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Do you have your own story to share? Please add your story to the gallery below - join our fight and help others see they are not alone.
Story by: Steph
My pregnancy had been completely low risk until I suddenly experienced severe bleeding at 27 weeks. I was admitted to hospital and all hell broke loose. There were consultants, nurses, scans and examinations. It was all such a shock.
I’d developed HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening complication. The doctors said that I had to deliver my baby as soon as possible. I was in complete denial as I still had 3 months until my due date.
Our baby girl, Freya, was born weighing just 2lb 4oz. She was so small and fragile. She was the size of my hand, a little dot. But she was gorgeous. Freya’s first weeks were a rollercoaster. There were some terrifying set backs but she fought back and 9 weeks later she finally came home.
We have been really, really lucky. Many of the women I met in hospital had gone into labour too soon and nobody could say why. We know so little about it and, as mums, we have a huge sense of guilt. It's so important to raise awareness of prematurity as it happens to so many people.
I was born at 27 weeks.
Story by: Amanda
I was born at 27 week's weighing just 2lb, the nurses nicknamed me "Little bag of sugar". I was in hospital for quite some time. I was even christened in there as they didn't think I would be coming home. . . Growing up I had a few health issues due to my size but I'm now a healthy 40 year old Mummy to a 6 year old Daughter.
Story by: Charlotte
I had a normal pregnancy up too about 26 weeks when they found out that my after birth had come apart and was killing my baby. Alfie was born at 28weeks at just 1lb 9oz, and he was really poorly.
He had problems with bowl, he had an operation to save his life had to go on oxygen to help him breath as his lung collapsed. He also had 4 blood transfusions to help him. He was let home after 4 mouths after he had one more op on his bowl.
He is now 5 months and only weighs 7lb 9oz and is still on premiere milk to help him, he also has lots of med to help his growth. He's so lucky to be here. Alfie has got a long road ahead of him but he fighting everyday.
My little shining stars
Story by: Shayna
This actually breaks my heart to see all these baby's and their family's going through what should be a happy time but unfortunately ends up been an emotional roller-coaster. So glad that most these little miracles are still here to share there amazing stories.
Unfortunately for me my two little miracles never had a chance at life, I was only 17 when I had my twins Lee and Liam, they would be 13 now. I was 28 wks and 4 days when my boys were born Lee weighed 1pound 2oz and Liam weighed 1pound 4oz. Lee passed away at only a day old and Liam passed away at 8 days old. Liam fought so many battles he ended up getting (nec) and that was way to much for his little body to fight off even after his operation.
I've never shared my story or pictures of Lee and Liam on any social media site but when I saw this site it just seemed the right thing to do I'm still not ready to share my pictures but am more than happy to share my story.
My twins delivered at 33weeks +5days
Story by: Ameni
My story is a bit funny. At the beginning of my pregnancy I had a heavy bleed and thought that I had miscarried, then after three weeks from the bleed I was having pregnancy symptoms so I went for a private scan and found out that I was expecting twins :) It was a shock for both me and my husband.
Everything was good till week 24 when the scan showed a bad doppler for my boy - he had a growth restriction.
I was having 2 scans per week and then at 31 weeks I was admitted in the hospital for 2 weeks and my baby boy' heart started dropping so I had a C section at 33+5 .
My boy was 1.4 Kg and my girl was 2Kg. My girl needed breathing assistance but the boy was fine just very tiny. They stayed in NICU for 5 weeks and now they're 4 months old :)
Both of my babies
Story by: Roisin
Both my babies were premature my daughter was exactly 8 weeks early (now 2) and my son was exactly 6 weeks early (now 8months) and both had a few bleeds on their brain as well as jaundice so both had to spend a few weeks in NICU.
But when my son come home he was only home for about 3 weeks then he was rushed to Alder Hey children's hospital because he had bronchitis and needed to be on a ventilator (he spent 5 days on that) and in total he was there for 17 days. I dread to think what would've happened if we didn't have the NHS
My Little Miracle
Story by: Jess
Tuesday 20th October 2015 was just another normal day. Little did I know that I was going to end up in hospital, only to be told that I was having my daughter that day. It was such a scary time and all sorts were going through my mind. I later gave birth to my beautiful baby girl weighing 3lb 4. She was taken off to NICU and spent the next 3 months in there being looked after by some fantastic doctors/nurses.
Although it felt like a lifetime and it was a constant 1 step forward, 2 steps back, I knew my little girl was a fighter and 1 day, I’d be bringing her home. I will always be forever thankful to all that helped her and to those who donate blood as my daughter was one that was in need of a blood transfusion.
Almost 3 years on and those memories will stay with me forever. But miracles do happen. My daughter was discharged from her consultant in February 2018. She is doing extremely well and has me and the rest of her family in fits of laughter.
For all those family’s going through the same situation I have been in myself, think positive and stay strong. There are some amazing people out there that do amazing things. Without them, things could have turned out very different.
My 23 weeker
Story by: Chelsea
I gave birth to my son at 23 weeks & 2 days weighing just 555grams on 21/05/2017.
Jacob is such a fighter, he had numerous infections, he had a heart operation at 10 weeks old only 3lb. He was ventilated for 3 months, on cpap, high flow and low flow. He came home after spending 5 months in hospital on oxygen. Jacob was only on oxygen at home for 3 months.
He's doing amazing now, he can hear and see. He's got a good set of lungs, he's a cheeky happy little boy and we are ready to spend his first birthday together on Monday.
Mommies little soldier
Story by: Jessica
My pregnancy to my third child wasn't as easy as the other two but I put it down to the others where girls so maybe it's different due to this one being a boy, but I'd started getting bad dizzy spells legs swelling lower back pain by the time i was nearly half way through the pregnancy had tests done but nothing was showing what was wrong.
Then at 29 weeks I woke in pain and was bleeding heavily I got rushed to hospital was given a steriod to help my babies lungs but just an hour later part of my placenta come away so they had to bring on my labour.
It took 15 minutes and he was here they put him in a plastic bag so he wouldn't freeze whilst being rushed to the NICU. I had him at 10:26am and didn't get to properly meet him till 12:00. I couldn't hold or touch my frail little boy but just look on and pray he pulled through, we finally got to hold him a week after he was born and i was petrified but was the best feeling ever.
We spent 12 week's on the NICU before finally being told we could take him home finally get to meet his sisters properly. Now he's nearly 2 and wouldn't think he was born 2 half months early, he's so adventurous forward happy healthy and most of all my inspiration in life, it shows even the tiniest frail little human can over come anything when you just fight ????????
How l lost one twin after 6 days
Story by: Margaret
I had my twins on 15/7/2013. My delivery was a bit scary because my placenta ruptured in surgery.
I had gone to hospital for a normal routine check up, and they said they couldn't find a heart beat. I had an emergency c-section. Six days after delivery I was told that the babies were not well, my son had contracted NEC.
Unfortunately l lost my son as the disease had advanced and surgery couldn't correct it.
Fortunately my daughter survived and will turn 5 in July.
This is my story.
My little heroes
Story by: Michelle
Things were going fantastic with my pregnancy until I got to 25 weeks with my triplets when one of my twins started getting absent and intermittent cord flow. At the time it wasn’t a huge concern but was monitored regularly, and as my antenatal checks were weekly scans this wasn’t a problem.
But within three weeks this became much worse to the point I was having scans twice a week them at 29 weeks I had my scan and her cord flow had flat lined. We were rushed to a consultant who then arranged a bed at heart lands hospital where i had another scan which showed the cord flow was very absent. My little girl was slowly being starved inside of me.
My babies were born the next day, born minutes apart weighing,2lb 4oz, 1lb 13oz and 2lb 11oz. They were all resuscitated at birth and swiftly taken away. The hardest part was being made to wait to see my babies and not knowing what was going on.
My babies all born in quite good condition twin two who already started her fight before she was born was born a the strongest she was able to breath alone at long intervals, but also needed to rest she was unable to tolerate food for some time, bud gradually from half a mil her milk was increased and she was doing well apart from the normal prem baby problems like infections distended abdomen she was regularly taken on an off food so was the slowest to gain weight.
The cpap and ventilator became our second best friend. My eldest twin struggled with breathing and infections on an off she was also regularly put back on ventilator but she fought and fought on. My little boy twin was my biggest and he was not very happy to be out so soon an he struggled to breath without oxygen. They all developed blood poisoning and I was told that the doctors had done all they can and the rest was down to my babies.
Thankfully my babies made it out the other side. My son was on a ventilator for nearly 8 weeks over what the doctors call the safe period. He also had a small bleed in the brain an he almost came home on oxygen, but against all odds and because of the hard work of doctors and nurses and out fantastic NHS my babies are with us today they are now 8 years old and thriving. My son has some learning difficulties, but they are all doing fantastically well. They are my little heroes and i couldn’t be more proud of them.
Born at just 25 weeks
Story by: Jenny
I had a very good, easy pregnancy, with no issues at all, but at 25 weeks I haemorrhaged and was rushed into hospital.
Jack was delivered by emergency caesarean section at 25 weeks and two days, weighing just 1lb 15oz. Jack needed oxygen, help with his breathing and feeding tubes to survive. He suffered a collapsed lung and brain bleeds and contracted the potentially deadly bowel infection necrotising enterocolitis (NEC).
After life-saving surgery in the middle of the night, Jack went on to endure many serious health problems and spent four and a half months in hospital before he was finally allowed home.
Now almost four years old, Jack has experienced some developmental delay. He has chronic lung disease due to the oxygen he needed in his early months and there are concerns about his eyes. He may be affected by epilepsy due to the brain bleeds he suffered as a newborn baby.
Without research, we wouldn't have medical advances, and Jack probably wouldn't be here, we are so lucky to have him. There's no stopping him!
Emma's birth story
Story by: Emma
There was a risk with my second that he could have been born early. My eldest had been born at 32+4 at 4lb 4 so the risk was there.
My pregnancy with my second was going well, towards the 32 week mark we did get anxious, remembering what had happened last time. Ironically at 32 + 5 I started to feel some familiar pains, they continued until the next day so i went into hospital. The hospital were unable to detect any signs of labour so sent me home to rest.
At 33 weeks on the dot I lay in the bath home alone and delivered my little boy. I was joined by paramedics shortly afterwards who proceeded to take us to hospital. He weighed 4lb 4 and was in hospital for 2 weeks and 1 day. With what could have gone wrong, I'm so thankful to everyone who help both of us. The neonatal nurses are amazing!
Story by: Louise
Our boy is an ivf miracle, so stressful from the very beginning of our pregnancy. All seemed to be well until 20 weeks when we were told he wasn't growing very fast and, as the weeks went on he slipped further below the plotting lines in the little book.
Finally at 35 weeks our consultant told us our boy had to come out... Now! And so later that day we met our 1.9 kg baby who despite being tiny was in perfect health. We can never thank the consultant enough for knowing his quick thinking, things could have been very different for our preemie and now we have just celebrated a whole year of having this truly amazing miracle in our lives.
My story about Grace
Story by: Shanice
I was 28 weeks when the doctors found something wrong - I was measuring incredibly small and was sent for a growth scan, while there they found my baby had stopped growing at around 22 weeks and my placenta was dying - the problem didn’t start to correct itself and I was admitted to hospital - 5 days later I was rushed for an emergency c-section, in 8 minutes they had my little girl out, she let out the most incredible cry!!
She was immediately taken away and I didn’t see her for over 10 hours!! The NICU was a terrifying place, babies in little plastic boxes all around, machines beeping, wires everywhere, but the minute I saw my daughter she was utterly perfect!!
Grace was born weighing 1lb9oz but did amazingly!! She came home 9 weeks later after blood transfusions and infection treatments - 2 weeks before her due date weighing 3lb15oz!!
I could never thank the Doctors and nurses enough who saved my baby girls life!! She is truly a miracle!! She will be 3 in April and we are so so proud of the little fighter she is and the little girl she is becoming!!You never know true determination and strength until you witness it coming from someone so small ??
Two tiny fighters 7 years apart.
Story by: Kathy
My first lil fighter was born at 28 weeks weight 3lb. Samuel my lil prince. He spent 11 weeks in hospital and it constantly felt like 1 step forward 10 back. Every day another issue arose. I was wishing for the day that I went in to see him and no one had anything to say to me.
Today he is a handsome 7 year old who plays football, rugby and darts. He really does make the most of every day and isn't fazed by any challenges that comes his way. It has been a bumpy road to get to where he is but he is amazing.
Last year I found myself pregnant again which petrified me but really thought I couldn't happen to me again as Samuel was spontaneous labour. However bang on time at 28 weeks Isla-rose was born weighing 2lb 8oz. She was and is a very strong little girl. She didn't need to be vented and only had cpap for 1 day. Her journey was the complete opposite from her brothers, she made progress every day and 7 weeks later she was home with us.
I have been very lucky to have had to early babies with no major issues and am very thankful for this.
Lucy and Olivia's story
Story by: Gemma
Four years ago my beautiful daughter's Lucy and Olivia came into the world weighing a tiny 1lb 12oz and 1lb 9oz, arriving early at just over 25 weeks old. I'll never forget the night our girls were born.
Thankfully, both babies came out crying - but they were immediately whisked away. The following hours, days and weeks were a rollercoaster of fear and worry. We didn't know from one hour to the next whether breathing difficulties or infection might claim their tiny, fragile lives. We are well aware that we were lucky.
During our two months in intensive care, five other babies died. I don't think people realise how often it happens, babies being born at 24 or 25 weeks, and how hard it is for them to survive.
Lucy and Olivia had to stay in hospital for another two months until their due date. In the first week, they both did well, but after that, one would be up and the other down. Lucy was ventilated for one day and then supported with oxygen. She was able to breathe on her own after just one month. But Olivia stopped breathing several times and needed life-saving treatment. The impact on families of having extremely premature babies is shocking - and lasting.
Even now, I worry about the risk of infection. The fear of them dying hasn’t gone. Babies are surviving but not much is known about the long-term impact of prematurity. It's so frightening for parents, which is why it's reassuring that more research into prematurity taking place.
Story by: Keith
My son Aiden's suffered hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) during his difficult birth. The team in the intensive care unit began to reduce his body temperature to protect him from brain damage, a process known as cooling therapy.
For the first two hours I didn’t know whether our beautiful son had survived or not. Aiden was transferred to another hospital for further cooling therapy where he was wrapped in his ice blanket. His breathing was assisted and he was suffering from seizures.
The cooling therapy was helping control these, but it was just so emotionally draining not knowing how affected he would be.
The days that followed, with Aiden in an incubator and wired up to several machines, involved a whirlwind of tests, information and enough tears to fill an ocean. The ice blanket was removed after 72 hours and Aiden was warmed to a normal body temperature.
The day Aiden met his two big brothers, Keiran and Joshua, was a huge milestone for us, as it was the day when we could finally hold him. We were both very nervous as we didn't want to knock his breathing tubes or wires, but holding Aiden was the most amazing feeling and well over due!
Aiden is now three years old and is a happy little boy who loves to play and be around people. He has cerebral palsy but a combination of therapies is helping him get stronger. Aiden has the biggest, brightest smile and laugh. He can easily melt your heart. Without previous research his outcome could have been even more severe. Research that could further advance treatment is so important.
My pre-eclampsia story
Story by: Tracy
I had swollen ankles, and a bit of heartburn that wouldn't go away, but I had none of the other symptoms of pre-eclampsia, such as very bad headaches.
But when I went for an antenatal check with my consultant at 33 weeks, they found worrying symptoms including high blood pressure and traces of protein in my urine. I was admitted to hospital straight away, it was such a shock. Emily was delivered at 34 weeks weighing just 3lbs 8oz and stayed in hospital for four weeks.
I couldn't hold Emily for 24 hours, but when I did the first cuddle is one I'll never forget, I just couldn't believe how small she was. You see premature babies on the TV but you don't realise how tiny they are until you hold your own, Emily is still small - she wears clothes for age 6-9 months even though she's now 14 months - but she's healthy and happy. We have been so lucky.
You never like to think about what could have gone wrong, but I know research could potentially save lives. If it could help even one mother and baby it is worthwhile.
Story by: Marcya
As my Grandaughter Isla approaches her third birthday it is hard not to remember her start in life and wonder at the little warrior queen she is today....born at 26 weeks 5 days, 1lb 13oz, ‘the smaller twin to her sister Paige, so tiny and fragile, one dark, one blonde....those little girls fought their way through their first 4 weeks of life whilst their Mummy lay sick in hospital.
4 weeks in tragedy struck, Paige became ill as she developed a truly devastating illness, NEC...despite an operation and a battle for life she died in her Mummy and Daddy’s arms. Isla fought on, she gave us all the courage, love and hope to carry on.
Isla is a ‘force of nature, a tiny, strong willed warrior of a child...we love her so much... I am so proud of my daughter and son in law to be who survived the deepest tragedy any parent can bare......Paige will always be loved and never forgotten....the tragedy of her loss only makes me love my precious Grandchildren all the more xx
Story by: Shelley
I found out I was pregnant at 22 weeks after being told 10 years before that having children wasn't going to happen.
4 weeks later the day after Boxing day I was admitted to hospital as I was 5 cm dilated. They gave me injections to develop baby's lungs and we were hopeful I could just hold on which I did for almost 1 week.
On New Years Day at 6.27 I delivered my baby without my Husband as my labour was recorded as 1 min. 2 hours later i met Daisy who weighed 1.26kg. We spent nearly 8 terrifying weeks in NICU as Daisy kept forgetting to breathe and had numerous infections. She was 4 days old before I held her briefly. The day she came home even the Nurses were in tears.
Today she's 8 yrs old one of the tallest and brightest in her class.
Pre-eclampsia four times
Story by: Vicki
My first baby was born in 1999, at 27 weeks weighing 1lb 9oz. I am so grateful he survived with no medical issues. He is now an independent 18 year old, with some teenage attitude (but we believe that is what has kept him alive those early weeks!).
Son number two was born at 30 weeks and 3 days, preeclampsia got us again. He weighed a “huge” (!) 2lbs 5oz. I admit, I felt a little cockier this time. Been there, bought the t-shirt. Thankfully, he survived but had issues, which floored us as we had assumed he was heavier, in the womb longer etc... Joe is 16 today and is deaf and a slight ride-sided hemiplegia. He had learning difficulties which have lessened throughout the years and now he is your average (if geeky!) teenager who loves Dr Who!
Our next two babies were born at 34 weeks then 36 weeks and neither needed special care, which was a shock to us! Taking our babies home straight away! When our eldest were in SCBU, I was desperate for news of happy endings - there was only one baby on the display board that has been smaller than my firstborn, I needed to know more had survived and that there was hope. I can’t tell you the amount of times I cried as I truly had no hope that someone so small and sick could ever survive.
Born at 26 weeks
Story by: Sarah
My daughter was born at 26 weeks she weighed just under 2lb. It was a hard time we had a lot of down days at the beginning we had lots of support from family she was in special care for 3 months then it was time to bring her home still tiny 5lb 4oz.
I felt scared I had what if she stops breathing in my head but they told us before we left the hospital. She is now 11 years and we have no health problems.
Miracles can happen
Story by: Anne Marie
It’s so hard to think about it being 10 years ago. I still get a giant lump in my throat when I recall that scan.
It was 3 days after Christmas 2007 and my new husband and I were so excited to think that this was our last Christmas as a duo. Next year we’d be a trio, but not until March so we’d started to plan the nursery and get things organised. My routine 28 week scan seemed to be taking longer than usual. The radiographer was bringing in midwife, doctor and then consultant.
Then we got the terrible news that the scan showed that my baby had stopped growing and would need to be born within the next couple of days. I couldn’t get my head round it. As they took us to the NICU we looked at all of these tiny little babies. “Your baby will be here soon!” Said the nurse. No! How can they. I feel fine. This must be a bad dream...
The words and photos in this gallery posts are written by people who have shared them and reflect their own personal story.