After 2 and half years TTC, we announced we were finally pregnant on my 30th birthday. Such a joyous celebration with family and friends and one that i look back on with fond memories.
My earlier sceptum operation meant I was high risk and therefore consultant led but otherwise my pregnancy was pretty easy going - I was just so happy our baby boy was healthy at his 20week scan. Whilst I resisted the temptation to fill his nursery, we had already decided on his name, Jacobi Patrick - so he could share the same initials as his daddy.
So when I started spotting at work at 23 weeks gestation, I didn’t panic, I carried on working. When I got home I followed the advice of the maternity helpline and sat in the bath rubbing my tummy. But then I started experiencing cramps and heavy bleeding - I realised something wasn’t right and I took myself to hospital. Despite hearing the reassuring sound of our son’s heartbeat, I was 4cm dilated and in active labour.
I will never forget the way the doctor took my hand, looked me in the eye and said ‘I’m so sorry’. My world fell apart there and then. I howled and wept as they wheeled me to the Snowdrop bereavement suite, and there I stayed for 4 long days. For most of that time I had my feet above my head to encourage gravity to delay labour. Our hope was that we could keep Jacobi safely in my tummy until atleast 24weeks gestation, when his chances of survival earthside would double. We even tried an emergency cervical stitch. But nothing was working. Our little boy was coming and we needed to prepare for our hello and goodbye.
Despite being emotionally and physically exhausted, I was determined to only have gas and air so that we could enjoy our limited time together as a family. On Sunday 12th August 2018 I gave birth naturally to our perfectly formed baby boy Jacobi. He had daddy’s feet and nose and my hands and ears. We enjoyed two hours of skin to skin cuddles, took a few photos and introduced him to his grandparents and aunty before he grew his angel wings.
Our amazing midwife Kim was so gentle with Jacobi, helping us dress him for the first and last time. She was such an important part of Jacobi’s short life that we invited her to join us at Jacobi’s funeral.
We were determined to celebrate Jacobi with family and friends but it was heartbreaking selecting a resting place and burying our little boy; It made it all seem so final.
Jacobi turned two this month and we celebrated his birthday the only way we know how - with baking, balloons, blooms and bubbles. I will forever imagine what he would look like, what mischief he could be getting up to and what life we should be leading together as a little family.
And whilst we’re desperately trying to bring home a younger sibling for Jacobi, I will forever carry the heartache and guilt of being a mother without my baby boy in my arms.