motherhoodTwo days after I was in hospital in the middle of the night, I returned to the antenatal unit for my 20 week scan.  My husband and my parents went with me for this, and my Mum even took the day off work.  We were very excited about the scan as we hoped we could find out if we were having a boy or a girl, and had even chosen names for each.

My Dad is Italian and his name is Francesco, or Frank, so we decided if we had a boy it would be Francesco Enrico (Enrico being the name of my Dad’s brother who died age 21 in the 1950’s in Italy in the Asian Flu epidemic), and if it was a girl we would call her Francesca Linda (Linda is my Mum’s name).  That being the case, we had taken to talking to my growing bump and calling it “Frankie” either way!

We went into the room for our scan and tried to contain our excitement as the sonographer concentrated on taking all the measurements she needed to, and at one point we could see on the screen very clearly that we were definitely having a boy!  I wanted to shout out “Oh my god we’re having a boy yay!”, but I knew she needed to concentrate on what she was doing!

At the end she confirmed we were indeed having a boy, and then said I would need to go back in a couple of weeks as she couldn’t get a proper look at his face as he had his hands in front of his face, and his heart.  We booked this for September 25th, and walked out on cloud nine.

We met my parents in the café area at the hospital, and they were dying to know what we were having, I said, “His name is Francesco Enrico,” and my Dad burst into tears.  I rarely if ever saw my Dad crying, he was so happy!

We went to lunch at a pub after that and celebrated the fact that we were having a boy.  My Mum then went into overdrive with buying lots of clothes and blue things for him, and my old room at their house was full of things that she’d bought for him – I was completely overwhelmed.

My husband started decorating Francesco’s room and we chose a mid-blue colour.  My Dad was away in Worthing with some relatives who were visiting from Italy and my husband was very keen to get a head start on the painting.  It didn’t take long at all and soon Frankie’s room was beginning to take shape.

Then on Wednesday 25th September we headed up to the hospital yet again for the additional scan that was needed to look at his face and heart.  I was exactly 23 weeks pregnant, and I was on cloud nine in the car heading up to the hospital at the thought of seeing my little boy onscreen once more.

But in the blink of an eye, that euphoria changed to shock, horror and total disbelief.