I discovered HolidayPirates. This is dangerous. Really cheap holidays!
And then I discovered a deal for a family of 4 at Legoland in Windsor for just £99 including a day pass to the park for all of us and a night in a hotel. I had to have it. So the little one and I, a friend and her little boy, headed out over the weekend to Windsor. Petrol is a lot cheaper so driving only added £160 to the cost of the trip. £160 for 4 of us to get to London and back.
Off we go!
We took our time on the drive down. This is the M6 Toll services
She loves staying in hotels.
My friend read around before so we went to the park with a strategy on how to make the best of our day
What we did right:
1. We got there early and parked easily, close to the park
2. Once in the park we stopped at the cafe and had a Starbucks (oh yes) while we waited for it to open at 10. We didn’t queue. It took a couple of minutes for the massive queue into the park to clear. I supped on my coffee
3. We got a Qbot. We got an express one because we figured it would be busy. Sunday, all the schools off, sunny day. Probably busiest day of the year. We didn’t queue for any ride which meant we made the most of our time.
4. We worked from the back of the park forward. There were no queues when we got to the ride
5. We got the refillable drinks. The cups are great and you refill them for free at various places around the park
6. If we wanted to go on a ride, we added it to the Qbot . We then wandered around enjoying the park while we waited to be called to the ride
7. We didn’t worry about getting wet
8. We took plenty of refreshment breaks. We ate in the Legoland hotel for lunch. Brilliant. Buffet lunch. Loads of different options for kids including loads of wheat free stuff. The kids ate loads of great food. They had lego brick shaped chips – and no wheat. Great softplay area in the Legoland hotel too.
9. I used Periscope to share the rides with my hubby. He was very excited too. We tried to get lots of selfies on the rides. My friend is in the background on this one.
By the time we got to 3pm we were totally exhausted but really made the most of our day. We all had a great time.
What we learnt for next time:
1. The Legoland hotel is amazing and backs onto the park. We will find a way to stay there next time.
2. We need 2 days to make sure we experience everything we want to experience.
3. We bought the express Qbot for £35 each (gulp). Definitely worth having a Qbot but we would have been fine with the standard one for £20 each. By the middle of the day the wait time for rides without the Qbot was 45 minutes. I would definitely get it but not the more expensive one.
4. The Legoland hotel is a must. It would allow us to come back and chill in the afternoon before heading back to the park. We tried to go to the splashzone but it was mental. Heaving. If we could go back later that would be great.
Overall we did the best we could do to make the most of the experience. We all loved it and will definitely go back again.
I sat, late at night, by his incubator and read him Harry Potter. I wanted him to be hearing my voice. It was my third visit of the day. He wasn’t having a good day. I was trying to focus on him instead of the numbers on the monitor. The numbers were not where they should be.
He was uncomfortable. He was writhing and crying. I hadn’t seen him like this before and it killed me. I tried to concentrate on reading.
Earlier that day they had given him a steroid injection. It was supposed to give his lungs a chance but it was risky. It stopped cell regeneration.
I couldn’t stand it. I left to drive home. I had a bad feeling.
Then again, every day for the past 30 days I had that bad feeling and he had fought and proved me wrong.
This time it was different. When I was 5 minutes from home I got the phone call I was dreading. That phone call was the reason we had told no one to call us since he was born. We needed to come in. Right then.
I picked the hubby up, turned round, and we drove back to the hospital.
A 10 minute drive that I didn’t want to end because I knew what was at the other end.
We walked down the long corridor to the NICU.
We both struggled. The hubby was still recovering from a quadruple heart bypass. I was still recovering from a caesarean. We were both trying not to collapse. Physically, but more so emotionally.
When we arrived we were told he had a tear in his stomach. He was too small. There was nothing that could be done.
The last semblance of hope that he could fight this went.
We sobbed. I remember they put a screen around us so that the other parents wouldn’t see.
He was in agony. They upped his morphine.
We were taken into a separate room and he came with us. He was calm now. Drugged up. We had to tell them it was ok to switch off his incubator.
I held him. For the first time I saw his face. Without the tubes. I held him close. For the first time.
I watched his beautiful face as I held him and his nose turned blue. I wanted him to breathe on his own. To prove them wrong. I wanted him to be one of those amazing babies that came back to life after contact with his mother.
It didn’t happen.
While I held him for the longest time that I had been able to in the 30 days he lived.
He died in my arms. So did a part of me. A part of me that will always be with him. I will never be whole again.