And we are still overwhelmed by the love and the gratitude we feel for you. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of you or talk about you. Ava will know your name before she even fully understands who you are, we love you too much to deny you.

Each time my mind wonders off to you, my eyes fill with tears and my heart swells with a love for you that I could never have anticipated or imagined. Every month, on the 13th as we celebrate being blessed with another month with our beautiful child, I think about you and me and all of us together. I think about where we were, each moment of the day of the 13th.

At 05h40 in the morning, I think about what it was like receiving that very calm phone call from our wonderful SW. Telling us to remain calm, telling us to eat breakfast, take a shower and prepare for a long day, telling us that you were in labour and we should come to the hospital.

At 07h00, I think about arriving at the hospital, about how desperately I wanted to see you but being told the time wasn’t right, about taking your mom for breakfast, wandering around the mall while waiting for the coffee shop to open. Sitting across the table from her, so regal and so calm and yet so willing us to love you for the way you nurtured our baby.

Receiving a phone call from our SW at 09h00, telling us that you were still only 5cm dilated and hearing you moan in pain in the back ground, tears immediately springing to my eyes.

Receiving another call a few minutes later to say we should come quickly, that your labour had intensified and our precious babies arrival was imminent. Racing back to the hospital.

At 09h45 I think about our SW coming through to the waiting area to fetch us and taking us to the labour ward. Walter was left in the labour ward waiting area, and told to stay close, with nurses standing by to fetch him when the time came and I was taken to you. Walking into the delivery room and seeing you writhe in agony and yet still refusing pain medication. Holding your hand and sobbing each time you were wracked by a painful contraction. I remember being so overwhelmed that at one point I wanted to vomit. It was all happening so fast, it was so surreal.

At 10h30, I remember you suddenly telling the nurses that you HAD to push, I remember how you screamed it out suddenly, in the middle of a hectic contraction. I remember the nurses supporting your feet. I remember the one nurse giving you a pep talk and explaining to you what to do and how to push and when to stop pushing to prevent tearing. I remember the nurse calling me down to the end of the bed.

At 10h50I remember looking at you and seeing our daughters head start to crown, with a giant mop of dark hair. I remember everything, its burned into my memory forever, and yet feels like a dream. I remember you pushing a few more times and suddenly our daughters entire head was out and then suddenly the rest of her body seemed to just slip out. I remember the nurses saying something but being so far away from the reality of the situation I hadn’t heard. I remember you reaching down and taking my hand and with tears in your eyes, hearing you say: “Look Sharon, its your daughter.” Then having something cold & metal placed in my hand and being told where to clip our babies umbilical cord.  Having her wrapped in a blue surgical sheet and walking blindly, as the tears streamed down my face, down the passage with her in my arms to show her to Walter!

I remember the hour we spent together as I fed her. I remember how we talked. I remember how we shared and how you reassured me about the 60 days and that you weren’t going to change your mind. I remember phoning and sms’ing the world announcing the birth or our daughter. I remember being sent home and having that be the longest few hours of my life, all we wanted was to be in the hospital with her. But we also wanted to give you a chance to spend some time with her, to say goodbye to her.

I remember arriving back at the hospital and finding her sleeping so sweetly in the nursery.

Precious little princess!

At 17h00, I remember preparing to leave the hospital. I remember you saying goodbye to her, as great big, silent and dignified tears streamed down your face and I sobbed noisily.

I know that you know that Ava is loved, she is loved by many and in ways that none of us could ever have anticipated. I hope that life is treating you kindly and at least some of your hopes and dreams are being fulfilled. You deserve every happiness life has to offer.

We will never forget you!

Happy 16th months my precious child! I could never have imagined a love so intense and so pure. You are the single greatest thing that has ever happened to either Dada or I. Your make us better, you make us complete! My life is worth nothing without you in it. Mama loves you darling.