Happy 21st Birthday...
to our amazing God-daughter Emily.
I cannot believe it's twenty-one years since I got the call from Adrian to say Agnes had just given birth to a 9 1/2lb baby girl who would be called Emily.
I worked just around the corner from the maternity hospital and couldn't wait to see her so sneaked away for an hour to go and meet the little bundle who's heart beat I'd seen beating so strongly on the hospital monitor when she was only 16 weeks in the making.
Back in 1998 Adrian was on a training course down south when I got the call from a sobbing Agnes saying she was bleeding heavily and fearing she was suffering a miscarriage. I jumped in the car and drove to hers, gave her a massive hug and got her bundled into the car and off we sped to the maternity hospital.
It shocked me to see her so panicked as she is the calm one. The one who can handle a crisis. Clear headed and reliable, common sense is her middle name. It was my turn to be all those things. Gulp! And that was the longest drive of my life, even though we got there in record time.
When we arrived they were expecting her as the GP had phoned ahead to warn them she was coming in.
After asking her a barrage of questions (inside I was screaming COME ON! GET ON WITH IT!!! but being a nurse, Agnes knew they were just doing what had to be done in order to offer the best care) it was time for her to go into the small room and be scanned. A few minutes and we would know whether or not that little person inside her was still hanging in there. Oh God! Please let the answer be yes!
Sitting on the chair beside the bed, gripping her left hand in both of mine, neither of us could bear to look at the screen and just stared at one another, both willing, imploring everything to be alright....
The cold gel was put on her belly and the sonographer positioned the probe and started sliding it across her stomach and we held our breaths for what seemed like forever, and suddenly the sonographer was saying, "there you go, all is well" and we dared look at the screen.
And there she was (we didn't know she was a she then) perfectly happy in her little cocoon, her heart beating strongly and loudly on the monitor. Panic over!
We both burst into tears, followed by laughter and relief...such relief and hugged so tightly. Having been best friends since Primary School we had shared a lot together, this was another experience to add to our list.
Thankfully the rest of Agnes's pregnancy was uneventful and Emily was born after a few pushes and a text book labour.
It's been a joy and pleasure to watch this girl grow up be the the clever, thoughtful, funny and kind woman she's become. I love that all through her teenage years she set her own path, never swayed by peer pressure and always seeing through the fake people. The ones who wanted to be friends for what they could get out of the friendship rather than what they could bring. I know she supported a lot of her friends through terrible school experiences and it's not difficult to see why she is loved and respected by everyone who knows her.
Her ambition through all her young life was to be an actor and she studied drama after leaving school, moving to Edinburgh and working to support herself.
Last year she had an epiphany, realising that acting , while she enjoyed it, was not fulfilling her. She spent a couple of weeks working out in her head what was missing and what she might want to do with her life instead.
The answer, which was a complete surprise to her and everyone else, was to go to University and study Marine Biology.
She sought out the courses, visited the Universities, wrote her personal statement and sent in her applications and received two offers. She accepted her preferred choice and will begin her course in September. She is currently learning to scuba dive, which is a requirement of the course.
I am brimming with admiration and love for her.
The photo montage is a mixture of old photos and those taken tonight at her birthday celebrations. I love the ones of her and Alan together when hey were young. Such a cute pair of blondies :-)
can't quite believe D and I are now in that category met up with Emily and her boyfriend Sam at 6pm, to have dinner in a restaurant in Glasgow. Thereafter it was off to Merchant City for some Karaoke with the twenty-somethings going clubbing after that. We bowed out after the meal :-))
Happy Birthday Em....enjoy your night for tomorrow (well maybe not tomorrow but soon) you will wake up and there will be 50 candles on your cake and you will wonder how on earth that happened! :-))
PS The extra shot is of a little box of 10 cards I bought for Emily as part of her birthday gift. The box is personalised saying Emily, 10 Things I Wish for You on your 21st Birthday and you can either have the supplier fill in the cards or write them yourself. I chose to write them myself, that felt more personal. I only hope she can read my writing as they only arrived this afternoon and I only finished writing them about 10 minutes before we left to go to her birthday meal!
PPS That's Adrian her dad in the Freddy Mercury hat, specs and moustache. He's a massive Queen fan and was threatening to wear all that to sing at the Karaoke. Well, he's been looking forward to embarrassing her like this for oh...21 years :-)))