hope (she’s going to need all the support she can get with a muddle headed mother like me).

Here are a few photos of our first few days together … starting with the last one of The Spaniard and I together.

Ready to head up to greet my little Spaniard

Hello Hope

Getting used to each other ... Hope and I

Hope's Daddy makes her look so so tiny

Ready to be counted ... and lethal weapons for pulling out the nose tube

Her lovely feet all sore from all the many blood tests

Hope heading home in her wonderful outfit

As you’ve gathered from previous posts, I have a grudging admiration for Mr Springsteen (oh ok I know maybe it’s a bit more than that) and his poetry and music have meant alot to me over the  years … well for those of you who know anything about it you’ll understand when I say that now I really am living in the Land of Hope and Dreams… and for those of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about then, shame on you, and watch this… and ponder these words (which are of course copyright to Bruce Springsteen).

“Grab your ticket and your suitcase
Thunder’s rolling down the tracks
You don’t know where you’re goin’
But you know you won’t be back
Darlin’ if you’re weary
Lay your head upon my chest
We’ll take what we can carry
And we’ll leave the rest

Big Wheels rolling through fields
Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

I will provide for you
And I’ll stand by your side
You’ll need a good companion for
This part of the ride
Leave behind your sorrows
Let this day be the last
Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine
And all this darkness past

Big wheels roll through fields
Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams”

Now … go and drink a toast to my Spaniard, my special special Spaniard … raise that glass high. The Spaniard has been the biggest miracle I’ve ever experienced.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2012 3:16 pm

    She looks fabulous! A credit to her parents!

    What we want now is a pic with her eyes open. 😉

  2. Joan Lawton and Neill Murray permalink
    January 18, 2012 3:28 pm

    She is really gorgeous and Hope is the most perfect name for her , I am so looking forwards to getting to know her , I hope[ in small letters] that she is not howling at the moon as much as she was

  3. Lindsey permalink
    January 18, 2012 3:57 pm

    Woohoo! More photos, more photos, more photos….pretty please!

  4. Roger Darlington permalink
    January 18, 2012 6:54 pm

    A wonderful, wonderful welcome to the miracle that is Hope. And welcome back to the blog – so much better than all that tweeting.

  5. Linda permalink
    January 18, 2012 8:31 pm

    Many congratulations to you & Roy and welcome to the world baby Hope. She’s a little cracker 🙂

  6. chrisconder permalink
    January 18, 2012 11:08 pm

    Such a relief. So gorgeous. Lovely blog. keep rockin, and post photos when you get time!

  7. January 18, 2012 11:17 pm

    Congratulations on the arrival of Hope – such a beautiful name. I’ve been following you on Twitter and the blog for a while and it was so lovely to hear your excitement about expecting your first baby – brought back lots of wonderful pregnancy memories for me.

    That you continued to talk about your experience throughout what must have been such an awful time was amazingly strong, and I am just so pleased for you that your beautiful girl is well and home and keeping everyone on their toes 😉

  8. January 19, 2012 3:06 am

    Ellie, it’s been an oddyssey..with the best ending of all great epics: Hope!

    I will hope to teach her how to do the Peppermint Twist.

    xo Lisa Lowell

  9. Karen (GMTKT) permalink
    January 19, 2012 7:42 am

    Hope is gorgeous. CONGRATULATIONS!

    It’s great you’ve taken pictures on her hands and feet. Precious memories to look back on.

    Enjoy motherhood and the wonderful loving things it brings.

    Look forward to reading you blog posts.
    Love Karen x

  10. Nicky Getgood permalink
    January 19, 2012 11:55 am

    What a gorgeous girl Hope is! Congratulations and I’m looking forward to reading about motherhood and all it brings! 🙂

    Lots of love and a kiss for Hope, Nicky Xx

  11. Sloppy Sue permalink
    January 20, 2012 2:52 am

    Congratulations, Ellie. Meet me in the Land of Hope & Dreams, indeed.


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