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My little miracle
Story by: Zoe
My little boy was born at 28 weeks weighing 1lb 8oz. We spent a very long 14 weeks in NICU, 1 step forward, 3 steps back, but he amazed me every day with his strength and determination to live. He fought off infections and stopped breathing needing resuscitation. I thought I’d lost him as they whisked him off blue and lifeless, my screams being heard all over the unit. But he made it through that too, my absolute hero, my true little miracle. He’s now almost 2 and a very happy healthy little boy. He’s small for his age but definitely not in personality!! Never give up, these tiny little babies are the strongest people I have ever come across. 🥰💙🥰
Preterm baby (Isaiah) now 5 years old
Story by: Donnah
My son Isaiah was born on 17th February 2016, due date was 17th April 2016. Labour started at 6 1/2 months, but I stayed in hospital for a month and managed to deliver at 7 months 3 days to a preterm 3 pound baby. I was able to get steroid for his lungs. He came out not breathing, so was assisted resulting with him now, 5 years old, having a few health problems. I donate wipes, cotton wool pampers and preterm clothes every year on my sons birthday to show my appreciation. My baby boy is thriving specially with the support he is getting from NHS.
Our beautiful Belle
Story by: Jennifer
In 2018 I first fell pregnant, however we found out at our first scan that our baby’s heart had stopped between 8-9 weeks of pregnancy and a missed miscarriage was the diagnosis. Fast forward to June 2020 and we couldn’t believe we were having another baby. We were so nervous the same thing would happen, but this time our baby’s heart was so strong and everything seemed perfect. At 16 weeks 3 days I began bleeding, had a sore back and extreme tiredness too during that week. By the Sunday I was fully dilated. I was admitted into hospital and told I had an incompetent cervix & may deliver overnight, thankfully I didn’t and they were able to give me an emergency cervical stitch. Each scan there after the amniotic fluid was always low, Belle was very low and didn’t seem to change position very much. They were worried about her limbs being distorted due to low fluids and her possibly being stuck in the same position for weeks. They thought she only had one kidney at one point, luckily it was confirmed she had two.
At an appointment at 22+4 I was admitted for bulging membranes, I was given steroid injections and a magnesium drip and at 23+2 I gave birth to my little girl. They didn’t expect her to weigh 1 on, they estimated she would be less than this. They scanned me before removing the stitches so I could deliver my daughter & found there was no amniotic fluid left at all. The doctor delivering Belle told me that they didn’t know if she would make it through the birth and if she struggled they couldn’t offer a c-section as she was just too small. The cord prolapsed and Belle needed to be born quickly. Thankfully she was. My husband’s face turned white when he saw just how small she was. We both cried as the NICU team worked on her. They told us she was stable but it seemed her heart and lungs were worse than they expected.
Belle did so well and they always joked how fiesty she was, pushing their hands away, covering her eye from the light even though they were still fused shut. She hated when they touched her, her levels indicated this & when my husband and I touched her all of her levels improved. This was such a special experience. It was like she just knew it was us. At 7 days old Belle began to swell and they told us she had sepsis and it was critical. They said she had been so strong throughout and hopefully she would again. We stayed with her and cried, prayed and told her how much we loved her. They told us they had tried everything they could and she was just too poorly. This was the worst time of our lives. We told Belle we were proud of her and loved her so much & if she needed to go it was ok. We also asked her for a sign. We put her back into her incubator and her heart began slowly dropping. We knew this was it. My husband carried our beautiful girl to the family room where our parents could meet their grandchild for the first time. Belle waited until my mum held her before she took her last breath. We miss her so much and think of her every minute of every day. We long for that day we will get to hold both of our babies again and never have to let go.
My son Shane
Story by: Pamela
My son Shane was born on 5 March 1980. I gave birth to him when I was 26 weeks pregnant he was so small. The doctors and nurses tried so hard for him. He put on weight and grew and was able to come home after 4 months, but after 2 weeks at home I noticed something was wrong he would just cry out as he was in pain. He then went silent and we rushed him to the hospital where he died. Later we found out he had a rare bone sickness, myself and his father was so broken but we where lucky we had 2 older children that helped us get through it, but it was hard. I wish no family should go through this, but it happens. Sorry for all the families that have gone through this,
Story by: Trish
Our story begun on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 at 22:15. I was 29 weeks gestational, I was woken by my waters breaking. We quickly shot up to the Maternity unit... It was confirmed that my waters had broken but there was no sign off labour. The doctors wanted to keep me in for observation... I was due to go home Wednesday 24th June 2020.... I was about to be discharged when my gorgeous little girl decided it was time to come into this crazy world. I was quickly taken to the delivery suit where I was given several different medication to help my daughter... the NICU staff was present and they talked me threw everything that was going to happen once my girl had been born.... 02:06am my little girl was born, they quickly took her and put her onto the resuscitation bed ( unsure what it’s real name is) they put a ventilator into my daughter I was so scared and worried because I couldn’t hear her crying or any form off movement, my Partner was by me trying to keep me calm, she was then quickly rushed into nicu where later that morning I got to see her for the first time,I didn’t get to see my daughter untill 6:30am. I was still in the delivery suit but my partner had to leave at this point due to COVID-19 restrictions. I then went into theatre to have my placenta removed due to it been stuck. My daughter was getting on really well in nicu.
She had her ups and downs but got threw it. We took every day step by step, as one day she would be doing fantastic & the next day she wasn’t doing so well... After 7 1/2 weeks in nicu we finally got to take our precious girl home. Our daughter came home on oxygen as she wasnt coping very well without it. At 6 months old our beautiful girl said goodbye to the oxygen. My daughter is now 8 months old ( 9 months in 3 days) and doing absolutely fantastic! We can not thank our NICU staff enough for saving our daughter life and allowing us too have such an amazing life/ future with our girl.
texas my hero
Story by: heather
I did not know I was expecting untill I was 5 months. My son was born a month later with a lot of health issues, including heart problems. He weighed 2lbs and after a lot of heartache and time in hospital he is now 24 years old. He has cerebral palsy, but nothing stops him. He has fought health issues all his life, but now a lovely young man and at collage doing teachers training course. Its only due to the great support of the hospitals and nursing staff.
She couldn't wait to meet us!
Story by: Gemma
Me and Ruby's dad were on a little holiday in Wales, at this point I was 27 weeks + 2 days. I'd been in the sea, lying in the sand and just had a brilliant time. I'd noticed my back was niggling, but didn't think anything of it. But as the day went on it got worse. We got back to the caravan and I decided to lie down, but I started experiencing pain in my tummy, after being stubborn and thinking I'd just over exerted myself, we decided we should get some advice on what to do. We were told to go to hospital and get myself checked over, so off we went all the while the pain is increasing.
Anyway long story short, we got to the hospital just after 6pm and were seen and told that I was in labour and to far gone to stop it. I had Ruby at 7.48pm, she was born into a Tesco freezer bag to help keep her warm. She was 2lb 4oz born. I didn't get to see her as they were working on her and whisked her off to the NICU. We saw her briefly before we all settled for the night. The next morning we were told Ruby had suffered a bleed on the brain and needed to be transfered to the NICU at BWH. We got to Birmingham and was told Ruby had suffered severe brain damage and we were told that it was very likely that she would have some form of disability, that she might not walk etc.
From July to the August Ruby went between Bridgend hospital (where she was born) and Birmingham womens, Worcester and Hereford (home hospital). She was doing well and we were close to being able to take her home. Then one night she wouldn't settle, we were sent home to rest and come back in the morning, but we were called in the morning and told we had to get to the hospital as Ruby was extremely poorly. When we arrived we couldn't see Ruby for all the doctors around her bed. When we did she her she was so bloated all over and you could see her her veins, we were told she had necrotizing entercolitis and it was a matter of life and death. After hours and hours they had to make the decision to transfer her (even though she wasn't stable) to B'ham. She had a 5 police car escort and we were told that they couldn't guarantee that she would make the journey. We were so numb from hearing this. Off she went and we travelled up shortly after. She was operated on the next day and lost 40% of her small bowels... But she survived.
Ruby then spent the next 6 months in BCH. We had many more touch and go moments, but when we finally got told that she could come home, it was the most amazing feeling but also scary knowing we weren't going to have the security of the amazing hospital staff that took care of her. Ruby is now 11 years and has severe CP, Epilepsy, c.v.i, short bowel, completely gastrostomy fed and severe learning difficulties. We have had so many ups and downs over the years, but she's still here showing us what an absolute warrior she is. We are and always will be incredibly grateful to all those that work within the NHS and all those that helped to keep Ruby here with us. #NHSHEROS
Story by: Joanne
Born at 27 weeks one with Cerebral palsy and the other with hydrocephalus both made it and are nearly 29. Thanks St. Marys in Newcastle.
My pandemic premmie
Story by: Kerri
This is Frankie, she was 8 weeks early due to placenta previa. She was in nicu for 2 weeks and scbu for 2 weeks, she weighed a lovely 5lb 6!! I caught Covid when I had my emergency csection so I wasn’t able to see her for 2 weeks which was awfull! And her dad couldn’t meet her until she came home! She was very poorly to start with, but she was so strong she just got better every day, she is now 11 months old and doing amazing. x
Born too soon
Story by: Sharon
My twins were born 32 years ago at 26 weeks, weighing 1.10oz and 1lb.15oz. They were born in the jubilee hospital in Belfast. Every day was a nightmare, both were in the neonatel ICU unit and on life support due to lungs not being developed. Alarms would go on and of all the time, never knew from one hour to the next what would happen. There were days they had good days, and days they would have bad days. At 3 weeks they was both taken of life support and apart from being very small, they done very well. They still had oxygen, but it wasn't on very high and at 9 weeks both were feeding by bottle and there weights had went up to 2lb 8 and 2lb 4. They had been moved from ICU and into premi ward and in cots and out of a incubator.
Being born in June, it was the middle of September before we got the heaviest twin home and Oct we got the smaller one home. Apart from childhood illness. they never really looked back. One is now married and as you can see in photo, they are identical and are now 32 year old, so anyone with a baby in the ICU unit you need to take everyday as it comes. Some days will look like everything is going well and next day you could be back to square 1. Some days you spend all day waiting by the phone and by evening they were doing well, just you never know from one hour to the next what will happen. It can be a very stressful time for parents and family members. I went on to have 2 other children also born prematurely, one at 5 weeks and one 9 weeks early, and all 4 have never had any problems once they left hospital. I hope this helps with anyone who has a premi baby, just take one day at a time
Story by: Ben
My partner Clara was pregnant and due to give birth on 8th February 2021, however, on 17th December 2020 I had returned home from work and an hour later Clara started having contractions. I wasted no time and I got her in the van and drove her to Medway Maritime Hospital Kent, we arrived not a moment too soon because I was told ( go in room 8 YOUR HAVING A BABY right now!). I went into shock, but I composed myself so I could support Clara. I was at Clara's bedside and watched the entire birth process thanks to Borris Johnson's legislation on allowing dads to be at the birth during covid 19 !
Baby Molly was born at 1:36 am on the 18th Dec 2020 weighting just 4lb 13oz via natural birth. Molly had to stay in icu for 16 days, which felt like a lifetime as we just wanted our daughter home. However her stay in icu was essential for her and she reached her mile stones quickly and was able to come home with us for the first time on 4th January 2021. Her stay in the icu for that period of time, while essential for molly, was difficult for us as parents as whilst being allowed unlimited access to her in icu, we where not able to bond with her naturally in our home environment in those crucial first few days/ weeks. We did not feel a bond with her, nore did we feel the love we expected to feel. I was concerned about my state of mind and Clara's also, and felt angry that we felt so numb, as we had decided to have a child to love and take care of, and since I was actually in foster care on a section 31 care order for my entire childhood, these feelings of numbness really really concerned me as I was scared stiff that I'd become like my parents and reject my own daughter! This however was completely normal because we where unable to take her home immediately, therefore was unable to establish the parental bond we longed for.
This, however, was quickly established once Molly was home safe with us and now all is well. The entire thing was a rollercoaster of emotions and emotions that took us by surprise too. Now 8 weeks later, baby Molly is doing very well and we both love her with all our hearts, She is suffering with Colic which is very common regardless of being premature or not! Colic is trapped wind and is very uncomfortable for the baby and will make the baby scream and scream relentlessly and it is very stressful for baby and parents, but there are medicines you can give baby before meals that will ease there discomfort and give the parents a night's well needed sleep! Other than the very common Colic issue, which we are treating with support from the gp, Molly is doing fantastically and we couldn't be more happy.
Hope some of the things I have said will help others who may be struggling with there thoughts, the entire thing is a mine field of perfectly normal emotions that don't feel normal at the time. I also found that watching the physical birth process happen bought me and my partner closer together 😀
A.J and KYLE JAMES
Story by: Cas
When I was 18 I met what I thought was my forever. We were together for about 6 months when I found out I was pregnant, I was taken to hospital because I was in so much pain, thats when I found out I was 3 weeks pregnant. My pregnancy was pretty straight forward except I was huge. I was a size 10 then at 6 months pregnant I was a size 22!!!!!
At 37 weeks I was tiny again. I went to see my midwife and she said it was fine, she said it was nothing to worry about and would book me in for a scan in a week, the day before I was due my scan I was really ill. I phoned the hospital and went in they gave me a scan and told me A.J had passed away. He weighed 3lb 11.5ozs. My placenta had stopped working at 30 weeks. 3 months later I found out I was pregnant again, I was scanned every 3-4 weeks and everything was fine. I gave birth to my daughter at only 5cm dilated as she had passed away, they did bring her back though.
11 months later I gave birth again to a perfect health boy. Roll on 2.5 years and I fell pregnant again. This time it was a bumpy pregnancy. I saw my consultant at 32 weeks and told him something didn't feel right. I was booked in the following day to have a c-section, when I arrived at the hospital they had no idea I was coming, so they told me I could stay the night and they would keep an eye on me. The following morning they placed me on the monitor and her face dropped. I was rushed to theatre within 20 minutes KYLE JAMES was born by emergency c-section. He weighed 3lb 25ozs and was barely alive. The SCBU were amazing. 12 days later he came home. When he was 10 weeks old I woke in a panic and found he wasn't breathing. 1 year later I had an ectopic pregnancy and had to have one of my tubes removed. I was told I had 11% chance of ever having another child.
2 years later I didn't feel well so I went to the doctor and was told I was pregnant, I was 8 weeks. 1 week later I started to bleed very heavily. I went to the doctor again and was told I had had a miscarriage. 3 weeks later at another appointment I was told I was 12 weeks pregnant, I had miscarried 1 of my twins. I was in hospital for 4 month on full bed rest when my daughter was born at 32 weeks by c-section. She weighed 4lb 5.5ozs. She was in SCBU again and again they were amazing.
Our little Rosie
Story by: Marc
Little Rosie's mum suffered badly from pregnancy cholestasis, mum's levels where erratic throughout the weekly blood tests, until one day it was "right you're having your baby tomorrow 33weeks plus 5". Rosie's mum, Sarah, didn't show an ounce of fear.
I put on a brave face trying not to pass out in the operating theatre, managed to hold in the tears until that brief cuddle before being whisked off to NICU, not being able to see her for hours. Finally seeing Rosie with that cpap mask was the most unnatural thing I'd ever experienced. The staff looking after these baby's don't get enough credit, the reason I'm sharing this is to get awareness. You never quite know if that next baby in that plastic box is going to be yours.
Our IUGR baby
Story by: Jade
At 31 weeks we found out our baby’s growth had stopped at around 28 weeks, I was immediately admitted and given steroid injections to prepare his tiny lungs for an emergency section. I was on heart medication at the time, which they stopped after realising it was this preventing him from growing (the guilt from this will haunt me forever).
After 4 days he has grown a tiny bit, so I was allowed home after agreeing to daily visits to be monitored. 2 weeks, 14 ctgs and 4 scans later he still wasn’t doing so well. So I was admitted back into hospital to wait for a section. At 33+6 my beautiful baby was born weighing 3lbs 1oz. He did us so so proud fighting every single day. Now a year later he’s still quite small but absolutely perfect.
Matthew Jared 30 weeker
Story by: Melissa
At my 28 week scan they discovered that the flow in the umbilical cord was absent (AEDF). For 18 days I went for checks and scans, until one day on the 2nd May 2020 the blood flow had reversed and they had to deliver him that day. He was born later that day weighing 2lb 8oz. A few days after that they discovered he had a cataract in his left eye which would require surgery at 6 weeks corrected. When he was 6 days old, he was rushed over to Birmingham for suspected NEC and had sepsis in his tummy. It wasn't an easy ride but he defied the odds and left hospital 7 weeks later. He had his operation and removal of his lens and now wears a contact lens and patching to help.
He's now 9 months old actual and although we are having issues with feeding, he's a very happy and content little boy. We are so proud of him and how he fought to survive.
My little miracle Violet Sarah Simpson xxx
Story by: Terri
I got pregnant with my 4th child (from a 1 night stand) by the time I got my head around having another baby, being single again, doing it all on my own, when I already had 3 other children age 9,5,4, I was absolutely terrified. But I decided to go through with it as I'm a true believer in everything happens for a reason. From just before I was 20 weeks pregnant I started bleeding, so i went to the doctors and they took some swabs and sent me to the hospital. Baby was fine strong heartbeat etc all my swab results came back normal, then I found out I was having a girl at my 20 week scan and then from then I was in and out of hospital as I kept bleeding and they didn't know why.
I remember at 1 point they told me that I may have a miscarriage and if I went into labour before 24 weeks they wouldn't be able to do anything. I was absolutely terrified and it was awful leaving my other kids. I was in hospital, even on bed rest, I kept bleeding on and off. All I remember was I kept thinking I just needed to get to 24 weeks so my baby has got a chance to survive. Anyway 2 days before I went into labour, I remember feeling like my bump dropped (I was walking to school to get my daughter) and then when we got home I was bleeding again, but this time it felt different. There was a lot of blood, so I rang the hospital and I went in again. They did swabs, babys heartbeat was strong then the doctor told me I had to have the steroid injections to help babys lungs incase I had her early. The next day, Saturday the 7th of July 2018, all I remember was watching England football match and sleeping on and off. I had stopped bleeding, so i was hoping I could go home on the Sunday as I missed my other kids so much.
Sunday 8th of July I remember at tea time my back was hurting so much, so I just tried to sleep through the pain and I started bleeding again and the doctor told me I had lost quiet a lot of blood now as I was 24 weeks 1 day and been bleeding on and off for 5 weeks and that if I lost any more they were going to transfer me to another hospital and may have to have a c section. All I kept thinking all night was no this can't be happening, baby can't come yet she isn't ready to small etc and all I wanna do is keep her safe and go home and be with my other kids.
Then I remember waking up bout 5 am the next day 9th of July 2018 in pain again, so I called for the midwife she gave me some paracetamol and then the doctor came at 6 am and examined me and I was 4 cm dilated. They rushed me into labour ward and I was so scared, but I remember thinking I'm dreaming this it ain't happening this isn't real I must be asleep I'm going to wake up soon. Then my sister arrived after the midwife rang her at 6:50, all I remember is she looked so scared and like she had been crying for a while and all different doctors kept coming in and telling me what they were going to do etc. It still wasn't sinking in and a lady came in with the smallest baby that I have ever seen in my life (and it was still to big for her) and a midwife telling me that she would be put in bubble wrap to keep warm, then my tiny little beautiful miracle was born at 7:10am. I didn't see her properly. All I remember is all the doctors around her pumping her full of oxygen and then they took her away. I didn't see her for 4 hours and then she was transferred to Hull NICU and I couldn't even go with her. My brother took me once the hospital discharged me. I remember being in the car and it felt like it took forever to get to Hull. We had to keep stopping because I needed a wee and kept feeling sick (think it was shock and nerves). When we got to Hull and I walked into that room and I saw this tiny little human, so small laid in an incubator with wires coming out of her and she was on a ventilator 1Ib 4oz, I just cried and walked out that wasn't my baby. I couldn't stay here on my own.
My other 3 babys didn't understand and were 3 hours away, but I did it. It was so hard, every day was different, it was 1 step forward 3 steps back all the time. I missed my other kids so much and when I was back home I missed Violet, when I was with her I missed my other kids. It was so hard but I look back now and it was a amazing journey to see her so small to now and I can't thank the doctors nurses and my sister for being there for us both. I have never or even thought I would go through anything like that in my life. It changes you as a person know one understands unless they have been there themselves. After 104 days in hospital I got to take my beautiful little miracle home on oxygen and that was so hard, and all she did was cry. I was sure she hated me at 1 point and it took me a long time to bond with her, but now I look back and I wouldn't change a thing. My little miracle Violet she is meant to he here. I truly believe things happen for a reason, but I never believed in miracles untill I was blessed with mine ❤️xxx❤️
14 month's old now
Story by: Eszter
He was born at 38 weeks gestation on November 21st 2019. He has serious conditions, but thriving like mad, very determined. He was born at 5lbs, was small but now average height of a 14 month old toddler. I had gestational diabetes and that took a toll on him. He had stopped moving at 37 weeks and at 38 weeks, but he was delivered that afternoon by emergency cesarean section. Also on August 13th I had severe right sided abdominal pain from 6 pm till 11 pm. When the ambulance rushed me to hospital, they couldn't get to the bottom of what has caused that to happen, so he was born on 21st of November 2019 and was a rainbow baby.
As I delived him in Belfast, my mum and sister was burying my grandfather at that same time, and there was a beautiful rainbow was bitter sweet I suppose. Had lost too many loved ones and don't know what state I would have been in if I didn't have my wonderful son with all his conditions. It has not stopped him from doing what he loves, he's got kyphoscoliosis, a neural tube didn't close over before his birth so his some membrane pertruding through the right side of the head, duplex kidney tubes, his ptosis, and few others.
My first daughter
Story by: Llyn
I gave birth to my first daughter at 27 1/2 weeks after having a breast lump removed at 25 weeks pregnant. They kept giving me Pethidine and Omnipon every night although I had no pain just contractions. I went into premature labour the night they gave me something to make me go to the toilet. They said she didn't try to breath although she was born alive. I think because of the medication I was given, she was probably half asleep. I didn't even see her but I don't ever forget. It was in 1973.
Noel James Russell
Story by: Jennifer
Noel was born at 28 weeks gestation, with Hyaline Membrane disease. This meant he couldn't breathe on his own because his lungs had no elasticity. He was on a ventilator for 10 weeks, and he nearly died many times! He finally did manage to breathe on his own and was discharged from hospital after 96 days in Intensive Care.
But every infection he got saw him admitted to hospital again for many years. As a result of needing 80% oxygen in his first few days, Noel suffered some brain damage, and so he was very late reaching all the normal childhood steps, such as sitting, walking, talking, chewing etc. He needed intensive speech therapy for many years.
Despite all the problems, Noel is now 41, and although he still has many medical problems (asthma, arthritis, and ME) his sheer determination has meant that we feel so blessed to have him as our son!
Genetic prem babies?
Story by: Valerie
My daughter was born 12 weeks early in 1963. I wasn’t allowed to see her, but I crept to the neonatal unit to try and sneak a peep when she was two weeks old and got a rollicking from the autocratic matron.
She was fed in the excess milk from any mother in the unit as I didn’t make any. She was five weeks old when I was ‘allowed’ to see her. Two years later I was confined to hospital for three months whilst they prevented her sister from being born 12 weeks early. I had gone to the antenatal clinic and they told me I was in labour, but I was unaware of it so their intervention was early and the baby went full term.
When my first daughter grew up she also had her first baby 12 weeks early, but her experience was so different as she was encouraged to bond with her daughter from birth. She couldn’t make much milk but the baby girl wasn’t allowed other mother’s milk. Luckily my other daughter had a baby at the same time and her milk was abundant so she would express for her tiny niece which the mother delivered as her own! My eldest daughter had a second baby two years later who was 14 weeks early. He had lots of problems, a stroke at birth, a perforated stomach ulcer at 12 hours old and then an infection in his PTN line. His whole tiny body, all 1lb 11ozs of it was bruised, he looked like a little black slug. They said he would be physically and mentally handicapped. How wrong could they be. Both of my eldest daughters two children have grown up with good careers and both have healthy children of their own - all full term.
My prem twins ❤️
Story by: Jessica
I had my twin girls at only 28 weeks. One was 900g and one was 1kg exact. It was the hardest experience in my life. One was delivered naturally and one through C-section. After two weeks of giving birth one of my daughters had gotten ill with meningitis. I thank god my babies are completely healthy and soo clever ❤️ My babies stayed in the NICU ward for 10 weeks until I was able to take them home. It was the most traumatic experience but I am so thankful for my beauties and love them more than anything in the whole world ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I can never be thankful enough for the amazing care and support in James Cook Hospital. ❤️
Our 29 weeker, Ava
Story by: Emma
Hi, my name is Emma, a healthy 26 year old who just a year ago had the shock of my life, when my partner Sam and I welcomed our 2lb 9oz daughter in to this world 10 weeks early.
The 30th October 2019 was the scariest yet most wonderful day of our lives; we waited all day but that evening we welcomed our little princess in to the world to the song lyrics "I want to be where the people are", from Disney's Little Mermaid song "Part of your World", and my goodness weren't those lyrics accurate. We were forced to deliver Ava via c-section at 29 + 6 weeks because just 5 days before it was discovered that I had developed pre-eclampsia. I hadn't a clue until blood test results confirmed I needed to attend hospital, my health went down hill so quickly and before we knew it we were faced with confirmation our unborn daughters health was taking a hit and there was no choice but to get her out.
Ava was our little fighter right from the start, she came out screaming and with in the first 24 hours she had to be sedated because she was fighting against the ventilator that she needed to keep her alive. Ava was born extremely anemic, jaundice and she had a PDA which thankfully responded really well to treatment. After 6 days Ava was able to move from ventilation to vapotherm, which is a much less intrusive breathing support and she stayed on that way right up until she was ready to come home. After a week of waiting and 6 days of being able to see my daughter, as I had to wait 24 hours after she was born hooked up to machines and drops before I could see her, I finally got my first cuddle. Holding our precious little girl skin to skin on my chest, in complete shock that this tiny little baby was actually mine.
I was discharged from hospital when Ava was 9 days old and it absolutely broke us, it's so unnatural to give birth and come home with out your child. We travelled 80miles to and from Tunbridge Wells NICU everyday to make sure we were with our little girl. Everyone we met were absolutely outstanding at what they did but we were just living in a little bubble, everyday we wanted to curl up in a ball and cry but some how we got up with out fail to be there for our poorly daughter.
The stress and pressure of the travel was extremely difficult and we were fortunate enough to be able to transfer hospitals to be closer to home when Ava was 20 days old, from there Ava just kept growing and getting stronger. We sat by her incubator day in day out, reading books to her and singing songs. We'd tell her about her family and friends and all the wonderful things that life had to offer.
Ava's health seemed to be improving but very slowly, doctors attempted to move Ava from vapotherm to oxygen therapy but it was just too much for her and it was soon discovered that Ava's iron levels were way too low. She was given a blood transfusion at 5 weeks old and we couldn't quite believe the difference this made to her. Ava really picked up and started to fight back, almost instantly and on Christmas eve Ava made a successful move on to oxygen and was able to where clothes for the first time. We needed to be torn in two for Christmas day, it was so unbelievably difficult. We spent as much time as possible with Ava and spent the rest with my step children and other family but it felt like a piece of me was missing and it broke my heart not having Ava home for our first Christmas together. I saw the new year in with Ava in my arms and cheersed the nurses with a cup of Schloer, wishing for a positive year a head of us and hoping Ava would be home with us soon.
We had been staying at the hospital for a couple of days to established feeding as Ava was struggling to breast feed at first, but on the 4th January 2020 we finally walked out of the hospital with our beautiful little girl who then weighed a much better 5lb 1oz. Ava was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and anemia prior to leaving hospital so she came home on home oxygen and daily doses of iron, which came with its own stresses but none of that mattered walking out of the hospital with our wonderful Daughter. Coming home on oxygen meant that Ava was classed as having a disability and was vulnerable, so we couldn't flood our home with family and friends like we'd hoped to but one by one all of Ava's huge family got to meet her and have their first cuddles and we had to take extra care to protect her. We returned to hospital monthly with Ava for her to have injections to protect her against bronchiolitis and we have had two hospital stays since, one for severe reflux and the second for a horrible scare of meningitis, which thankfully turned out to be a viral infection.
Through the national lock down, we continued to shield Ava and we started the weaning process to get Ava off of oxygen therapy. She done so well, first she weaned off of it during the day and then in June this year Ava got the all clear that she no longer required oxygen at all!
The months have flown by since Ava has come off of oxygen and it has given her the freedom and space to grow in to such a wonderful and cheeky little character. She still has her health complications but day to day she continues to grow and fight back against the rough start she was dealt. A couple of weeks ago Ava turned 1 and looking at her now you would never know the trauma our little girl has been through, she is such a wonderful, independent and strong little girl. We wouldn't wish this experience on our worst enemies but we our so blessed to have our daughter, my absolute life line and our little fighter, Ava!
Twin girls born during covid 19 at 25 weeks
Story by: Victoria
Hi everyone I wanted to share my story. My twins girls Daisy and Lily where born at 25 weeks on the 29th June 2020 during covid 19, the most scary time of my life going to my local hospital for them to say I was getting tranfered to Manchester. Anyway I had Daisy at 22.29 weighing 1lb 6oz by vaginal birth. I couldn't see her as there was lots of doctors and nurses around them. The next thing I know is I'm getting told I'm getting rushed to theatre as Lily was transverse. She came by emergency c-section at 22.51 weighing 1lb 4oz.
Both girls spent 8 weeks in Manchester before they finally got to come back to our local hospital. Everyone who looked after my girls are true superhero's. If it wasn't for them I don't think my girls would be here today. Daisy spent 108 days in hospital and finally came home, but on home oxygen, she's doing amazing. Lily came home after 88 days in hospital. They are true fighters, they have both been through so much in such a small space of time, but I'm so proud of them x
My Beautiful Valerie Mary
Story by: Helen
In 1965 I was pregnant with my second baby, due in August, but sadly I ended up with Placenta Previa again & was confined to bed for the whole of my pregnancy. At 6.5 months, on the 19th May 1965, I was rushed into Holles Street Hospital, Dublin & was told by my obstetrician Professor De Valera that I was losing my baby. On 21st May Valerie Mary was born weighing 2lb 3oz with a mop of black hair, so tiny but perfect in every way & was taken straight away to an incubator on the special care baby unit. During the next two days she was given two transfusions & Prof DeValera told me not to will her to live because she was so premature & could have brain damage. Seeing her looking so perfect it was heartbreaking to realise she wasn’t going to live. Sadly Valerie only lived 3 days & on 24th May 1965 she passed away.
You never ever get over the kids of a baby/child & I’ve thought about her every day for the last 55 years & wonder would she look like my first daughter Angela who is 56 or my son Derek who is 52.
The words and photos in this gallery posts are written by people who have shared them and reflect their own personal story.