04 Jul My Son, John Ian Bird
I wrote a post a little while ago about a piece of music. I’d love for you to open that post in another window and play the music whilst you read.
Soon it will be my sons birthday. We’re almost into double figures. For those of you who don’t know about this side of my life its a huge part of me. Something I have kept very private. Until now.
Almost seven years ago I woke up one morning to find that my partner (8 plus months pregnant at the time) was bleeding all over the bed. We rushed to the hospital, Frimley Park in Hampshire and were taken into a delivery room. Our baby was on the way.
Our midwife was a lady called Sian. She was being assisted by a trainee named Margaret. As you can imagine there was a lot of rushing around at first to check that mother and baby were well. Things calmed for a little bit.
There are moments in your life that burn into your memory. Feelings you can’t shake and never will. I remember looking up from my partner and the bed to see Sian and Margaret talking, and they caught my eye. That was when I knew something had gone wrong.
Sian came over to the bed and told us that our baby had passed away. I can only imagine what it was like for my partner however for me I had a duty to her now, and to make sure they both came out of this OK. I guess for me I turned into a manager and ‘handled’ the process.
The technical bit here was that mum still had to give birth. Hours and hours passed. Tears, fear and every other emotion kicked in. I remember we even laughed a little. I looked at little man’s mum and was amazed. Not only did she refuse all drugs so that she could remember every moment she never gave up. Not for one second. Knowing the outcome I can only imagine how hard that was for her.
Soon enough I was a dad. My little baby boy had appeared. I cut the cord and had a hug with him. Then mum got a turn. He was a stillbirth child. But he was a child. And he was mine.
Frimley is a very enlightened hospital and we were very fortunate. We we’re allowed to keep him with us for a few days in a special room called the Silver room. The hospital gave us a pack and encouraged us to use it. It included a place to write about him, a lock of his hair and some other keepsakes. I’m not sure how but this inspired us to do everything we could with him. We turned it into his ‘firsts’. So I gave him his first bath, watched an episode of Star Trek and read him a bedtime story.
Whilst I popped out to get him a special outfit his mum even managed to take him outside to sit on some grass (with a Nurses help of-course).
He was named John-Ian. Ian after his mother’s father and John after my Grandad.
Soon it was time to give him back.
The music you have just listened to is what he was buried too.
The Inner Light
So why that music. Well, when we returned home we put the TV on. An episode of Star Trek The Next Generation called The Inner Light was on. It’s a very well known episode in which the Captain lives a whole life in 24 hours. He was born, grew up, became a father, became a grandfather, watched his friends die and then obviously he died. When the music played we just looked at each other and started to cry. It was meant to be…
But there was more…
During the adverts, they announced that Star Trek Enterprise was ending. The show had been cancelled and the last few episodes were being shown for the first time after the episode we were watching.
Enterprise was set before the United Federation of Planets was formed. For those of you who don’t know what the UFP is, its a group of planets which share common values, like respect. This is after all the show that back in the ’60s aired the first white/black kiss. This show (not in the 60’s I might add) was something I believed in. I grew up learning about these ideals. It’s fair to say I love the principles of the Federation.
Anyway, to recap, Enterprise was set before the Federation was founded. It was telling the story of how the Federation came to be. It was set on the very first Enterprise. It was captained by a man named Jonathan (you’ll never know just how happy I was about that).
We naturally decided to watch this once The Inner Light had finished.
And in the last few episodes of Enterprise, the story of how the Federation came to be was told. It was all about the birth of a baby. The very first Human/Vulcan child. Who passed away. That child helped people come together to form something I believed in. The UFP.
For me I was gobsmacked. Fate? Who knows…
I’d like to believe that my little boy had a little hand in that for his father.
You have to remember this all happened within 6 hours of us coming home.
To this day ‘little man’ has a model of the USS Enterprise NX 01 on his grave. I have one at home also.
I obviously can’t post a picture of little man without asking if people want to see him. However, if you would like to I have uploaded a picture and you can view it by clicking here.
John Ian taught me loads – I am a very lucky father to have had him in my life.
If you would like to contact me about anything relating to my experiences or just want to reach out I welcome it. Please feel free to get in touch.