Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dear Joseph

Last week Mrboosmum at Premmeditations wrote a stunning letter, urging herself to let go of the guilt of premature birth. I have written posts in a similar vein myself. She has created a linky and rather than link an old post I thought I would write something new. But then on reflection I felt that I actually had no guilt anymore. Ok I got pre eclampsia and Joseph was born at 27 weeks, but I know now that it wasn't my fault.

Then this morning it happened. I am wearing a white top with green polka dots, its quite close fitting. Joseph looked at me glowing with happiness "oh mummy there is a baby in your tummy I am going to be a big brother". Bang. There it is. That old familiar feeling, guilt. This is all my fault.

Dear Joseph

When daddy and I decided to have a baby, we decided to have a family. You would be our first baby then there would be another. And maybe even another after that. We dearly wanted a family, and neither of us pictured a scenario where we would have an only child. We both grew up the eldest with a younger sister, and that's what we wanted for you too, well maybe not a sister, it may have been a brother, afterall you can never have too many cars, Avengers and Power Rangers!

When you were born, mummy and daddy had never known such joy in their lives. But, and it's a big but, we had never known such fear either. The doctors told mummy she could have died, and that we could have lost the baby. 

A lot of babies go straight  home when they are born, or are born at home, but you had to stay in hospital for 3 very long months, and for the first 4 weeks you were very poorly. It was a frightening time for mummy and daddy, and you were so brave and strong.

When you were 7 weeks old I had to go and see the chief consultant and head midwife and we had a very honest and frank discussion about future babies. They both felt, in their professional opinion, it would be wiser to not go again. To not have another baby. To not give you a sibling.

Preeclampsia is two things. It's evil and its also unpredictable. I may not get it again, but in all likelihood I will. You are a very special loved little boy and I would never want to put you through any pain if I could avoid it, and having another baby is dangerous.

Sometimes I feel very guilty that you will grow up an only child and resent not having siblings. As you grow you will have friends, deep friendships that will last your whole life through. You will have lots of amazing experiences and know deep love.

I am letting go. I am letting go of the guilt and the sadness.

Joseph there is no baby in my tummy, its just cake.

Love you always



  1. That must have been very hard to get your head around xx

  2. Dearest Kylie. I was really moved by your post. I'm posting this comment anonymously as I'm sharing information about people I know and I don't want to reveal anything that might identify them.

    The idea of having a brother or sister that will be a lifelong 'friend' is such a wonderful, powerful idea. Of course we all want that for our children (and for ourselves). That's so natural to feel that way. But in reality, some people have siblings that they never get on with. I know many people who are estranged from their parents or siblings, either because they didn't have a happy childhood, or simply because they just can't relate to them. My husband can't stand his brother and my best friend does not get on at all with his brothers - even now at the age of 58. They are just too different from each other. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is no guarantee that siblings will be 'close' to each other.

    But Joseph has a mummy and daddy who love him to bits and that is so, so special. Please don't beat yourself up because he will never have a brother or sister. You cannot really tell what might have been. You can only know what 'is' and what 'is' is that Joseph is extraordinarily blessed to have you and his father. What a lucky boy! He will always be surrounded by friends and family who adore him. And when he grows into a man, he will no doubt fall in love and make his own family. He will never be alone.

    (A friend of mine has an only child - a daughter - who has recently got married and is now pregnant with her first child - life and love goes on).

    Keep smothering him in love - and keep eating cake! ;) x

  3. oh Kylie! from reading your story from the beginning (even thought my commen ting is poor now I know) I never fail to be moved by your words. Joesph is such a lucky lad to have you.
    P.S - please tell me it was chocolate cake?

  4. I read this and really know those feelings of guilt. My son was premature and I too had preeclampsia and it was a difficult birth and difficult time all round. Sometimes I have felt overcome with guilt about so many things like not having siblings (had cancer too so definitely no more kids) but when I look at my son's happy smiling face I just know things will be alright : )) This is lovely heartfelt post...thanks for sharing x

  5. I loved reading this and I hope one day Joseph will read it and see what a strong and brave mother he has.

  6. Beautiful post, and so important not to blame ourselves, but to celebrate the wonderful children we have created. H x