Meet Jenny – our newest Trustee and Winnicott parent!

November 6, 2017 12:37 pm

We recently welcomed Jenny Vaidya to the Winnicott team as our newest Trustee. We are honoured to have Jenny on our Board of Trustees, and look forward to an exciting future of working together! To find out a bit more about Jenny and her journey with The Winnicott Foundation, please read below:

‘My name is Jenny Vaidya and I have been appointed as a new Trustee for The Winnicott Foundation. I am very passionate and proud of this as my son Jack was born 10 weeks early last year at Queen Charlottes Hospital. I didn’t realise at the time but this charity played a huge part in my family’s journey, something I will always be grateful for.

Entering a neonatal unit is terrifying, you are about to see your baby for the first time in the most extreme circumstances. I remember first seeing Jack, so small and covered in wires. It was a moment of pure joy and fear. The environment is something you cannot prepare for, the beeps of the machines, the heat, the smell and of course all the babies in their incubators or cots. You never really think it is something you will get used to, but you do. The area around your babies incubator becomes your new home, the medical team your confidants and the other parents your friends and allies.

When you are in the unit there are many things you are grateful for but you also take for granted. Such as, the incubators, breast-feeding chairs, breast pumps, accommodation, baby clothes, support programmes etc. These all make a difference to your journey, but two things particularly stuck with me, both supplied by The Winnicott Foundation. The breast-feeding chair and welcome bag. I sat in that chair for hours and hours for weeks and weeks, it was where I first held my son, first fed him and sat watching him everyday. To say it needed to be comfortable is an understatement, and it was. I have one of my most special memories in that chair, watching my husband hold his baby boy for the first time and seeing the pure happiness on his face. The welcome bag given to new parents is a cooling bag with a toy and book included. This bag still feels part of me and my journey. I used it every day to bring in my milk for Jack, I read him the book every day, and he still loves the toy. It was and still is incredibly useful and meant I didn’t need to worry about how I was going to transport my precious milk I had spent all night pumping. Not only was it practical but it was a symbol for me, I would see other mothers with the bag and feel a type of kinship with them, we wouldn’t need to speak, you just knew they were on a similar journey.

Of course, the incredible team of doctors and nurses allowed us to bring our lovely boy home six weeks after he was born, now a cheeky and healthy one year old, but these other items eased an incredibly stressful situation. There are many other ways in which the charity has supported Queen Charlottes and St Mary’s Neonatal Units but these are the two things which stuck with me. This is why I want to support this wonderful charity and ultimately other parents who will go through this life changing experience.’

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