Today's the last day of Cleft Lip & Palate Awareness Week @clapacommunity πŸ’› These photos are taken from my InstaStory today & a film we made a couple of years ago. These photos sum up the day of his 1st operation pretty well. In the 1st photo we're walking Stanley to theatre, and at this point, I was blissfully unaware of how hard the next few minutes were going to be. We decided I would take Stanley in to theatre because I am the stronger one. I don't show any emotions; I am good at detaching myself (unemotional some may say!) and could hold it together for Stanley. I was determined (and convinced), that as I left him in the hands of the surgeon, that Stanley would see mummy smiling. I wanted him to know that everything was ok. But, that didn't happen, and I felt so guilty. Stanley needed to see me happy, not crumbling! Being in that theatre room, holding him in my arms as he went to sleep, that was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. A room full of people, Stanley laid in my arms, and as soon as he started crying, I could no longer hold it together. It broke my heart. I wanted to be strong, but I was far from it. As he drifted off to sleep, the nurse held her arms around me. It was tough. As I walked out of the room into Carl's arms, the feeling of leaving Stanley behind those big doors was much harder than I ever imagined. I felt lost. I felt helpless. It was at this point that I realised this journey was going to be a whole lot harder than we ever thought, and that perhaps I couldn't cope with it as well as I thought I would. I was the strong one. The one that held things together at times like this. That was not the case. The hours of waiting felt like a lifetime. The second photo is the moment that Stanley returned from theatre, the first time I held him with his new smile. There was huge sense of relief, just to have him in my arms again and know that he was ok. I didn't even acknowledge his new smile. The worry of losing that first smile was gone – him being ok was all that mattered. It was that same feeling as when he was born. All that matters is that he is okay, and we fell in love with that second smile, just as we did the first πŸ’›

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