Alison’s Story

My newest baby was born at 33+3 weeks on the 12th April 2015.

My pregnancy hadn’t been bad but was certainly hard, we have a disabled son currently and so I was offered growth scans. At my 28 week scan the baby was fine but a little smaller than expected.

My 32 week scan was moved to 33 weeks due to the bank holiday. When I had the scan I knew something was wrong as the sonographer just kept looking at me, then my notes, she told me that the baby was breech and I would need to see the doctor.

I waited for 2 hours to see the doctor, and when I did it wasn’t being breech that was the issue, my baby hadn’t grown at all in 5 weeks. They gave me steroids and admitted me immediately.

“When I had the scan I knew something was wrong as the sonographer just kept looking at me, then my notes, she told me that the baby was breech and I would need to see the doctor.”

The following day the traces showed slowing of movement and nothing really happening. At 6am Sunday morning I had an urgent scan and although things looked ok, he still wouldn’t move even with manipulation so I was taken straight down to theatre for an urgent c section.

He came out kicking and screaming and it was the best sound ever.

He was taken away from me and rushed to NICU and I didn’t understand why if he had cried. I was then put in a recovery room and I didn’t have a clue what was happening. The nurses wouldn’t let me go anywhere for 6 hours due to the c section, my head and my heart were in my mouth.

Eventually at 11.15 pm I went down to the unit. I was told he was in HDU and was wheeled into this dark room with blue lights over babies and machines bleeping continuously and monitors above the babies and I was shown to my baby.

I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t recognise the baby, his face was covered with a CPAP machine. There were wires every where I looked, I was shaking, I didn’t know if I could touch him or if that would hurt him. I had a wonderful nurse come over and sit with me and tell me all about my little boy. He weighed 4lbs 4oz, he breathed ok for 3 minutes then had become distressed and needed help. He had septicaemia and was on antibiotics. He was jaundiced and that’s what the UV light was for. It was so much to take in all these problems.

I went back to the ward and cried all night, the next morning I was determined to see him, maybe daylight would help. I went back down to the unit at 6am and the same nurse filled me in, he had had a good sleep and was doing fine! Over the next few days the UV was taken off for a while, he got his canulas out as the antibiotics were finished. He was introduced to milk 1ml at a time, then 5, then 10 but he had lost a lot of weight and it needed to be monitored.

“I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t recognise the baby, his face was covered with a CPAP machine. There were wires every where I looked, I was shaking, I didn’t know if I could touch him or if that would hurt him.”

All of a sudden he’s being moved to the nursery and wasn’t high dependant anymore, after almost 2 weeks in the nursery he was coming home. I was offered a rooming in room in the hospital which is like a Travelodge room and he was with me, it gave me the chance to spend my first night with him so I wouldn’t be worried at home.

At what would have been 36+6 days he came home weighing 3lbs 15. He is now 10 weeks old, 3 weeks corrected weighing 8lbs 14 and is my little star.

I can’t thank the HDU staff enough at Royal Oldham as the time and care they gave me and my baby was fantastic, they turned a scary place into a place where it wasn’t so scary, it’s what my baby needed.

Story submitted by Alison Cuthbert

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