Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Julz: Letter to Melody

Melody was born at 26 weeks due to her mum Julz's severe pre-eclampsia. Julz would like to raise awareness that Pre-Eclampsia can happen before 28 weeks.

Dear Melody,

Today is the 1st August, which means it has been a whole 4 months 1 hour and 5 minutes since you fell asleep. How different things were this time last year. Me and Daddy had just decided we wanted to try to see if we could make you possible. It was a few weeks before our blessing, and a few weeks after our wedding. We thought how lovely it would be to have a post blessing baby; we never in our wildest dreams thought you would grace us with your presence, so early in every way! 25th August was the magic moment you came to our lives. I became sicker as the months went by, though I found it hard to bond with you, which I will forever hate myself for, I knew as soon as you would be born I would love you forever. And that moment came sooner than expected. I'd said over and over again I couldn't feel you move, hence the limited bonding, I was so scared for you. Until 26th February 2012 the doctors and nurses thought it would be safer if you you were delivered.

At 26+6 1346 you squeaked into the world, kicking the doctors as she pulled you out from the warmth that you were used to. They showed mummy and daddy your face and the love surged through us both. Neither of us were allowed to go with you, for me I had to be stitched, but they wanted daddy to stay with me. I felt I'd already let you down by now being able to go with you.

It wasn't for another 6 or so hours that I was able to see you, daddy had gone to see you and taken a picture. The love I felt a washed over me.

When I was finally wheeled to see you I felt absolutely scared, scared on how you would look, how you would feel and whether we would be able to keep you.

Though your tiny little face was covered with a ventilator, you really looked so, so beautiful. In fact one of my favourite photos of you is one of your earlier ones.

Within 24 hours you were off your vent onto cpap, then quickly moved to vaportherm, which you remained on. Receiving O2 through it, nothing fazing you, you were always so feisty. You knew when you needed your bottom changed, you hated everyone poking and prodding you, putting your hand up across you face, to tell us you had enough. You used to love Kangaroo care, even showed you wanted a breast, but you were still too young to be trying. Mummy and daddy cuddles were the best.

You also enjoyed having your big sister and brother to visit you. Listening out for their voices, giving them huge windy smiles, and grabbing your sister's finger. They love you very much.

You were doing so so well, we were told your brain function was fine, no signs of disability, you had a slight murmur but that also cleared, you really were our miniature hero, waiting for you to grow, waiting for the discharge day that we had been given, to take you home a week before your would have been due date, 15th May, we began making plans as a family of 5 for the half term holiday, so excited to get you home.

31st March me, daddy and your big brother came to visit you as your sister was going to a birthday party. The nurses let us have a cuddle with you, it was the first time your brother had seen you outside your incubator. You had such a beautiful colour about you. Your brother was talking to to you, could see your eyes looking out for his voice, though we knew you couldn't see him, we knew you were trying. We had a photo of the four of us, and told the nurses it would be just mummy and your sister visiting the next day, us three girls together. The nurses agreed to wait to do your cares so your sister would watch too. 1st April, daddy phoned in as he did every day, to see if you had a better night, we were told they were about to ventilate you, to give you a rest. I knew then we had to be with you, a sinking feeling within my heart. We dropped your brother and sister off to their own dad, in the hope we would collect them later and me and your sister would go down again later.

In the 10 minutes it took us to get ready and to take them to their dads, we had a phone call to say we were needed to be with you. I drove at speed to the hospital, hoping that they were going to transfer you to another hospital an hour away and that we were needed to sign forms for permission and collect your belongings.The unit doors were closed, I felt sick, your doctor greeted us to tell us that she was afraid you weren't going to survive!! Pardon? I can't repeat what I said.

I felt my legs buckling, but knew they had to carry me to you. Your bed had been moved back to the most intensive part of the unit. This in itself was bad as you had been in the bottom end of HDU. I begged them to tell us this was a horrible April fools joke, why were you fighting for your life? They had restarted your heart 5 times, we asked them to stop, to leave you alone. We wanted none of this but to have your vent taken away was the most terrifying awful thing we have ever gone through. They passed you to me but I only held you for a moment daddy took over while you were christened in no less them a minute long.

Your vent was removed. This was then I knew I had to have you, to hold and kiss you, keep you warm, beg you to stay. Wondering if you could hear mummy and daddy's pleas, our sobs saying the word we had been so scared to use for the past 5 weeks. I really hope and wish you had heard us tell you we love you.

930am you left us.

I held you for as long as I could, but then your colour began to fade rather quickly, we made the heartbreaking decision to hand you back to the nurses to bath you and get you dressed, now this guilt will stay with me forever, we should have bathed you, we should have stayed with you, I'll always wonder if you would have stayed if we had left the vent in. Should we have fought more for you?


What now? How do we possibly leave you? Leave you to be transferred somewhere cold. The days and weeks passed too quickly, the feeling of everyone forgetting you, people telling us to get over you? How are we ever going to do that?

As we approach your 6th month birthday, we wonder, would you have been crawling? What food would you have been pinching off our plates? Having to move things higher, or the sleepless nights through teething.

We miss you so so much. Life is so cruel. You were doing so well, we had so much hope that you would be home. To discover you had an infection similar to meningitis? Wondering if it should have been caught. Fed up with people telling me it's one of those things, or natures way. I just wish desperately that you are still here.

We love you so much, we will never ever forget you. You'll always be our daughter, baby number 3.

I just wish desperately that I could turn back time. To hear the words, "we made a mistake, Melody is in fact ok but she needed a rest" Why?

My heart aches, my arms feel heavy without you. Desperately clinging on to your scent.

Melody Caitlyn we will always always love you

Forever your Mummy



  1. Julz, thank you for sharing such a heartfelt letter and for the precious photos. Melody was just beautiful. When you talk about having to leave her, that really resonated with me. Leaving my girls behind in the hospital and walking away with only their memory boxes has been the hardest part of this journey for. I will never know how my legs carried me. Huge hugs xx

  2. Oh Julz what a beautiful account; I hope that in time you don't hate yourself but come to accept that the feelings you had were understandable and she knew that you loved her whether you said it or not. Huge hugs to you sweetheart; leaving my little man at the hospital was one of the hardest things I ever had to do xxx

  3. I just want to say thank you so much for posting Melody's story. She was so beautiful. xxx

  4. A beautiful telling of your sad story Julz, Melody was a beautiful baby xxxxx