Looking for more in Scotland's Stories?

Let's Celebrate! Tomorrow is not promised

Author: Scarlett Hope

It is a boy! Look at his long locks!

I hear the elated hustle in the background and find myself so overwhelmed that the safest option at this point feels slouching back, sinking into my pillow and closing my eyes for a moment. I desperately try to contain the intensity of my emotions, but the woolly ball stuck in my throat is like a time bomb – getting bigger, wilder and more unbearable as the seconds tick on – and I am sure, unless I let it go, it is going to choke me. I gasp for air and hear myself starting to whimper. A sudden onset of tears are uncontrollably running down my cheeks. This was a long painful journey with many ups and downs, hopes and disappointments along the way. At times I was sure this battle was not for me to win.

After some seconds of composure and thought, I catch myself feeling an instant relief: warmth, joy and happiness. A feeling of intense gratitude fills every pore of my body. It has finally come true, and I get to be called a mother.

A birth of a child is a celebration for anybody. Fact. And it is for me too. I celebrate being a mother every day. The gratitude to life and its kindness is never-ending.

Yet, I had to learn to celebrate the small things in life. My "dream come true" moment came with unexpected complications warranting a lot of heartache, sadness, confusion, anger and embarrassment. My list is lengthy, and I could keep going, but I do not want to dwell on this too much as the sadness still occasionally catches me out. But to put it in perspective, statistically my injury is a percentage of a percentage, and it has disabled me from being me – at least the way I knew myself and wanted to carry on being.

How unlucky! It was a big one to get through my head! A gamechanger. Reality shock. At times, the gamma of the encountered emotions swamped me. It took many years to mature through all the phases from self-blame to blame to "why me" moments, to having serious "getting a hold of myself" talks.

The uncertainity was the thing I struggled with most and it has prevailed throughout my new journey since I came out of the hospital with my bundle of joy in my hands. Due to the prospect of fixing things being grim and uncertain, the help was limited and, equally, the understanding of the injury was poor. Initially I was like Bambi looking with big eyes and clinging to anybody for help and comfort. Later, I used to get terribly tired going through the same rigmarole of shallow questioning to explain my symptoms. I hate to guess how many professionals I came across that were out of their depth and completely unprepared, feeling uncomfortable as they listened to the rather blunt, bare and blank reality of my new life. I do not know how many professionals I have met that burst out in tears whilst listening to my story, making me wonder: 'Who needs to be comforted and reassured after all?! Mr. Embarrassment also likes to rear its ugly head at all corners as well and is a difficult one to deal with. I mean how do you casually discuss your bowel habits without feeling properly mortified? The silence-filler of throat clearing and pretend coughing are my friends. The phone conversations are the worst. It is a nightmare. And if I see another poop chart – I think they call it Bristol (poor Bristol!) – I am going to scream! However, whether it's the years rolling on, familiarity, some form of acceptance to the rubbish circumstances, or things getting more numb, it has become easier to chat about the bowels and all the other embarrassing tales that come with that. To be honest, I have little choice if I want some help.

It took a long time (5 years to be exact) to learn to celebrate the small things. To look at where I am right now and where I've come from rather than where I could be. Suddenly everything is in a slow motion and I notice everything.

If I were to know that being a mother would result in the injuries I have today, I still would go ahead with the same scenario. The joy it has brought in my life is immeasurable and worth every struggle.

It is important to celebrate today irrespective how small or big you may consider the reason to be. At no point should anything be taken for granted and that applies to the most trivial things in life. They can be taken away from us on a whim – nothing is guaranteed. A functioning body is a blessing for a start and deserves to be celebrated entirely – trust me!

It is also important to celebrate today. Not tomorrow or the day after. The majority of us are conditioned that the big and the beautiful is in the future. This assumption is incorrect. The big and the beautiful is happening right now – today – as you read this. You only need to look around!


My boy is looking at me with his eyes glinting in anticipation and grinning from ear to ear: 'Which one will you choose, mummy?' With a little hesitation I grab one of the cookies wrapped in red paper from the tray and off he goes twirling and laughing to offer some to the others.

I unwrapped the fortune cookie and it tells:

‘For the wise man, every day is a festival’.

It could not be any better said. Let’s Celebrate! Tomorrow is not promised.