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The miracle of Hope

May 8, 2012

The Spaniard at 5 days, the start of Hope

This week last year a miracle started, mine and The Spaniard’s  long journey which ended on 5th January this year with Hope’s safe delivery,  really began. If feels like an eternity and the blink of an eye.

With IVF you know the exact moment that fertilization occurs – particularly with ICSI when the sperm is injected head first into the egg to ensure that it gets to precisely where it’s meant to go. We were so lucky lucky blessed and privileged beyond belief – everyone knows (or seems to) that IVF never works first time. Well for us it did, and so began the longest (it seemed) pregnancy on record with so many waiting times.  Did fertilization occur? Have 2 cells gone to 4 cells gone to 8 cells gone to 16 cells … gone to blastocyst? Is the embryo developing? WIll it stay in? Am I pregnant? Am I still pregnant? Is it weird to have done 9 pregnancy tests? Did anything get damaged when I fell over? Is everything developing OK? Am I still pregnant? Is it’s heart beating correctly? Why has it stopped moving? Is my heart alright? Is The Spaniard still alive? Is the Cesarian today or tomorrow? Why isn’t it crying? Is it a girl or a boy? Is she ok? … and so on as you’ll know if you’ve been with me on the journey through the blog or by my side. Well, it did work. My little Spaniard emerged from its cocoon as my perfect Hope the most precious miracle baby. She is growing into a happy, alert, settled and contented little person who only cries when she’s hungry or over tired, and the latter is generally because she is so keen to stay awake and not miss anything.

sticking out tum that told the world I was pregnant



Ellie & The Spaniard infront of the breaking waters wall!! (no they hadn’t)


It may be the biggest and oldest cliché in the world but I didn’t know it was possible to feel such pleasure and such utter love and joy. When she is about half way through breast feeding she suddenly stops and looks up at me and grins her funny gummy enchanting cheeky smile and I honestly can’t imagine that I’ve ever felt happier.

I love watching her when she sleeps, so determined when she first drifts off with her little fists clenched and then how they gradually relax nad her fingers open til she wakes again and lies gazing around doing tai chi with her hands looking up at her elephant mobile or gazing at the shapes of the tree tops.

I love the little bald spot she’s rubbed on the back of her head from turning from side to side in excitement nad how she can escape from under her blanket and manage to end up on top of it.

I love how she sat perfectly still this morning while I filed her nails. I was so scared of cutting them or hurting her, so when wonderful Carla suggested a nail file it was such a relief … and Hope so enjoyed her first manicure. She sat bot upright and let me spread her fingers out and watched so intently.

I love how she has a milky moment after she finishes feeding and closes her eyes and just lies stock still in utter contentment before suddenly wriggling awake again and going back for more or drifting off.

I love how she follows us round the room; her father does a funny walk and she grins and follows him from side to side, and then listens intently while he tells her stories of the seals on Brancaster beach.

I love how she enjoys having her nappy changed and lies there grinning up at me. The only downside of the whole experience is how much she hates having her vest put on over her head.

I love how she adores the bath and water. We bath together now she and I and she starts on my chest and slides down til her feet are in the water then I lift her and put her in up to her thighs. She ends up sitting in it banging the water with her hands and gets so absorbed by the splashes and reflections and feel of everything – she even grins when I tip water over her hair.

I love how the tuft on her head just keeps on growing up and up and up.

I love her in baby grows, and in her little tights and dresses.

I love how so many people have knitted her things: clothes, blankets, hats, mittens and how every item of clothing she wears has a story to it, either handed on from a friend, given by a generous admirer or something that used to be mine when I was a baby.

I love how she gazes up at her Granby (who in turn gazes down at her little Hopey Pope) and the peace I feel watching them together.

I love how in church when the hymns are booming out she looks around and sits back wide eyed and then smiles.

I love how she is starting to giggle and make funny sounds when she ‘chats’.

I love how she shares excitement … if she is enjoying something she looks round for confirmation as if to say, “wow”, or “have you seen this” or “isn’t it just incredible” and if she’s furious she howls with her every fibre (generally if my feeding bra takes too long to unhook, if she’s having a vest put over her head or she’s being put into the car seat and having the buckles fastened).

I love carrying her in the front carrying pouch and how she sleeps so peacefully there and I can look down on her soft hair and hold her tiny hands.

Hope and her pink bunny

I love how she’s starting to ‘play’ now and holds the trunk of her little blue elephant as she triumphantly waves it around and how she clasps the ear of her pink fluffy bunny and hold Mr Frog’s red hand … and how she still gazes lovingly at Mr Sheep her original favourite and sucks the ear of the little teddy snuggly from France.

Hope is now just over 4 months old, she’s about to be 18 weeks old. She truly is ‘this little light of mine’ and really honestly is my reason to believe.

The journey that started in Southern Spain back in sunny early May 2011 is continuing in cold grey Cambridge a year on and the miracle that was the Spaniard, that is Hope gets more marvellous as each day passes.

Who’d have ever thought it possible?

There’s an old musical song   (that I first heard as a very petulant teenager with my Mother who took me on a trip to London to see it on stage) which seems to sum everything up just now:

Me and my girl, meant for each other. Sent for each other and liking it so. Me and my girl

Our hands

Me and my girl

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Roger Darlington permalink
    May 8, 2012 2:33 pm

    Who needs reality television? Watching Hope grow and develop is an always-on programme in the best show on Earth. But, Elle, you are a star as well! Love to you both from Uncle Roger

  2. Mary Holleman permalink
    May 8, 2012 7:26 pm

    Lovely, absolutely lovely………………

  3. Cate permalink
    May 8, 2012 8:08 pm

    Teary smile. Beautifully written.


  4. JAYNEY X permalink
    May 8, 2012 9:50 pm

    10 years later and Mia is still my girl, my little mini me and light of my life.. You’re going to have a lifetime of joy my sweet xxxx

  5. Jancie permalink
    May 8, 2012 11:07 pm

    That was so lovely to read Ellie! Following on from the last comment… 21 years later and my girl is still the light of my life. Daughters are truly a wonderful thing:-) x

  6. May 8, 2012 11:30 pm

    Thank you so much … I also forgot to add how much I absolutely adore the nape of her neck and how it smells and how soft it is and how protective it makes me feel when I sit there and nuzzle into it and smell her precious baby smell … oh and how when she wakes up and just before she goes to sleep she does the same victory fist in the air salute with a long straight arm .. she did that when she was born.

    Oh and I love that she and I spent the evening this evening singing the hymns which will be at her Christening in a couple of weeks time … important that she knows the words …
    me and my girl.

  7. May 9, 2012 9:31 am

    reading this has brought it all back – my girls as babies, such a lovely time. Looking forward to seeing you both soon – I’m booking my cuddle now.

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