This is a guest blog post by my lovely assistant Jess who has some very happy news!
You may remember that Jess wrote a very moving blog post back in March 2021 which
So now I’m thrilled to be able to share this follow up post from Jess:
Image credit: Holly Hambling
“I love a story with a happy ending and we certainly have ours…..
Following on from the blog post I wrote in March 2021: ‘Jess’s Story – Crocheting through loss’ I thought it was time for an update!
I am over the moon to announce that we welcomed our second son Otis into our family in April 2022.
Those of you who read my previous blog will know that it took a lot to reach this point. We sadly lost 3 babies after the birth of our first son Kobi, so to have Otis here at last feels so special.
He is really, finally here. I am still a little in disbelief.
As always, my go to coping mechanism has been my crochet. My safe place.
My Crojoretro blanket was my complete focus after my miscarriages during lockdown. It gave me something to do every day – a target to hit and a feeling of accomplishment.
My Homage blanket was my ‘rainbow blanket’ created with visions of using it in my baby’s nursery one day and giving me a feeling of hope.
My Wallflowers was my distraction and focus during my most recent pregnancy, to keep my mind still and to keep busy! I was determined to finish it before the baby came – and I did!
Crochet has helped me far more than I ever could have imagined. Having something meditative and comforting to fall back on and to fill my time has been invaluable. Having something to feel good about. Having something to love.
My partner Donny and I weren’t sure whether we could face trying for another baby, but we had some amazing support to help us feel brave enough to give it one last go.
Firstly, we were looked after by Professor Dame Lesley Regan’s team at the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic at St Mary’s Hospital in London. They performed tests and prescribed the correct treatments which would enable us to have a successful pregnancy. Going to London, in lockdown and having procedures done alone – as no visitors or partners were allowed – was scary. I took my crochet on the train to keep me calm…!
Secondly, Donny and I both received weekly counselling from an amazing organisation called Time Norfolk. I had my counselling for almost a year and it helped me enormously. Time Norfolk offer 1-2-1 counselling support free of charge across Norfolk, in person and online to people who have experienced some form of pregnancy loss. They offer time to listen, time to grieve and time to heal.
As a celebration of Otis’s safe arrival I have set up a fundraising page in aid of Time Norfolk and would be so grateful for any donations big or small to support this brilliant charity. You can make a donation here
Thirdly, we have had an incredible amount of support from the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. All the way through, from regular scans at the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit, to ongoing support from Mr Lartey’s Pre-Term Clinic, Sue at the Birth Reflections service and all the wonderful midwives and health care assistants who looked after us.
When we lost our babies, they were wrapped in tiny crocheted blankets when we held them. The time spent with our babies was incredibly special and I’ll never forget it. We have kept these blankets in the memory boxes we were given by the hospital.
They are so precious to us.
As a thank you to the hospital, and in particular the staff on Cley Ward I am making some small blankets with the help of some lovely people to donate back to the hospital for other families to use. Even now, crochet is still helping me to find acceptance and closure for what we have been through.
It’s not until I write everything down and read it back that I realise quite how much has happened, and I begin to understand why it now feels as though my shoulders can finally drop.
But it’s all been completely worth it.
AND another pretty brilliant thing happened last year…I was offered my dream job! The wonderful Sue Maton asked me to become her assistant at The Mercerie and I jumped at the chance! Working with Sue is as great as you would imagine and fits perfectly around my boys (I can say that now I have two!)
So now I guess crochet really is my life…how lucky am I?”