Who was Jude

06 March 2013

Sometime at the end of 2007, it seemed like a good idea to maybe give the 'kid thing' a go. We had just completed the most amazing trip from London to Cape Town and felt that maybe it was time to 'settle down'.

I fell pregnant very quickly and after the first 12 weeks, had a beautiful pregnancy. As soon as we found out we were having a boy, we knew instantly that his name would be 'Jude' and he was called that from outside the womb. 'Jude the Dude'.

He arrived in early September 2008 and we knew nothing about bringing up babies. What we did know was the most amazing love for this tiny little 3kg being who completely turned our lives upside down. Jude was not an easy introduction to motherhood. Sleeping was not his strong point and I thought I might just expire from sleep deprivation. Once he began moving he did not stop. He was a busy, busy, busy boy who embraced life to the full. He turned into a happy, passionate, fiesty, loving little guy who would happily gave random people hugs. I loved him and oh he loved me so.

Early March 2010, Jude was a few days away from 18 months old and woke up a bit grumpy and wasn't quite himself. He had a temperature of 38 at one point, but was eating and sleeping and not showing any big warning signs. I attributed his grumpiness to a bout of teething as he was also drooling and doing what teething babies do.

Three days later on a beautiful autumn evening,, we had a braai with Jude, bathed him in a tub outside, put him in his cot and sat outside and chatted about how utterly content and happy we were. We had a home, a beautiful boy and I was lucky enough to do a job that I absolutely love. Life couldn't be better.

We woke up on Saturday morning at 6am, the latest that we had slept since Jude's arrival on earth - he was usually wide awake and ready for the day at 4.45 am. We remarked at how rested we felt and how amazing it was that Jude slept so late. I was excited for a rare summer's day off with my family. We started to make coffee and get ready for the day when I thought I had better check on him - that marked the beginning of our forever changed world. I opened his door and looked for the rise and fall of his chest and there was none. I tentatively stepped towards his cot and as soon as I picked him up, I knew there was no point in even calling an ambulance, I knew right away that he was dead.

On that day, I did not think that I could survive another hour, or another day. I did not think that I could find the will to live again. We started with one breath at a time.