Victoria Welton and I are thrilled to introduce our son, Rex Martin Williams – everything we hoped for and more but, as chronicled previously in this magazine, getting him here has been challenging. Our IVF journey has been physically, financially and emotionally exhausting but, ultimately, worth every penny and second. We are both big believers in things happening for a reason. Yet we are also both realists in that without help and support we knew that this would never happen for us.
The majority of Vicky’s pregnancy passed without incident but by 35 weeks, it had become clear that medical personnel were concerned about pre-eclampsia. After a series of visits to the hospital, we were told that Vicky should be induced at 38 weeks. However, just days later, the pre-eclampsia worsened and Vicky was admitted to hospital. After much waiting and worrying, Vicky was induced that Friday and finally, on the Sunday evening, her waters were broken just before midnight.
Despite the complications to this point, the labour couldn’t have been smoother – with support from our excellent midwife Amy, Vicky turned in a superhuman effort and, at 2:46 AM, Rex tumbled into the world slightly blue and amazingly beautiful. After a quick check-up and clean-up, I cut the umbilical cord and, soon thereafter, we were able to introduce Rex to his sister Grace, followed by both sets of grandparents.
If my son’s birth was the most joyous moment of my life, the following fortnight was the most terrifying.
Vicky and Rex came home on the Wednesday but the parting comment from a midwife about Rex’s jaundice was ominous. Thereafter, assorted tests and check-ups indicated that his bilirubin level was increasing and we were told that phototherapy was a consideration. This didn’t concern us greatly but everything changed when the hospital called after a test result, telling us to come in immediately. Upon arrival, the first words from the midwife were “he could need a blood transfusion”. No preamble, no tact – it was a knife in my heart. Rex was stripped, prodded and subjected to syringes. I’ve never felt more powerless and scared.
Fortunately, phototherapy caused his bilirubinlevels to drop quickly and all was well. I’ve since learned that new-born jaundice is a common issue and was nothing to be overly worried about but encountering issues with my own child for the first time was an experience that deprived me of my usual logic and pragmatism.
Rex is now 7 weeks old and flourishing, already outgrowing many of his outfits and he seems to share more than his looks with me – he may follow in my footsteps as a singer if his regular and raucous vocal exercises are any indication. Vicky is still recovering as the pre-eclampsia was more of a problem than we had first understood.
Fortunately, my work as a freelancer has allowed me to spend most of this period at home and Grace has been a shining star – I don’t know what we would do without her.
It’s been an arduous journey getting here – over four years in which we’ve had the heartbreak of miscarriages, the emotional turmoil of realising egg donation was our only option, a failed IVF cycle with an unprofessional, money-grubbing clinic in Cyprus but, ultimately, the great pleasure of finding an incredible collection of conscientious and passionate people at IVF Spain whose work has led to the completion of our family. Grace is now a big sister. After six years of being a dad, I’m now a biological father and can fill in the pieces of the puzzle that I missed during Grace’s first four years.
Vicky finally gets to be a mum in a support ive, positive and loving environment.
And now, the real journey begins…!