What can only be described as what should have been one of the best chapters of our lives started off as one of the scariest time of our lives.
It’s something you think could never happen to you.
Delivering your precious baby 8 weeks and 4 days early. Completely unexpected, the baby you’ve been carrying, getting excited about, your new life ahead….
Then the doctors tell you ‘he’s a tiny 2.13lb’.
They take him straight off you, they recusiate him, they put him straight into an incubator with a oxygen mask on.
He was so brave, yet so fragile.
It’s the complete opposite, directly at odds with the feeling you had been expecting.
I felt robbed of my pregancy.
Robbed from everything I should have expericed.
I felt like I didn’t get the chance to be and to feel like a new mum.
Every day Ted was in the hospital we didn’t quite know what to expect or what we would be told on the ward round each morning.
Ted was just 1 week old when the doctors called us aside to tell us he’d had a bleed on the brain.
As young parents we couldn’t quite grasp everything at once, everything that was happening.
We stayed in the Ronald Macdonald Suite in Arrowe Park hospital for around 5-6 weeks while Ted was cared for in the Neonatal Unit. They told us he would probably be kept in until at least his due date unless anything improved and it seemed so far away.
My partner Chris went back to work and I just continued to in the hospital, counting down the days. It was the most bizare time of our lives. We joked it was like living in the ‘big brother house’, but the atmosphere was so quiet and lonely. We knew everyone there were going through one of the toughest times of their lives and we didn’t really want to engage in one another, not knowing what news they had just recieved downstairs.
The staff in Ronald Macdonald really couldn’t have been any more comforting and welcoming, and the doctors and nurses in the neonatal unit we can’t thank enough. We owe them so much, without all the help they put in daily we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Weeks passed and Ted was jumping rooms from Intensive care to High Depenacy and finally into the last room ‘The Nursery’.
The feeding tubes slowly came out and the hot cot was introduced. He finally started to look like what some people would describe ‘a normal’ baby, ones without wires or tubes all over there bodys, ones you aren’t scared to hold or touch.
People think that once you leave the hospital it stops there, that everything goes away and it’s all happy.
That’s not the case.
I couldn’t shake the feeling from my stomach that someone was going to take my baby away from me. I guess a little bit of me still can’t now and that is where 8 months in it hit me like a ton of bricks. I suffered hugely with anixety, another thing I never really knew about before.
Ted was one and we finally got discharged from the hospital all together. That meant no more appointments and we could put some of the memorys to the back of our heads now we weren’t going back to the hospital and being reminded. Being told they was more than happy with his progess and he could be discharged was another one of the happiest days of my life, we joke but Ted actually clapped when the doctor told us, right on cue!
Here is Ted-Joseph our hero 2 years & 4 months on.
I feel as a prem mum that it is NEVER too late to speak out about how you are feeling and you’re never alone. So many other people have been or going through the journey others have been on. Together we are strong.
It’s NEVER too late to raise awareness for these tiny precious little miracles, the ones who pull through, and the ones who are taken too soon.
World Prematuirty Day is on November 17th – will you share Teds story and help raise awareness?
If you have a story to share, contact Catriona at firstname.lastname@example.org