What is this feeling called? What would you say this feeling is called, the way I felt when this photo was taken 2 weeks before William was born. I can remember having this photo taken, and I can remember the photographer reminding me to keep my eyes open, I kept closing them, because I was in my own world, a world of just me and William. A world that I felt desperately safe in, a world where I knew my little boy way safe. A world that I couldn’t wait to introduce my little boy to, but equally not wanting to share him with anyone. I needed to see his face, I needed to touch him, I needed to hold him, to know that he was real.
Every day of his life, I felt that way, totally safe, totally comfortable, encapsulated in his love, and I sincerely hope that William felt that way too.
How do I feel now? As most of you know NHS England visited us with their final draft report into William’s death recently. As well as the final Serious Incident report from South Western Ambulance Service (NHS 111). I’m not prepared or ready to disclose their contents or comment on them yet. Many of you know me by now, so you will understand that I have highlighted several areas for fine tuning. But….
For the last 333 days my body, my mind and my whole being has been pushed, pulled and tested in ways that I didn’t know possible. I have fought with strength I didn’t know I had, I have forced myself through each day knowing that tomorrow I would need to continue the fight for my little boy. My whole being has been running on an inner strength I didn’t know existed, but I did, that inner strength has been there since the moment that I fell pregnant, that inner strength, that fight, that refusal to back down, that passion, is called love. That strength is William. That is what William was and still remains to be, my strength, my inner strength. Everything I live for. That is what the definition of what a parent is. That is what the definition of a child is. There are no breaks, there are no gaps, there is no contest, there is no divide or anything material or intangible that will come between the love that a mother has for her child, the love that I have for William. Simply, there is nothing that will ever impact the bond I share with William, even death. In death I love him just as I did when he graced me with his beautiful presence.
I have fought so hard, every phone call, every meeting and for each of the 237 emails I have sent, I have achieved what William deserves, recognition that his life, that his 382 days are worth just what my 10,571 days are. The last 11 months I have been carried along by this desperation to achieve recognition for William’s life by those that did not save him. I have almost accomplished this. There is relief, there is anger, there is total disbelief, and my whole body is fizzing with anxiety, pent-up anxiety that i have needed to drive me forwards, I cannot lose the grip I have at the last-minute.
In 2 weeks it will be William’s second birthday, a day that he would delight in. A day he would eat cake and spit out because it’s too sweet. A day he would stay awake all day and not cry. A day that he would grace us with that ear to ear smile, a smile that melts everyone’s heart. That smile belongs to my little boy. My. Little. Boy.
I still get through each day knowing that tomorrow doesn’t have to come if I don’t want it to, that theory has worked for the last 333 days, so I’m sticking to it. I don’t know how to be brave, but I’m not afraid of falling. The hardest feeling in the world is knowing that all of the love I have for William is now spent sharing him with the world, when all I want to do is have him with me and keep him to myself as the most precious secret, but I can’t, my love for William is ploughed into sharing him, allowing others to love him, allowing others to understand the love intertwined between him and me. I hate that this is the only way I can share him, show him off to the world, but I have no choice, it is the most unusual sense of pride, a guilty pride. I just know that every step I take is ‘one step closer’.