You’d have loved the pram I had chosen for you, Hugo.
Mummy and Daddy had been trying for you for more than two years. We were over the moon and so excited when we knew you were in my tummy.
Mummy spent lots of her spare time looking up things about pregnancy, what you were doing in my tummy and how you were developing. I also looked up the best things to get you, things that you would need, such as a pram.
Mummy and Daddy used to go to baby shops to have a look at all the cute little clothes, prams, toys and other bits and bobs. We’d said we wouldn’t buy anything until after the 20 week scan, when we knew everything was ok.
You were a right little monkey during that scan, Hugo. Mummy and Daddy were looking forward to seeing you on the screen, but you were quite insistent that you were perfectly happy on your tummy, thank you very much. Luckily, you did deign to move and we were told you were a perfect little boy. Everything normal. I wish you could have seen your Daddy’s beaming face.
Everybody was so happy for us.
I had set my heart on a particular pram for you, Hugo. It was a beautiful cobalt blue. Mummy likes bright colours. It was boyish though, not girlie. Daddy wouldn’t have wanted to have pushed a girlie pram.
I particularly liked the pattern on the inside of the hood. I had read that bright patterns help stimulate babies’ brains, and I knew you were going to be a clever boy.
The wheels on the pram were strong, I wanted them to be for all the walking I was going to be doing with you. You were supposed to have been born at the beginning of June. I was going to spend the summer walking with you in your pram, taking you to the park, to meet friends and family, and to feed the ducks. I was so looking forward to it.
Mummy, Daddy and Nanny went to look at the pram. It was everything I wanted for you. I did a test drive around the shop, and I knew it was the one. I could picture myself taking you out in it, your chubby little legs kicking away and your dimpled arms reaching for the toys attached to the bar.
It was late January then, and you had only been in my tummy for just over 20 weeks. That was half way through the time you were supposed to be in my tummy – you were supposed to be in there for another 20 weeks, growing bigger and stronger.
Mummy was so excited about the pram and persuaded Daddy that we should go and buy it, even though it was ages before you would be using it. It could sit in the dining room, folded up. It was easy to put it together and I could practice wheeling it around.
We were supposed to go and buy it one Sunday, when I was 24 weeks’ pregnant. We didn’t go though, because Mummy wasn’t feeling very well. I hadn’t felt well for a few days, and was very tired. Mummy and Daddy thought it was best for me to stay home and rest and save my energy for you.
What Mummy didn’t realise was that we were both in serious trouble. The next day Mummy and Daddy went to the midwife, then to the local hospital, and then to a big hospital in London.
You were born there three days later.
My summer baby was born instead during winter’s death throes.
You were far too early, and far too small.
What you lacked in size, Hugo, you more than made up for in feistiness and determination. Your nurses nicknamed you Hugo Boss. Lots of the staff were very fond of you, with your spirited character.
Mummy and Daddy were so proud of you, and spent all the time with you that we could.
During our precious cuddles, Mummy would use visualisation. I thought of the pram, of you a big strong boy being taken out for walks in it. I pictured us in the park, along the river, feeding the ducks. I imagined people stopping us to admire my beautiful boy.
You would need to be in hospital at least until the time when you were supposed to have come out of my tummy, so there was plenty of time to buy the pram and have it ready for you at home when you were big enough and strong enough to leave.
I’m so sorry that everything Mummy did for you wasn’t enough, Hugo. I wish love was enough to keep you with me. I want more cuddles with you, and to take you out in your pram.
The pram I had chosen for you, Hugo, is such a good pram. It means it’s popular amongst other mummies and daddies. It means I see it around a lot. I see those mummies and daddies pushing their baby. They look so happy and proud.
I have to look away. It makes me feel too sad.
Today I feel lost, like I have forgotten something. Like I should be doing something else. There is something missing. You are missing, Hugo.
Mummy and Daddy wish you were here with us, causing havoc in the way that only a newborn baby can.
You are always in the hearts and minds of Mummy and Daddy, and of everyone else who loves you. Lots of people love you and miss you, Hugo. You’re a very special little boy.
Hugo, we will love you forever. I will always miss you. I will always miss our walks with you in your pram. Those walks that will happen only in my mind.