Day 329 - My Birthday. Brace yourself, this will be a long one. I’ve been waiting for a few photos to come in before posting, and now that I have them, here goes….
Waking up in hospital on your birthday is probably not the greatest way to start the day (especially when you’re not sure if you’ll be discharged), but pretty quickly this birthday turned into one of the best ever. Here’s how the day goes…
I did my usual wake up, roll over, social media check in. The first saw a message was from my friend Jess in the US. As part of her HBD wishes I caught my first glimpse of a pink banner - “Happy Birthday Nicole – We love you”. Sweet, but a little OTT I thought (and said in IM to Jess). You aint seen nothin’ was the spirit of the reply.
These banners kept popping up all over my news feed as my friends changed their cover photos on Facebook. There was a social media take over of sorts, unfolding from the comfort of my hospital bed. I actually got quite overwhelmed and very emotional (in a good way).
First the cover photos with the banner, then came profile pictures. A photo shoot had been arranged on the front steps of the Ogilvy New York offices. My work friends had a group shot with the birthday banner and I don’t know, over a hundred pink helium balloons in hand. This group shot become the profile picture of I don’t know, 40 or 50 people. However many, I certainly couldn’t miss it!
On top of this group effort, lots of people posted videos to my wall, which I loved, and regular messages. When I first saw my brother later that day in Sydney, his first words to me were “you’ve gone viral”. I certainly felt that way.
So away from the digital world, my physical world birthday was amazing. Mum booked us a suite in the Pullman hotel on Sydney Harbour, looking straight out at the bridge. We took the afternoon to chill out there, in supreme indulgence before our dinner later that evening.
On top of the spray tan, mani, pedi in the hospital last night, Celeste organized one of her TV mates / make up artist friends to come to the suite to give mum and I a little make over. My mum hardly wears make up, and as Eliza worked on her, I nearly cried, she looked so beautiful. I then got the full makeover with lashes and a wig styling, It’s true what they say, when you look good, you feel better.
Then the dinner. My very best girlfriends. The ones that are like family. And of course my actual immediate family too. There were a couple of super close friends missing (Emma, Yvette, Julian and Michael) - they very kindly made me some excellent videos to play through the course of our meal. I’ve watched them about a 150 times since then too. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE good food. And the food at Aria was very, very, very good. Everyone raved.
So all in all, a pretty perfect day for me. I won’t lie, I had some concerns going in. Concerns that there would be an undertone of sadness. Lots of heavy hearts around the possible reality that this will be my last birthday. But my birthday wasn’t that, it was fun and a celebration and exactly as I wanted it to be. Thanks to EVERYONE for making it so, I feel so loved and so special. For that, I’m very grateful!