On November 28th 2015 I found out I was pregnant. My fiancé (at the time) and I had just bought our first house and moved in September. We were also planning our wedding and had everything booked for the 23rd of July 2016. Little did we know our plans were set to change!
November 28th brought all the emotions from happiness and excitement to shock and panic! After telling Chris about the pregnancy test and seeing how excited he was, I knew I had nothing to worry about. So the following Monday I made all the phone calls to bring the wedding forward. I knew I wanted it brought forward rather than push it back as everything was organised and I thought it made more sense. Something in my gut really wanted it brought forward instead of backwards and I’m glad we did it that way round. So, on March 25th 2016 Chris and I got married while I was almost 5 months pregnant.
It was the most amazing day and I’m glad our little bump was a part of it. We had found out we were having a little girl and announced this on our wedding day. We couldn’t believe we had managed to keep it a secret from everyone until then!
On Tuesday May 24th I went to bed as normal; only it wasn’t a normal night because at 1am my waters broke! I could not believe it. I think I was in shock as I was kind of giggling about it as I woke my husband up. We rang the maternity unit and went straight in. I didn’t have any contractions until 6am and was given the steroid injections in preparation incase our little girl was coming imminently.
After a few hours the contractions died down and I was told I’d probably be able to go home. However, that night the contractions ramped up again and quite tremendously. By morning the doctors wanted to deliver our little girl by c section as her heart rate was dropping, but as I was being prepped I suddenly had 3 very strong contractions. The doctors examined me and I was now 9cm dilated – I was going to deliver naturally!
So, on no sleep and no food I managed to deliver our little girl at 4.38pm on Thursday 26th May 2016. She weighed 2lbs11oz and was whisked away by the NICU team to be looked after. I then had trouble delivering my placenta and needed to go into surgery. I didn’t get to see my baby girl until 8.30pm that night when the nurses wheeled me into the NICU, right to her bedside.
There she was. Mia Rose Hibbs. Our beautiful daughter was here and she was ready to prove what a fighter she was.
From oxygen to cpap, having a long line, a hole in the heart, regular meds, being on a billy blanket and so on. Every challenge they set her, she accepted and did so tremendously. She proved that she was ready to be on this earth and she wanted to come home and be with us as a family.
On day 4 I finally had my first cuddle. It happened to coincide with my 33rd birthday so this was the best gift ever! I finally got to hold my baby girl and tell her how proud I was of her and how much I loved her. With all the wires and tubes that sat between us I didn’t care, I was finally holding the most precious thing to me.
The next 6 weeks now seem like they went by quickly, but I know that each day took its time. I wanted to get her home and to feel like a mummy. So when that day came on the 6th of July I couldn’t believe it! She was coming home. Our little girl was coming home. I was elated and scared all at the same time. I had become so used to being told what to do by the nicu nurses and how structured our day was, I had no idea how to do this by myself. With the added worry of taking home such a small baby and the complications she had early on, I was terrified. But this was the day I had been waiting for. I could do this. She had fought so hard to be here and I could learn how to be a mummy. And so our journey as a family began at home.
I would like to thank the amazing nicu team at the RUH in Bath. They were fantastic and looked after all of us so well. I would also like to thank our friends and family that supported us. Most of all, I would like to thank my rock. My husband Chris was my absolute rock throughout all of this. I know now that he was scared but he never showed it. He knew he had to be strong for me. He is amazing, I know where my daughter gets it from now.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I hope I can inspire other families to persevere through those tough times.
With special thanks to Sara Hibbs for sharing her story.
Mia loves her food! All the tube feeding seems like a distant memory!
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