Blog post by Emma Doherty:
I have two premature babies under the age of two, but they aren't twins. Actually, if you rewind seven months I had two premature babies under the age of one.
My tiny weeny babies are the reason I came across Bliss, here's my story:
Let's start with Jack - from being seven weeks pregnant I was on tenterhooks. I had a massive bleed and had automatically assumed we'd lost him. We went for the scan and I was waiting for the too common response: "I'm so sorry", but instead she turned the screen to us and showed us our little baby.
From then on it wasn't what I'd call an easy pregnancy, I suffered with the usual hormonal mood swings, discomfort and the dreaded constipation and haemorrhoids! But I took it all in my stride, I didn't care what I had to go through, I just wanted my baby. I even had an early scan at 16 weeks to find out his gender.
Then, when I was 25 weeks pregnant, I noticed I was losing quite a lot of clear fluid and hadn't felt Jack move, so I went to have a check-up. I was greeted by a midwife telling me "You're the fourth woman with leaky fluids I've had today, you'll be fine, next time just go to your GP". Unfortunately for her I hadn't come this far to start taking risks so when I kindly asked her just to check, she explained she would do a swab to check if it was amniotic fluid that I was leaking.
The next few hours were a blur, all of a sudden the room filled with people, the midwife's face was grey and I had a consultant in front of me and her question is still as shocking and clear today as it was then..."So what time did your waters break?"
Before I knew it I was getting contractions and being rushed to The Royal Preston Hospital. Luckily a scan showed I still had plenty of amniotic fluid, Jack had made a hole in the sac, then turned and plugged the hole with his head - literally a miracle baby.
As he didn't come within 48 hours, I was sent home on bed rest. Then four weeks later when I was 29 weeks pregnant, my bed suddenly filled with water. It was time. They told us Jack would be born very quickly, unfortunately he didn't like doing things to plan so 22 hours later I pushed Jack Sydney Woodhouse into the world, on 11 November 2013 at 04:32am weighing 3.5lbs. He spent six weeks in NICU, he should have been there until 22 January but came home just in time for Christmas on 21 December!
He overcame everything from jaundice to Patent Ductus Arteriosus. Without the information we were provided from Bliss, the experience would have been terrifying, but instead we had it spelled out for us simply and informatively, and best of all it was on paper so we could look at it whenever we wanted until the information sunk in.
When Jack was three months old we were over the moon to find out we were expecting again. At 16 weeks we found out we were expecting another boy. Obviously after what had happened with Jack, the hospital kept a close eye on me. At 30 weeks, they discovered he was breach, due to my Bicornuate Uterus (heart shaped). This is why they think Jack was early. As he wasn't growing at the rate they'd have liked, they decided they would need to do a caesarean section if he didn't turn. So at 35 weeks I was taken in for an elective caesarean section, and on 1 October 2014, at 11:57am, weighing 4lb 12oz, Michael (Mikey) David Woodhouse was born.
When Jack was in NICU we were first told about Bliss and given lots of information about their amazing work. They are a charity whose slogan is "Babies born too small, too soon, too sick". So for both of my babies, even though Mikey wasn't in NICU, they both fell into the categories of too small, too soon and too sick. Jack had some initial health problems and Mikey has suffered with jaundice and constipation.
That is how I came to be a mummy of two preemie's under two but they aren't twins.
Here they are now, the best of friends and the worst of enemies at times.
If you would like to hear more about Emma, Jack and Mikey, then you can visit Emma’s blog: yummymummysblog.wordpress.com/.
If you, like Emma, have had a premature baby and have any concerns about your next pregnancy, please visit our support pages, or call our the Bliss helpline.