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I see a future full of happiness

My name is Pat and I am nanny to Bertie and mother to Melissa, Bertie’s mommy.

My journey with Bertie started when Melissa, a single mother in her 40’s found out she was pregnant. This concerned me, at 40 plus there is always that possibility your baby could be born with health problems. Melissa’s first scan showed that her baby would be born with Down syndrome and a heart problem, this for me was not a happy joyous feeling, I was so scared of the unknown and the effects this would have on her 3 year old son. How would my daughter cope?

Melissa had another scan at 14 weeks which showed she was having a baby boy, immediately she named him Bertie Baxter. Bertie became a person to all of us, always referred to by name, even by the medical staff at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, so much so that the heart consultant that performed most of Melissa ‘s scans spotted Bertie’s name when he was in Birmingham Children’s Hospital and had to come and finally meet the little boy that he felt he knew so well already.

Whilst Melissa was pregnant she was approached by a film company who were making adocumentary for BBC1 called Life and Birth. Melissa agreed to take part and have Bertie’s birth filmed, already the crew knew this baby as Bertie, they were all very connected to him even though he wasn’t yet born, the magic of that extra chromosome is powerful stuff!

The 4th October 2019 Bertie became centre stage, he arrived with much applause! My grandson was here, how did I feel? Would I love him in the same way I love my other grandchildren? And would he grow to love me? Would he survive? So many frightening thoughts.

Bertie spent many months in hospital with little opportunity for us to bond, when finally he was discharged home COVID-19 reared its ugly head. During these past months I have had very little opportunity to hold and cuddle my precious grandson and now he is getting heavy it is difficult for me to hold him for long – I’ve missed so much.

I see a future full of happiness, Bertie is beautiful and has the most amazing smile, he is very noisy and starting to be mischievous. I will play and have adventures with him just as I did with all my grandchildren. I love him very dearly. Thank you to my daughter Melissa for having the courage and love not to terminate her pregnancy like so many others, our lives have been made more special for Bertie being in it. Bertie will be a force to be reckoned with, I look forward to being part of Bertie’s journey.