Tink is five today! Five!! She’s really not my baby any more, is she? But where did those five years go? I swear it’s only a couple of years since I was pregnant and huge, waddling around in agony, desperate for her to put in an appearance. She kept us waiting for a whole week longer than we were expecting (and about four weeks longer than I would have liked really!!). But she was worth the wait. Oh yes, she was totally worth it!
Tink’s arrival was much-anticipated. H was excited to become a big brother (although he would have preferred a boy to a girl!). Tink was to be my second home birth and I had asked my Nan, as well as my parents to be there. My parents were at H’s birth, in a pool in our kitchen and there was no way they were going to miss out on Tink’s arrival. We also had two midwives and, of course, Dave and H, who kept coming in and out to see what was happening. It was busy, but pretty special!
I managed the whole labour and birth with no pain relief, but my poor Nan’s hands took a proper squeezing at the crucial moment! Tink arrived and I brought her up out of the water. And she didn’t breathe. I was told to blow in her face. She still didn’t breathe. The midwives started to bustle. Dave started to panic. The cord was cut and she was taken away to be rubbed with a towel. And then… she cried! It was probably no more than a minute, but it was the longest minute of my life at that point. In my darkest days, when the bewilderment and confusion of a new diagnosis was still playing on my mind, I often wondered if her autism was caused by that lack of oxygen. I know it’s probably silly; she’d have still been getting some from the cord until it was cut, so it was only seconds really, and I’ll never know anyway, but, as a parent of a newly diagnosed child, you work your way through all the ‘what ifs’, don’t you?
As soon as she was fine and I was out of the pool, I cuddled her and H came to join us. Straight away he loved her. There’s been a special bond ever since and I hope he will always be her protector. And then there she was! The daughter we’d waited so long for.
And, although the last five years have not always been smooth sailing, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I cannot and do not want to imagine her differently. She makes me smile every single day. Even the tough ones. She is funny, clever, silly, bouncy, stroppy, determined, caring, emotional, loving, infuriating and beautiful. She is my Tink, Tinker, Tinkerbell. Happy birthday sweetheart!
Here are a few photos of Tink’s first five years…