Infertility

26th March 2020

Dear Jacob,

You are no longer my future baby but simply my baby. I can’t believe you’re here and you’re perfect.

You’re 4 weeks old today. It’s currently 3am and I’m sat up listening to your little snores and noises watching you sleep waiting for your dad to take over for the next few hours.

You entered the world rather dramatically on Thursday 26th March at 1.22pm by c section.

On Wednesday 25th March, at exactly 37 weeks I went for a growth scan and consultant appointment, everything looked good and we agreed on an elective c section on 9th April. The same day but later that evening I went to the loo and had quite a significant bleed. I was terrified and dialled 999 which I’d been advised to do by my midwife in the case of bright red bleeding. The paramedics came but essentially couldn’t do anything and told us to make our own way to the maternity unit. We sat in silence the whole way, I was so terrified something had gone wrong, luckily the midwife was waiting for me and put the Doppler on immediately so I heard your heartbeat. Dad wasn’t allowed in with me so waited in the car until about midnight when I was admitted to the antenatal ward. It was really scary being on my own. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I was still so worried about you. I had to wait to see a consultant the following morning, they monitored me again and wanted to do an internal scan to check the placenta which had been low lying for the majority of my pregnancy. They couldn’t see what they wanted with the bedside scanner but suspected I had something called vasa praevia, so wanted a more detailed internal scan, there were 5 people including me in the room and at one point two people were holding my legs up to my chest, not the most calm or dignified moment of my life. They confirmed vasa praevia, a very rare complication where the vessels from the umbilical cord go across the cervix in front of the baby’s head, which could have serious complications if I went into labour. Although the bleed was the scariest moment of my pregnancy, I’ll be forever grateful as without being scanned it wouldn’t have been picked up and I can’t bear to think about what could have happened. They made the decision that you were coming out ASAP by c section. I called Dad to get him come down and sent a couple of frantic texts to family and friends saying the baby was coming today. We joked that you were so close to being born on the 25th March, the perfect date! About 3 hours later I was in theatre. I think I was in shock, I hadn’t even finished packing my hospital bag. It took them about an hour to do my spinal block which was pretty stressful. Finally at 1.22pm you made your grand entrance to the world and the moment we’d waited so long for, we found out we had a son and our world changed forever. I sobbed as soon as I heard your little cry, Dad was able to go over and cut your cord and take some photos of your first moments of life. In the meantime I just lay there with tears rolling down my face waiting to meet you. The surgery went well and dad had some skin to skin with you while I was being stitched up. After being told at all my growth scans you were going to be a big baby, you weighed in at dinky 7lb3. Luckily Dad was able to stay with us until about 9pm that day.

I had a tough first few days spending 4 nights in hospital, we struggled with feeding, it was hard being on my own, dad was only allowed to visit between 6 and 9 everyday and I was so sleep deprived and had so much anxiety I felt like I was really struggling. I was in hospital so long I became a bit scared to leave the safe bubble and comfort of knowing the midwives were on hand but we had to leave eventually and it was so nice to be home after 5 nights away and for your dad to finally be a bit more hands on. It felt good to finally have another pair of hands to help out and let me sleep.

Since you’ve been born your dad has been amazing, he’s really surprised me. He was so smitten with you it was lovely to see, I felt like I bonded with you during pregnancy but I don’t think it clicked for him until he actually met you. It must have been so hard for him not to be with us in hospital and be able to help us for the first few days, he was so supportive though which really helped. Finally leaving the security of the hospital and bringing you home was so scary but so special and as soon as I got home I relaxed knowing we were a team and your dad was going to look after us.

The first couple of weeks were hard but I feel like we’ve got a pretty good routine going now. Dad goes back to work in 3 days and I’m dreading it, it means we’ll be flying solo during the nights and days and I know it’ll be tough. I think it’ll get pretty lonely as we won’t be going out or seeing anyone.

As I said in my last letter, things are pretty crazy in the world now. A few days after I’d written the uk went into full lockdown, no one was allowed out apart from to go to work, to go shopping for essentials or for an hours exercise a day. No one has ever known anything like it. I’m finding it so hard not seeing family and friends. It really breaks my heart that after waiting for you for so long that no one has been able to meet and cuddle you. Your grandparents have visited and peeked at you from the conservatory but it’s really not the same. We have tried to make the most of it being just the 3 of us in our little lockdown bubble but I do get tearful thinking about how much you’re changing and people are missing out on. We video chat with grandma and grandad and auntie Lulu every day. I’m angry at the unfairness of it all. I feel a bit cheated. It’s really not what I imagined having a baby after all this time would look like, no baby groups, no visitors, even things like midwife and doctor appointments are different. I wonder what the first 4 weeks would have looked like if we weren’t in this situation. It’s weird that apart from the midwives in hospital you’ve not seen another person other than Me and Dad. At the moment though everyone is in the same boat and there’s a lot of people who are much worse off during all of this so we have to be grateful where we can and we have you so really that’s all that matters.

I still can’t believe you’re a boy. I think I would have been surprised either way as I didn’t really have a feeling, your dad was convinced you were a girl. I wonder what it’ll be like to be a boy mum as you get older, will we be as close as if you’d have been a girl, will I miss out on parts of your life once you settle down, will you feel you can come to me to talk or for advice.

I worry everyday, I’m so anxious about you, if you’re healthy, especially with everything going on with the virus, I want to be able to protect you, I’m also worried about me getting sick and not being able to look after you. I worry if I’m doing enough, are we stimulating you enough, are we interacting with you enough, are we cuddling you enough or too much, am I enough? Its so much responsibility looking after a human and being a parent. I have no idea what I’m doing, it’s so hard, I’m really looking forward to your first smile, I think that’ll reassure me that you quite like me. It’s also weird as we haven’t seen you with anyone else apart from us two. I think you’re going to have a really lovely bond with your dad, you’ll be partners in crime I’m sure. I hope that loving you is enough, all I want for you to be a kind human being.

You’re so cute, everyone has said so and I don’t think they’re just saying that. You’re not what I expected you to look like but you’re way cuter, your chubby cheeks and pouty lips just kill me, as do your funny faces and noises. After thinking you would have lots of dark hair I’m surprised that you don’t have much yet, I do think it’ll be wild when it grows in though, you have a double crown and I think a cows lick at the front like dad. A lot of people think you’re like me, and I can see our similarities in photos of me as a baby, I think it’s our double chins too. In the last few days a lot of people have said you’re becoming more like Dad too.

You hate being naked and you already have a bit of a temper. Dad has started wearing ear defenders to change you. We’ve had quite a few accidents when changing you, having a boy means lots of wee everywhere!! Your poos are also really smelly as are your farts. You get hiccups a lot just like you did in my tummy and you do a funny little bum wriggle / squirm which I’m sure I used to feel you do in my tummy too! I do kind of miss being pregnant, I miss my bump. I’m adjusting to my new post pregnancy body, everything is wobbly and Ive got some lovely purple stretch marks but in all honesty it doesn’t bother me. My body grew and carried you for 9 months, something at times I really didn’t think I’d be able to do, and I’m so proud of it for that. I really wanted to breastfeed you but unfortunately that wasn’t to be, we struggled a lot in hospital and ultimately it was best for both you and me if we moved to formula. I have a lot of guilt about that and I do still feel a lot of sadness. I thought having you here would make me less anxious as I could see and hold you and check you were ok but it just brings new worries.

I still don’t think it’s sunk in that you’re here and you’re really mine. I love you so much that I worry everyday you’ll be taken away from me or I’ll wake up and it’s all been a dream. It’s taken so long for you to finally be here it’s hard to believe you’re real. Seeing how perfect you are has also made me think a lot about the two embryos we lost before you, were they like you? were they boys or girls? It’s made me think about the embryo we still have, I wonder if it will survive the thaw and implant, and if I’m strong enough to go through it all again especially with all the anxiety I had during my pregnancy. I wonder if it’ll be like you. I’m also really grateful that we didn’t decide to transfer you both at the same time as honestly one of you is hard enough haha, I can’t imagine having to look after two babies.

Auntie Lulu has nicknamed you Jacob Joy or joyous Jacob because that’s what you’ve done, you’ve brought so much joy and happiness in to our family and into the world when things are a little be scary and uncertain.

I love you so much, thank you for not giving up as that little 6 day old embryo, thank you for choosing me to be your mummy, I hope I can do right by you and make you proud and raise you to be a kind, strong and loving boy and man. You were worth every tear, injection and heartache, and every day I waited for you.

Love always,

Mum xxx

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