It was Friday May 30 when baby Freddie was placed on my wife Sarah’s tummy. We cried.
Nothing can describe or compare with the feeling as your first-born is presented to you, even if he is blue and crying profusely.
Sarah had been simply serene during her 16-hour labour. The manner in which she managed to control those contractions will stay with me forever.
It was 4am on the Thursday when it all started. By 2pm we were being sent home from the QA Hospital in Cosham as she was only 2cm dilated.
It wasn’t until almost 24 hours later that Frederick George Wade Jackson was born.
Not only am I so proud of my wife, but myself too as she described me as the perfect birthing partner for keeping her hydrated and providing a cold flannel and plenty of encouraging words.
Plus I didn’t try the gas and air and pass out, unlike a friend of mine.
But this wondrous story soon turned into a nightmare. On the Saturday morning, it became apparent to the nurses that something wasn’t right with Freddie.
He was transferred to the neonatal unit. We felt shock, fear and overwhelming sadness as doctors and consultants came into our room to tell us the seriousness of Freddie’s condition.
He was then transferred to the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton. We followed, dazed.
How could this be? He looked so normal. What was wrong with him?
You don’t expect to see your new baby end up in an incubator with wires connected to his head, hands and feet.
There were blood tests, scans, drugs and monitors beeping away. This could not be real. How could we have ended up there?
The neurological and haematological teams worked flat out to get to the bottom of Freddie’s problems and they made great progress.
I cannot tell you how totally dedicated, focused and caring the consultants, doctors and nurses have been.
Their treatment of Freddie has been simply stunning. Without their diligence and expertise, he would not be recovering in the manner he is.