Today see’s Bliss getting behind the international campaign to raise awareness of the 15 million babies who are born too soon each year. 60,000 of these are born in the UK and we want everyone to join the campaign to raise awareness of the issues these babies and their families face.
Now I personally don’t have any personal experience of this as my two were born 3 days late and 3 days early! However the hospital I gave birth in has an amazing NICU which has helped so many people over the years from all over the area. One of those my brother 21 years ago.
So I have asked my mum to give you a little insight into what it was like to have a premature baby especially all those years ago.
Was your pregnancy normal throughout before the premature birth?
Apart from not finding out till is was 20 weeks gone that I was pregnant there was no other problems throughout the pregnancy to indicate I was going to go into premature labour.
What happened next?
Around 28 weeks I was admitted to hospital due to bleeding. Following bedrest at home for a couple of days the doctor sent me straight to the hospital on the Monday to be checked over. I spent the week in hospital with me being given steroids to prepare David’s lungs ready just incase anything happened. The bleeding stopped and I was looking forward to going home over the weekend.
However that didn’t happen. When the doctor examined me they realised my membrane had ruptured and his feet were on the way out!
Needless to say I wasn’t going anywhere and plan’s were made for me to have a caesarean. As it was an emergency caesarean it all happened pretty quickly. I was also being sterilised at the same time so I had to wait for my husband to get back and he was in the barbers having his hair cut assuming I’d be home today!
I was warned though before I went down that there was not guarantee that my baby would be alive when I came round from the operation. What else could I do though?
Everything went to plan with the caesarean and when I came round he was in the NICU born at 29 weeks on the dot weighing 2lb 12oz.
How long was he in NICU ?
He spent 3 weeks in the NICU then moved over into the nursery attached to it. He spent a further 3 weeks in here where he continued to grow and gain weight. Once they were happy he was feeding and gaining weight they let him home but he was still tiny only weighing 4lb 2oz.
This picture below is my friends little girl born 2 days after David when they were both about 8 weeks old.
Was there any touch and go moments?
No he was absolutely fine. He was a little fighter. When they moved him into the nursery he only had a feeding tube on.
What was the worst thing about going through a premature birth?
Not knowing whether he was going to be alive when I came round from the caesarean was a horrible feeling. Also having to bus to the hospital on a daily basis when my husband went back to work whilst recovering wasn’t a very comfortable journey.
Anything that really helped you get through it?
Having someone to look after your other children was very helpful. Take any help you can get as it’s a tough and emotional time!
You’ll be pleased to know my brother is now a healthy (annoying) 6ft plus 21-year-old!
A huge thank you to my mum for writing this for me and filing in the gaps! I was only 6 when my brother was born. I don’t really remember much about it but I do remember the wires and the fact he was so small. I can also remember where he was in the NICU. Most of all though the smell, even though I was young I remember it vividly, so much so that when Ethan was taken to the unit the moment they opened the doors the smell took me back to this all happening.
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