As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

Dear Ellenah, on the eve of your sixth birthday,

These letters are so much more than simply saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to you. To my best girl in the whole world. This is where I get to reflect on the past year, all of the changing you have done… All of the growing. All that we have been through together. All of the wonderful ways that you have become… You… As the most beautiful, clever, funny, charismatic, almost six year old ever.

There are absolutely millions of things that I could say about you from this past year… You have surprised me endlessly and shone so brightly… As you always do.

The year that you were five started so subtly, so calmly…

I was growing your baby brother, Dexter in my tummy and I didn’t find that the easiest time. Our days were spent getting from A to B, squeezing in the fun when I could manage it. I watched you a lot in those months. I watching you ever so closely. I was looking for signs that you resented our temporary pace. Observing your happiness… ready to pounce if it ever faltered from the smiley, energetic, slightly loopy little hurricane that you usually are. I’m pleased to say that you didn’t change and looking upon you in those difficult days made me feel such hope, happiness and strength… I will always be grateful that I was blessed with a little girl who is as cool as you are. Your smile is a healer sweetheart! As if by magic, you instantly make me feel better.

I noticed a lot about you over those months. I saw your imagination flourish as you played the most beautiful games with the tiny little figures that you had collected over time. You played alone quite often, content with your own company. You easily shut out the noise and lost yourself for hours in your world of make believe.

I saw you dance, even when I could not hear any music. I watched you leap, twirl and tell a story with your moves. I watched you twist, contract and lose yourself in the steps that you improvised so naturally. I smiled as you commanded your space to ‘Be You’. I held onto my beating, emotional heart as you did this. I saw a version of myself from years and years ago, except you are more expressive, confident and brave than I was back then. Probably more so than I am, even now. And I want this for you… To be better, to shine brighter… Than I ever could.

You made up songs too. Lots of sweet melodies. And the lyrics would always reflect your feelings…or just what happened in your day. Towards the end of the year, you learned a little something’ about rhyming at school and that became a lot of fun for you. Whatever the words though, the tune would always be bright, cheery, happy… Like you. Despite the fact that your songs were long, they would always make me still. They still do.

You learned to run even faster this year. People have commented in the years before, how fast and how far your body could take you and I would always nod and say ‘Yep, she never needs to stop!’ but in the year that you were five, You got extra speedy. Like Dash from The Incredibles. And I felt like I had to be even more like Elastigirl… always needing longer, quicker, more bendy arms to keep you safe. You won the running race at sports day. You left your classmates far behind. You made it look so easy and I will always remember your face that day, looking behind you, wondering where everybody was. It was amazing. It feels amazing… to have a healthy daughter, who loves to run.

On the 4th July, you became a big sister to baby Dexter. You finally got to hold your little brother, to look at him and into the eyes of this little person who you had already loved so fiercely in the months before. You crept in to meet him on the day that he was born and emotion washed over you, so intensely. You cried with joy as you smiled at him and you have helped me to keep him happy and safe ever since. Not a day has gone by when it seemed like the ‘novelty’ has worn off. You have done everything in your heart to make him happy. You have made me so proud of you. You handed over the ‘baby of the family’ badge with such ease and are practically bursting with love from within. You are a perfect big sister and it makes me so happy to know that your brothers have you in their lives. This strong-minded, spirited girl with the sweetest soul. We are all so lucky that you are ours.

You started Year One at school in 2017. Polar Bears class… With a teacher who resembles and teaches just like Miss Honey from Matilda. A teacher who thinks that you are wonderful too. She sees how you sparkle, just like the rest of us. In September, you were a little unsure of yourself and maybe doubted yourself a little too often. It is a trait that comes with being a perfectionist, which you are. You like everything just so, aren’t great with sudden change and you prefer your work to be neat and lovely… even if it means that you don’t end up doing as much. In September, you found reading and writing such a challenge. You were scared of getting anything wrong… Because one thing that never changes about you my darling, you hate to be wrong. By the time December rolled around though, you were flying. You had picked up so much confidence and everything seemed to click in to place so beautifully. Now you are thriving and have fallen in love with reading and story-telling. A girl after my own heart.

You were given the role of the wise lady in the Christmas nativity play too and this was something that you were very proud of. It still breaks my heart to know that I wasn’t there to watch you. Next year, I will try my hardest to get tickets for more than one performance, but this year, I dreamed that I would attend with Daddy and we would watch you for the first time together. Noah was poorly though andhad been sent home from school about thirty minutes before your show was due to start. He asked me to stay with him and even though it was the right thing to do… It was hard to watch Daddy get in the car and drive to watch you on his own. I cried the whole time that he was gone and only managed to pull myself together, seconds before you walked through the door. I asked Daddy to record your parts though and I watched them with you when you got home. You were fantastic… Such a star. It suits you up on stage!

Talking of the stage. You took part in your first dance show this year. It was at the beginning of December and you performed a ballet and a tap number. For ballet you danced to Winter Wonderland and wore a beautiful white tutu with a baby blue shrug. For tap, you were dressed as a little snowman. Olaf from Frozen actually because you danced to ‘In Summer’, a song from the movie. You looked so beautiful. You danced like an angel. It really was a big deal. You were so brave for dancing in front of so many people, with lots of lights blazing on to you and all while being so little still. You loved it that I let you take in my subtle pink blusher and a nude lipstick in your dance bag. Your face was beaming when you told me that you had shared them with the other girls when you were ‘getting ready’. It threw me ahead in time to when you will get ready to ‘go out’ with your friends in quite a few years time. I can imagine you and your girlfriends taking over our bathroom, music blaring and you stealing my nice make-up, the stuff for special occasions. I’ll pretend I don’t know what you are doing and giggle to myself as you walk out of the door, to have fun and to live your best life with abandon.

You achieved so much in the year that you were five baby girl and you should be so proud of yourself. I am… So proud of you. I could almost pop some days, when you are doing these amazing, incredible things for someone so tiny. I feel like that in our every day’s too Ellenah. When I see how kind, determined, courageous and lovely you are. When I see you smile sweetly with a glint of fire in your eyes. You are bold and you care… about people, the world, life.

You inspire me. All of the time. When I need to find courage and strength, I think of you, who you are… what you would do. And it’s almost as if I can feel the fire from your eyes, ignite a flame in my gut.

So you deserve this birthday, to be wonderful and everything that you could ever dream of. You deserve for everyone who loves you, to gather around you and celebrate the beautiful human that you are.

Happy Sixth Birthday My Little Bella-Rina,

I love you more than words could ever do justice!

From, Mama x



To my beautiful boy, Noah – On the Eve of your eighth birthday

As Noah Turns Eight

These letters are becoming harder to write each year, without breaking apart. Some people say that you are most emotional as a mother, when your children are babies and the moments fly by so quickly. I find each year that you turn a new age much harder. Back when you were a baby, you needed me for everything. I was the centre of your whole world. You didn’t question me. You didn’t question yourself. You didn’t need much else, other than me and my time. The older you get and with each birthday, I can see the look in your eyes… that need for more. You want more freedom. You want to experience more. You crave life and you want to explore all of the things that you are capable of, all of the things that you can do. You are trying so hard to establish your independence… You need me much less.

As Noah Turns Eight

I know that you still need me. As always, you will cuddle me and show me affection, every single day. I really am lucky for that and for you. You are and I don’t doubt always will be a loving little boy, a lovely human. But in this past year, I have noticed that when I say goodbye to you at the school gates, you have started to run ahead, happy to wave a goodbye but will gently avoid a kiss goodbye in front of your friends. This past year, you decided to ditch your book bag with the school emblem on it, opting for a backpack which you tell me is much cooler. You’ve started to use wax in your hair some days and you care about which clothes you wear too. You know how to fix a puncture and you’ve recently learned how to cook an egg on a cooker made out of baked bean tins.

As Noah Turns Eight

You are not a baby anymore, are you? You don’t tend to play the role for my benefit anymore. You are growing up fast. You are changing in front of my eyes.

I often reach out to hold your hand as we walk together, wanting to swing your arms with mine like we used to when you were tiny. Every now and again, you will let me…but you don’t stay there for very long before you get itchy feet and feel that need to run or walk ahead. I watch you as you go, making up games, using your imagination. And I do love it. I love watching you have fun… it makes my heart and soul very happy.

As Noah Turns Eight

Last weekend, we went to a summer fair at your cousin’s school. I saw you watch your bigger cousin, running around with his friends, being that bit older than you. I could see that you were jealous. I could see that you wanted to go with him. I could tell you thought he was having a lot more fun, than you. I kept you close to me, not to stray far away at all. My heart panicked if you had fallen just steps behind and I couldn’t see you. I’m struggling to let you go at all. Struggling to let you grow up. I tried so hard to keep you… to almost tell you that you were having more fun walking around with me and your little sister. But you weren’t, were you? I could see that look in your eyes and I made myself be brave. I was shaking as I said it… but I told you that you could go off with your cousin but you had to stay with him at all times. I knew that everywhere you went in the school grounds, I could see you… watch you. It still felt difficult to let you be away from me though. When I said it, your eyes grew wide… you couldn’t even believe the words that were coming out of my mouth. You are so used to me being cautious, over-protective… possibly a bit of a control freak and an advocate of organised fun. You smiled at me like you never have before…and off you ran. I didn’t have to tell you twice. I did watch you though Noah. I didn’t take my eyes off of you. It was weird seeing you out of arms reach, laughing and being perfectly fine without me. So endearing though. This was you. This was how you socialised. This was you responding to other children, away from my watchful eye…or so you thought (baby steps, okay?)… And, you were absolutely fine. Sensible, free ¬†and so happy.

I am trying Noah, to change alongside you. To keep up. This will never be an easy part of being your mama, please know that. Please accept that about me and understand, it is because I love you so very much. Protecting you, nurturing you… these are the things that I understand most about raising you. Everything else feels like scary territory. Like you once did, I have to learn to crawl before I can walk and walk before I can run.

As Noah Turns Eight

We are absolute best friends beautiful boy… but I am your mama first. That is a role that comes with a fierce maternal instinct to keep you safe, do what is best for you always and to love you unconditionally. The year ahead of us is going to push and pull me so far out of my comfort zone, it’s going to leave me dizzy. BUT, we will challenge the balance and all of the madness that comes with you growing up and getting older…and we will do it together.

As Noah Turns Eight

Tomorrow, you are going to be eight years old, I just cant believe it. It only feels like five minutes ago that I was writing the first one of these letters. I was gushing about how you had learned to pretend sneeze…and it was just one of the adorable things that came with having a one year old. That was a long time ago now. So much has changed since then. You have changed. I have changed. One thing that never changes though, is how much my heart expands each year, How much my love for you grows with it and how proud of you I am. You surprise me constantly with your charm, wit and spirit and you make me smile every single day. You really are my sunshine and you always will be.

As Noah Turns Eight

Happy 8th Birthday for tomorrow Noah, I hope your day is as special as you are.

I love you, more and most,

From Mama x x x



Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

Dear Ellenah, my beautiful little girl.

This is long over due. On the evening before each of your birthday’s, I will write you a letter… but on the evening before your fifth birthday, I couldn’t make it happen. I’m really sorry Sweetheart, it wasn’t because I don’t care. It wasn’t because you are not important. It wasn’t because I had forgotten. It was the most important thing for me to do that day but the best I could do was to write down my thoughts in the notes on my phone, hoping that this day would come. This day when I would be able to string together the sentences to better communicate exactly what it is that I want to say to you.

And just over two months late, I have found the right day.

Turning five is a big deal. I can’t remember anything about my fifth birthday but I can remember the feeling of turning five. Your big brother was impatient to get to this age too. It’s the age where things change. It’s the age that you have really started to show the little girl that you are becoming. The petite, inquisitive and sassy little diva that storms through each day with that beautiful smile and sharp wit. You are our delightful chaos. Forever known as ‘Hurricane Bella Roo’.

You are bold and fearless. You are strong-willed and spirited. You are everything that I could ever want in a little girl. You are a pleasure to raise. You challenge me in ways that nobody else can. You question me and you make me question the world around me… Everything and everyone in it. You seem to simply know things that it takes some of us years to understand. You make no apology for being exactly as you are and I love that about you.

Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

Some days I look at you and I see so much of myself. You smile like me. You run like me. You perform like me and you believe in the world like me. Other days, I look at you and see someone who I want to be. Brave, certain and rambunctious.

This past year, you have started to show what matters to you, who you love dearly and how you like to go about your day. You like your space… Alone time is very important to you. It is part of what enables you to be creative which is one of your biggest strengths. You communicate your real feelings clearly and never try and adapt your mood to anyone else’s expectation of you. I respect that about you.

Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

To be honest, as with each passing year and the bigger and more charismatic you get… there never feels to me like enough words in the world that can fully sum up just how wonderful I think you are. Just how much I love you, from the bottom of my proud mama heart.

It has just been so much fun, getting to know each side of you with each passing moment. To see such beautiful sweetness to your sassy. To see such kindness in your heart that balances out your strong will. To see you shine bright and bring out the brightness and light in those around you, those who have fallen in love with you for everything that you are and for the blessing that you are to this world.

I love how much you love snails and how you will always move them if they are in harms way, no matter how much it’s raining. I love how conscious you are of protecting the planet and our daily conversations about throwing our litter away. I love watching you play, watching your imagination soar. I love listening to you make up little songs about the things that you find important. I love watching you dance like mama used to. I love your dirty laugh and how bright red your cheeks turn when you find something really funny.

I love the way that you make every day better.

I love the way that you make me better.

Love, Mama x


On Monday 21st November 2016, I was taken into hospital.

It’s simple really… I needed help! I was in so much pain and hadn’t kept down food or even a sip of water in a long time. My eyes were grey. My lips were cracked. I kept crying. I couldn’t sleep. I was too hungry, starving really. My eyes wouldn’t focus. I couldn’t walk without help. I felt dizzy if I moved my head in the slightest. I was so thirsty. So much so, that when I cried I tried to keep the tears back in fear of wasting moisture. My skin was blotchy and sore from the tears. I didn’t feel human anymore.

I didn’t understand how I was still breathing and I was being a terrible mama. Numb and empty laying in bed, afraid to move as Matt made sure that Noah and Ellenah were okay. My heart was breaking apart, bit by bit. I missed them so much. I missed the way we do things. I missed the motherhood that I had loved for the past seven and a half years.

I was in trouble. I was broken. I couldn’t remember when I smiled last, from a happy heart.

All I could focus on was someone helping me to get through this. Someone helping me get back to health. Someone giving me back to my children. We needed each other. There had to be someone who could help me.

It wasn’t just the sickness. I was in such traumatic pain. I thought I was losing the little person in my body. The tiny little person who I wanted to give life. The person who I thought my body was killing, rejecting. I thought something was seriously wrong. It hurt so much. I felt like i was being butchered from the inside.

So from a couple of phone calls, a trip to the doctor, a trip to A&E, a trip to the early pregnancy unit and an internal scan later… I was sent to my cubicle on the labour ward where after days of no food or drink, I collapsed on the bed. Unaware of the midwife attaching me to an IV and unsure what was happening.

I missed the first time that we got to see our baby. I was ridiculously weak and as much as my eyes were open, I couldn’t see as far as the screen and there wasn’t much behind my eyes even if I could have. As I said, it was an internal scan. I was being checked over for an ectopic pregnancy. If i’m honest, from the moment I was advised that this was the suspected problem, I had started to say goodbye to my baby. I don’t think it showed on the outside how much I was hurting, how much I was breaking. I could no longer imagine his or her face or the life that we were going to have, all together. Every happy thought that I had allowed myself about the pregnancy up to this point had started to fade. I didn’t think that I could be any more broken than I was… but, I surprised myself I guess. An ectopic pregnancy made sense to me I suppose. I had suffered terrible pregnancy sickness with my son Noah, for my whole pregnancy…but nothing this relentless. I think I thought deep down, ‘How could a baby ever survive this?’

sickness, dehydration & hospital

Our Beautiful Baby At 9 Weeks

But… My baby was as tough as old boots it seemed. Much tougher than me. Baby had a beautiful, strong heartbeat… And was growing in exactly the right place. And in seconds, I was a little less broken. A little more ready to start fighting again. For my baby. To get back home to my perfect, little family… Where this mama belonged.

And so I did my time ‘inside’. It was bad. My hydration levels were shot. I was on the IV permanently, for three days. When I needed to pee… I had to take the fluids with me. I couldn’t shower. And, after being starved further by the midwives due to anti-sickness injections for the first twelve hours, I had to be reintroduced to food. Very dry foods. Ever had to eat dry bran flakes after not eating or drinking for days? It’s a shit show, let me tell you! It was a hard slog and it took me all of the first day to eat them.

Going home was completely out of the question.

sickness, dehydration & hospital

My selfie to my mama so that she wouldn’t worry & could see that I was still smiling (on the outside).

I had to jump through the hoops, keep the food down, not heave and I lost all of my dignity in the process, by handing over every single wee that I did. Let me tell you, walking down the hallway, past the rooms with the mama’s holding their newborns, while holding onto my IV and my bed pan wasn’t nice in any way. It was always so cold and people stared at me. I just wanted to go home.

Matt and my children visited me on the second night but it was horrible. I didn’t like seeing them sat at the bottom of my bed. I didn’t want them to see me hooked up to wires with blood still dripping from my arm. I didn’t want them to remember this. I sent them away early and I cried like a baby. I cried myself to sleep that night. I cried a lot until I could go home if i’m being honest. It’s embarrassing. I wish I was more brave about it but I was so homesick… And the worst patient in the world.

Once I had started to feel better, was off of the drip and I had a bit of life about me… I begged anyone who would listen, to let me go home. At one point I got so desperate, I asked the lady who brought around supper and bless her, she was a petite filipino lady who couldn’t understand much english. She asked me if I wanted juice, tea or coffee. I politely declined and accepted more water with my head hanging low.

I discharged myself eventually. I couldn’t stay anymore. The doctor got held up and I knew I would be better off at home. So I left with a prescription of Cyclizine and returned home for some rest in my own bed, surrounded by my people, my backbone and the reason that I had to stop crying.

The Cylizine worked for a few days…

Love Ria x