Danielle Hackmey, 34, is mum to Jax, born 22 December 2011, and is expecting her second baby with husband David in May.
‘I always wanted to be a mum, but I didn’t know it would bring me quite this much joy. No matter how bad a day gets, I just have to see Jax light up when I walk into the room and nothing else seems to matter anymore.
David and I were thrilled to discover I was pregnant a few months after we married in 2008, but sadly they couldn’t find a heartbeat at our 10-week scan. It was a tough time so we decided to give ourselves chance to enjoy being married for a few years before trying again. Thankfully, once we did, we conceived Jax within just a few months.
I knew I was pregnant before I’d even missed my period. I rushed out to buy four pregnancy tests, just to be sure; then booked an appointment with Dr Iskaros, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at The Portland, who had been personally recommended
He was keen to do an early scan at five weeks, and we returned two weeks later for another, where we heard a tiny heartbeat, overjoyed. Other than a little morning sickness, my pregnancy was surprisingly smooth. I had lots of energy, worked out three or four days a week and put on less than 2 stone.
I couldn’t wait to find out what we were having, and coming from a family full of girls was so excited to discover we were expecting a boy. Naturally, I was nervous given my miscarriage, but once I got to 25 weeks I knew he had a good chance of surviving with intervention, and relaxed.
Although I developed placenta praevia, I was fortunate not to have any real complications. Dr Iskaros kept a good eye on me, and booked me in for a Caesarean section at 38 weeks, before the baby got too heavy.
I expected it to be quite traumatic, but having my bloods taken in the morning was actually the worst part of the whole process. The anaesthetist was amazing – even the epidural (which I’d been petrified of) didn’t hurt.
Despite being born to what I thought would be the relaxing sounds of Paul Simon, Jax came out screaming bloody murder. I thought babies had to be spanked to get them going, but he was already furious!
It was so surreal when he was laid on my chest while they stitched me up. We’d been waiting for this little person all this time and suddenly, here he was. When we got back to our room David got into bed with me and we put Jax on the pillow and just lay there, looking at him. It was absolutely love at first sight.
I recovered really well so we got to take him home three days later, on Christmas Day. Everyone was away so London was lovely and quiet, and we got to have this magical first week at home with him.
Once I got over the severe sleep deprivation of the early days, everything came naturally. He’s been such a good baby. His little personality
began to emerge at four months and he’s just been getting more interesting every day.
He’s crawling everywhere now, laughing and babbling away. His latest trick is to copy everything I do – if I cough, he coughs. He’s hilariously cute.
We can’t wait for the arrival of his little sister in May, and David definitely doesn’t want to stop at two. There’s just so much love in our lives now. I feel a level of constant happiness that I had never experienced – and never expected.’
By Rachel Cocker