Eight years ago today I gave birth to my third baby – standing up, leaning against the bed, my husband telling my midwife and a registrar that I was about to have a baby because they were going to start prepping me for a caesarean.
I saw him briefly before he was whisked away to SCBU with my husband and I was taken to an operating theatre to have my stubborn placenta removed.
After the births of my daughters I was at home and I got to cuddle and feed them all day, I saw Jamie for a few minutes in an incubator before his first surgery when he was 6 hours old.
My boy’s short life of three days was a rollercoaster of doctors, nurses, scans, intensive care units and a lot of emotion. He had a heart defect and he had an oesophageal defect so he needed help to breathe, along with a feeding tube. He was mainly kept in a drug-induced coma but every now and then he would open his eyes.
He was a beautiful, beautiful boy.
Losing him has led to grief, anxiety, depression and more pain than I have ever experienced but I wouldn’t change any of it. Not every baby can make it and he was too poorly to stay with us but, even if someone was able to wave a wand and take Jamie, the pain and the grief away – as someone once asked – I wouldn’t. He is my child, I made him and I got to make some memories with him. And, as for the grief, the depression and the anxiety, although very scary at times, it has shaped who I am today and I feel blessed to have him in my life.
Because of Jamie…
I trained as a doula – I desperately needed a doula the day I gave birth, it would have helped me feel less vulnerable in hospital
I developed Relax & Breathe to help parents better handle panic, tension and anxiety – using my breathing has kept me sane, it has kept me calm, it has helped with panic
I am able to support parents who have experienced the death of a baby
I am better able to listen, to focus on and to empathise with expectant and new parents
I am better able to support parents who experience depression and anxiety
I have had the confidence to follow my own path to build a small business to provide valuable support for parents with a young family. He has enabled me to be able to make a little difference.
He was a beautiful, beautiful boy and I am blessed to have had him. Happy Birthday my gorgeous boy