{ Charlotte turns one }

From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank everyone who sent messages and love to our amazing Charlotte.

Those who were able to celebrate her exceptional first birthday, thank you so very much for being able to share the day with us, and to those who were unable to, you were missed very much but definately there in spirit with us.

We never dreamed we were one day going to be parents and when she made her arrival 3.5 months early, we never dreamed we would find the strength to make it through,  this would never have been possible without all of your support and encouragement.

Watching her fight daily for her right to be here is a testament to the sensational little person that she is.  Her strength and determination to be a part of this world, and the impact that she has had on so many lives blows my mind to say the least.

We will never be able to thank Dr. Lizle Oosthuizen enough for believing in her own abilities to keep us safe and healthy, for her belief that Charlotte was worth saving, that she fought for us both so very hard when others had already given up before the fight had even begun.

The ladies in the maternity ward, Diana, Louise, Susan, Belinda, Sam, Hanlie, Elmarie, Eliza, Debra, Janine and so many other, you took such amazing care of us in our weeks with you before Charlotte was born, and even after, you managed to keep us sane and made us feel to be a part of your unique family.

Anita, Janice, Natasha, Natasja, Petro, Aggie, Karien, Aggy, Elbie, Abonghile, all of you and so many others who came and went, you took care of Charlotte as if she was your own.  You made sure that Johan and I were equally well taken care of, you made us feel part of your unique and tight knit family.

The amazing friends we have made from our time in NICU, Storme, Quinni, Llewellen, Claire, Nela, Christel, Liam, Candice, Gordon, Michelle and so so many others who came and went, in spite of your own little miracles who needed love and care, you always made sure to check on us and Charlotte.  Your love and support in spite of your own circumstances pulled us through very dark and stressful times. The NICU is such a unique place of joy, sorrow, love and inspiration that we all shared along the way, we became a very unique family that we will never forget.

Janice, you were in delivery with us, you helped keep me as focused and as calm as what was possible under terrifying circumstances. You were with Charlotte from the very beginning of her journey and saw to her up to the day we were able to bring her home on that very exciting, very daunting day.

‘Doccie Dave’ Purchase for your compassion and dedication in keeping Charlotte growing, progressing and healthy, she adores you, we all do.  You have been with us every step of the way, humouring my unique sense of humour and approach to our unique circumstances.

Emma for believing that Charlotte could be helped when we were plunged into the darkness of oral aversion, your faith in helping Charlotte conquer her personal fears when nobody else believed it was possible.

 

Leah, Robin, Teresa, Rene, for your counselling, advice and unbelievable support in seeing us through all our ups and downs, for some of you, humouring my panicked midnight messages.

Our family and friends old and new, who rallied by us and supported us the entire way though, and still do.  I could spend all day writing everyones names here, from midnight support messages and heartfelt tears, to sharing moments of joy, offering encouragement and support, your messages, your love, your support has carried us through very dark days and situations.  We have met so many phenomenal men, women, mothers, fathers, along the way, whose own struggles were often far larger than what we faced, yet you all found it in your hearts to reach out to us and lend a hand and a shoulder to lean on.

We are in so much awe of the impact that our daughter has already had on the world, in spite of her tender age and size.

Celebrating her first birthday is remarkable in so many different ways.  From the moment we first saw her tiny little body and heard the sound of her heartbeat we knew that she was going to be pretty special, nothing could have prepared us for the road ahead or hint at the phenomenal little person that she already is.

To each and every one of you we give thanks, know that our gratitude and love for you will forever be immeasurable.

That cheeky grin just melts my heart
Charlotte in the outfit I made for the wedding
Sleepy and loving her Soothie