Today is a really special day.
Today, one year ago, a friend of mine (captain complicated pregnancy in this blog), had a baby, Sullivan (Sully). This is not my story to tell. I don’t have all the details, so sorry girls if I get anything wrong, and perhaps it’s not my place. But I’d still like to write a post to mark this day.
Sully had been a long time becoming the little brother he was meant to be. There was a lot of loss and difficulty before he was conceived, so he was very very wanted. And at the 19 week scan, there they were, in a wheelchair, out of the scan place, running down Missenden Road to the hospital with a dilated / shortened cervix, straight into surgery for cerclage (a stitch in the cervix to prevent miscarriage).
This has a whole other resonance now, my being 18.5 weeks with that very scan next Monday.
Anyway, Sully’s mum, Captain Complicated Pregnancy (which is fairly reductionist of me, she’s an all round cool chick, not just an incubator!), was put onto immediate bedrest, and this was in and out of hospital. It was strict, and it was not easy, as she had a toddler tearing up the house at the same time. As a couple, they had lots of support, but some burdens somehow fall to us alone, and despite everything and everyone around us, make us feel isolated. She was in hopeful spirits, craving mexican, and the breakfast bruschetta we always ate after Saturday boxercise. She was watching series of Dexter, amongst other things. Unlike me, she didn’t knit. And along with her lovely partner, she was counting down the weeks, trying to live out the weeks, trying to grow this boy until he was a viable baby. Every week was important. Every week was vital. We all counted the weeks with her. It feels bloody to me familiar now. 30 weeks was a point of great celebration.
And, beyond all expectations, Sully made it to full term. At some point they took out the stitch, and there she was, Mum /Mum to be, at the hairdresser, madly texting us all when the contractions began. She tossed up about going in for waxing on the way to the hospital. Mad woman. But did the sensible thing and went directly to the labour ward.
Sully was born by Caesarean section. And then everything went quiet. No news from her, none from her family. Silent. No emails. No texts. Til we finally found out, what seemed like ages later (and was probably, in reality, a few hours after labour should have finished), but I knew the silence had a dark quality.
I went to boxing on Wednesday night, and her aunty wasn’t there. And there were people standing around in shock, in tears, almost in tears. And I realised something was wrong. The daily emails started. And we all prayed
Sully had difficulties during birth, and to this day, I don’t think they know what happened. Beautiful perfect Sully, born on the 22nd, and on the 25th after many who loved him had met him and held him, they turned off his respirator. He opened his eyes for the first time, and looked at his mums with big clear eyes. Sully, at least in body, didn’t make it through that day.
So today is Sully’s birthday. And my friend, who has been a source of enormous support, and empathy, and dark jokes, and laughs during my present”internment”, who along with her partner and family suffered an immeasurable loss last year, has asked that everyone do one simple thing tonight, in his honour. .
To read Dr Suess’ Oh! The Places You’ll Go! Sully’s other mum, his Beb, read this book at his memorial service last year, and it was beautiful. We drank a lot that night. His mum stole a salt shaker from the club to “pay” me for the taxi ride home with hub-in-boots at the wheel. I think i still have it around here somewhere….
I’d like to ask you, as my blog readers, to sit down tonight, and read the Dr Suess book, as a birthday present to him.
- And if you can’t read it, then click here and watch this lovely mad version at The Burning Man festival on youtube. (get tissues. It makes me cry every single time…)
- Read it to your loved one, your child, your unborn in your belly, your dog, your cat, your friend over the phone.
- Pop out at lunch and buy the book,
- Read it here where the full text is posted on the bottom of ‘Don’t Stuff’s’ blog post: Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
- get an iphone / ipad app of the book, and sit down and enjoy storytime
- Feeling creative? Post a vid of you reading it on youtube, or anywhere, and include Sully’s name
- send it out in the blogosphere via your blog
- email it
- Tell Sully’s family, via the comments section below, the places he has been today, where and how he’s been remembered.
- Post a link and ask your friends on Facebook to read it
Sullivan Darcy Kippax, Sully. Celebrate his wonderful little life. Sully’s mums and his family will see your comments. They will appreciate your gesture, this precious 7 minutes of your life, to remember his.
Happy birthday Sully. I know you would have been a real tear away. A mad little fella. A heart breaker. I wish today we were cleaning cake off your face and helping you to blow out your candles.
Oh! Sully, with everyone remembering you today, the places you’ll go!
UPDATE: So far today, Sully has been to Australia, the UK, Poland, the US, Germany, Malaysia, Canada, and Egypt. And Mauritius and New Zealand. Today (23rd) also to Peru!
And here’s some pics of wishes being granted…
and hub-in-boots and I read it too. This is a prop book (Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates) because we really read it off the iphone app….