Dear Felix, my tiny one, I've been calling you my tiny one ever since the 24 week scan that showed us that you were small. You did in fact grow and you even came into this world at a good 6lb8oz (3 weeks early) But as I sit here writing this letter to you I am holding a tiny 5lb9oz baby boy on my chest and it's a constant reminder that we so nearly lost you. You are here and you are safe but your tiny, frail body reminds us of the journey you have been on. My pregnancy with you was a difficult one. I knew something wasn't right in the weeks leading up to your birth but when at 36 weeks and 6 days the consultant decided you needed to arrive as soon as possible I really thought you would be ok. They told me you would be ok once you were out and I put my trust in that. At 37 weeks on the button we started the induction process. A slow start led your daddy going home for some sleep. Yet did we know that you would be born just an hour or so later....at speed with no time for him to be at the birth. And so you arrived with just a few pushes. Everyone in the room was shocked at the speed of your arrival not least me and of course you. As I lifted you up from between my legs you took my breath away. You reminded me of your brother and you were perfect in every way. And then suddenly my joy was halted whilst it became apparent that you were so very poorly. Grey, floppy and not crying. Every mother waits for that first cry to know that everything is ok. Yours never arrived in that delivery room. You were prodded and poked and whisked away from me whilst I sat and waited alone for someone to tell me you were ok. Your daddy arrived and watched you being resuscitated outside of the delivery room. He knew before me just how sick you were. His strength for you and me in those moments highlights just what an amazing dad and husband he is. You are certainly a very lucky boy to have him. And so you journey had begun. You were taken to intensive care and I was taken to an post natal ward full of screaming babies and joyful mums. That is where we stayed.....in the same building but separated. As soon as we were allowed we came to see you and the extent of your condition became apparent. You had tubes in your mouth and a ventilator was breathing for you.....a blur of things were going on around us.....doctors explaining how ill you were, nurses inserting needles and adjusting your beeping monitors. All of them watching you with such urgency that I knew we could easily lose you.
Over the course of the next week I paced the halls of East Surrey from my ward to yours at every opportunity. I had given birth yet no one would have known when I walked from my ward to the neo natal unit each day. I had no baby in my arms.....just a small offering of milk that I had pumped for you. I would go back to pump milk for you and then sit by your side day & night. Your daddy sat with you too whilst juggling your big brother and the house. For the first few days we could only watch and wait.....you were to frail to be touched or held. Waiting for a first cuddle with you felt like an eternity. When you were well enough to come out of your incubator for a cuddle our hearts melted. It wasn't how I imagined holding you. Covered in wires and tubes it was one of the most daunting moments in my life yet at the same time it was the best feeling in the world to have you in my arms.
On Day 5 I was discharged from hospital and I had to leave you behind. I cried all night the night before and all morning that day. When it came to the time where I had to say goodbye I felt like someone was ripping my heart out. It was the worst and most un natural feeling in the world. I had already been separated from you for 4 days which was hard enough but at least you were in the same building. I got home and focussed on pumping as much milk as I could for you.....it was the only thing that made me feel useful during your recovery and the only thing that reminded me I had really given birth.
After a couple more days you suddenly turned a corner. Quicker than anyone could have imagined. You proved all of the doctors wrong and one by one you lost your tubes and wires. Every day was a milestone from reducing your oxygen to taking you off oxygen completely. From feeding you through a tube to giving you my milk through a bottle. You moved out of intensive care and into high dependency. Out of your incubator into a cot and then finally out of the feeding nursery and into transitional care. We watched your tiny eyes turn from pained and distressed to inquisitive and relaxed.
Then the day finally came to bring you home. All 5lb of you. The best moment of my life was being told that you could come home. So we bundled you up and made a quick escape (just incase they changed their mind)
And so here you are. The missing piece to our puzzle. The baby we longed for so much. It's like you have been here forever. You are perfect in every way. You are keeping me up all night and you don't want me to put you down. I guess we are making up for all of those lost cuddles. I will cherish every noise, every cry and every cuddle and I have sworn to myself that I will never complain.
But time will pass, our hearts will heal and the awful memories of the last 2 weeks will gradually disappear. You owe your life to the wonderful doctors and nurses at the neo natal Unit at East Surrey. They made you strong and we will forever be in their debt. So my tiny one, you are home and it's time to start making all the wonderful memories we had planned on. All my love forever
Your mummy xxx