My darling Toby, as you turn one. 

My darling Toby, as you turn one. 

Tobias, Toby, Tobes, Tobey Wobes, Monkey moo, my beautiful darling boy, I will try and curtail the use of monkey moo before your eighteenth, no guarantee though, especially as you are spending the day with your father today and having just spoken to him apparently you have refused to sleep and cried most of the day, there goes my regular Wednesday me day he was talking about at the start of the day – thanks for that, monkey moo. Anyway In a few days you will be 1 year old and what a year you have had. For every parent the first birthday is a significant milestone, but I can’t help but feel the weight of the significance of your first birthday and just how far you have come in your first year.
Newborn Toby premature

You will no doubt be aware by now you arrived on this here earth 2 months earlier than intended. Your lungs were not fully developed and you came so quickly the doctors didn’t have the opportunity to give me the medicine you needed to make them work out of my tummy. You were intubated and pumped with drugs. You gave your father the shock of his life when he arrived at the hospital to find you surrounded by doctors, tubes and wires. You were so tiny and precious. I wanted so much to hold you close and take you home, but we couldn’t. For 5 weeks you lived in a plastic incubator receiving the medical attention you needed, I was there everyday willing you to grow stronger, it broke my heart leaving you every night and tore me in two leaving your sister every day. But if it was hard for me, God only knows how it must have been for you. You after all were the one doing all the work, the work that should have been done by me in the safety of pregnancy.

I would be lying if I said the first 6 months were easy, they weren’t. When you did come home you gave me the shock of my life, we were home alone and you stopped breathing and were rushed back into hospital. It was the worst and scariest thing that I have ever experienced. My eyes fill just thinking about it. It is a day I try to remove from my memory. You were so poorly at times and had such soul destroying reflux. I never knew it possible for someone to be so sick. The early months saw us back in the hospital on serval occasions, waiting by your side as you did all could to get yourself well again. But you did, the passage of time stood you well and slowly you got stronger and healthier. You started to smile, to focus, to interact you started to grow in every way.

Collage of Toby
A real turning point for you was 6 months, we took you to Lanzarote for a month and it was just what the doctor ordered. You really thrived and the problems with your breathing started to ease. Once we introduced you to food there really was no looking back, boy can you eat. You eat three big meals a day and never turn down a snack, I am yet to find something you don’t like – why you are still so tiny and light is beyond me.

You have really started to develop a little personality, you get mad if we leave the room or if your sister takes the toys out of your hands. You are the first to reach for the food and love the sound of your own voice. You can be a noisy little thing. You love your nanny and were so pleased to see her when we got home from our recent holiday, you sat on her lap having a cuddle like the cat who had the cream. You have a smile for everyone, especially your dad. He thinks the absolute world of you, he changed his company name, which is now the family name and son. He is so very proud of you and all his children.

Toby and daddy
Toby, people wonder before their second child comes along if it is possible to love another as much as their first. Please never be in any doubt of the all consuming and unconditional love I have for you, from the very second I knew you were in my tummy it was never in any doubt. I cried tears of joy when they told me you were a boy and longed for the day you were in my arms. You may have been my second born but that means nothing other than you are 11 months younger than your sister – you completed our family.

You have a strength and resilience in you that will get you far, you certainly are – tiny but mighty. You have the most beautiful smile and the biggest blue eyes. You will melt hearts one day, I know this because you well and truly melted mine. Everybody we meet comments on your happy disposition and gorgeous smile. You are, for the most part, placid and content. You are yearning desperately to move and follow your sister around, you want to do so much more than your little body allows you, but it will come and woe betide us when it does.

Summer Toby
So my little monkey moo this ones for you. Make no mistake, I love every fibre of your little being with everything I have. You, and your sister, drive me mad, but make me proud everyday. There is nothing I, or your father, wouldn’t do to ensure your health and happiness. I wrote a post like this for your sister a few months back and I make no apologies for ending it the same way…

You, and your sister  (and your father), are the loves of my life and my greatest achievement. We tell you everyday how much we love you and your daddy always gives you 10 kisses at bedtime. So much has changed in the last 12 months and it is because of you. You have changed the person I was, you make me want to be better, a good example, a mum to be proud of. I would walk through fire if it kept you safe – you are my most treasured asset and I love you so very much.

Happy birthday my darling boy.

Toby and Zara


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  1. mark
    July 2, 2016 / 11:27 am

    love the picture with his hat on

  2. July 2, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    congratulations to your beautiful little boy #KCACOLS

  3. July 3, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    Ah this is lovely. Happy birthday little man x #KCACOLS

  4. July 4, 2016 / 7:09 am

    What a gorgeous post. As a mum of 2 preemies (25 weeks and 34 weeks) it’s never easy but glad to see what a strong little chap he’s become. Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Oh my goodness you must have had it so hard, 25 weeks must have been so emotional for all and 34 for that matter, people can often underestimate how hard having a premmie can be. I hope your little ones are doing well xxx

  5. July 4, 2016 / 7:11 am

    This is absolutely lovely, it brought a tear to my eye.


  6. July 4, 2016 / 7:13 am

    This is so beautiful and I found myself very emotional reading about the first 6 months and thinking of what you all went through and how difficult it must have been. Sending big hugs xxx so glad that Toby is much better now though and thriving! Happy 1st birthday Toby xxxx

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Thank you Laura. Yes he has certainly come along way from those early days. Thanks for your comment lovey xx

  7. July 4, 2016 / 7:27 am

    Oh I can’t believe how beautifully healthy and radiant and full of energy Toby is now after such a shaky start! You poor loves for having gone through that but just wow to who he has become now – a gorgeous story of his first year – Happy Birthday Toby! #MarvMondays ps I adore that photo of your husband and son!

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      Yes he has come along way from those horrendous early days! I love that too, it’s one that I intended to print and put in our walls…one day, when my unorganised self can get round to it. Thanks for your comment lovey xx

  8. July 4, 2016 / 11:36 am

    Happy birthday Toby! I can’t imagine how stressful it must have been for him to arrive early with so many physical issues to overcome, but what a sweet, precious boy he’s become. My daughter recently turned one, and I could barely believe how far she had come. They grow up so fast! #bigpinklink

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:38 pm

      Oh they do don’t they, it’s so scary, I can’t believe he is a year already, I had a lump in my throat singing happy birthday! Thank you for your comment xx

  9. July 4, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Oh this is so beautiful, what a lovely tribute for Toby’s 1st birthday. And well done mummy too for such a tough start, you’ve been through so much but if you look at his smile, you would never know – such a handsome boy! Happy birthday! xx #bigpinklink

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:37 pm

      Ah thank you, yes his smile is a beaut and he’s done so well fro. Where he started. Thank you so much for your lovely comment my love xx

  10. July 4, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Ahh Sarah he is so adorable! What a clever little chap, he’s been through so much but just look at that smiling face! Happy birthday gorgeous Toby. This is a lovely post and one I am sure you will both treasure as he gets older. #bigpinklink

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      Ha yes I have pictures of my giving him a hard copy in a birthday card in years to come, shame I’m am so embarrassing,y unorganised that it will probably never happen lol xx

  11. July 4, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    Awww, this is such a beautiful and emotional read… Just seeing pictures of Toby looking so tiny and fragile, and the day he stopped breathing-I can’t even imagine how hard those days were, and how terrified you must’ve been by that incident. The reflux on top of all that must’ve been such a worry too, not to mention having another baby at home to look after too. But looking at him now is really heartwarming! He looks totally the happy, adorable boy you have described here, the pictures are gorgeous! I was always worried I wouldn’t have enough love in my heart for 2 children, but my youngest is such a mummy’s boy, he’s my little wing man, and we are the best of friends! He, among other names, also gets called monkey moo also…! Happy birthday Toby!

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      Ha all the best little boys are monkey moos :). Thank you, it was a shaky start but he’s come along way from those difficult early days, thank goodness. Thank you for your lovely comment my dear xx

  12. July 5, 2016 / 6:54 am

    As a mum who is also about to reach her baby’s first birthday, this made me all kinds of emotional! What a difficult start you had, but you would never know it to look at your little boy now – he is gorgeous and looks like a cheeky little thing! Happy Birthday Toby #marvmondays

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Oh it is emotional. I had a lump in my throat singing happy birthday! Thank you, he has definitely come along way in 12 months xx

  13. July 5, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Such a lovely and emotional story. I have 2 close friends who had premies so I appreciate how difficult the early days were for you. Toby has come so far and he is gorgeous. I particularly love the last photo – they are both beautiful children. #marvmondays

    • tammymum
      July 5, 2016 / 9:33 pm

      Yes he’s come in a long way in 12 months, thank goodness. Thank you for your lovely comment xx

  14. July 6, 2016 / 6:27 am

    He is gorgeous! Such a beautiful post you made me cry (again this week…) He looks so well, knowing that he arrived earlier than he should have been. Enjoy all these precious moments and post more about his little gorgeous face.xx

  15. organisedjo
    July 6, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Lovely post, and happy birthday to your monkey moo. Hope he had a great day. #BloggerClubUK

  16. July 7, 2016 / 11:54 am

    What a gorgeous post hun! And Toby is such a cutie, he definitely is going to break some hearts with those big blue eyes. Happy Birthday Toby! Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS Hope you come back again next Sunday xx

  17. July 7, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Awww this is absolutely gorgeous! Your love for Toby certainly shines through this warm and heart felt post.Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.xx

  18. July 7, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    Oh this made me all teary, what a beautiful post and a lovely round up of a special year. From such a tricky start to now, what a wonderful celebration for all of you #KCACOLS

  19. July 7, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    This is a beautiful post you can really see how much you have all gone though in a year together having a premmie baby is so hard. I was lucky my daughter only needed 6 days in scbu (5 weeks early) Happy Birthday Toby xx #kcacols

  20. July 8, 2016 / 3:31 am

    Such a wonderful post. I can only imagine how hard it must have been the first 6 months. Happy Birthday to your little one. #KCACOLS

  21. July 8, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    Oh, Happy Birthday to your sweet little Toby. I cannot imagine how difficult his start to life must’ve been on you all. But, together as a family, you pulled through, and look at you now! He is such a handsome little guy, and his eyes are so striking! Seeing how far he’s come has me teary-eyed. May you enjoy your celebration <3 #KCACOLS