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Helen and Isabella’s story

05 August 2016

My waters broke at 30 weeks and I spent the next nine days in hospital receiving amazing care from the team. I had injections to stop my contractions and to help with the development of the baby’s lungs in the event that I did go into labour. Thankfully, all the medical intervention worked.

On day ten I was sent home but caught an infection and went back into labour. During this time I was treated for sepsis (blood poisoning).

18 hours later my beautiful baby girl was born at 32 weeks gestation. Isabella weighed a good 4lb 3oz which was great considering she was seven weeks early. She was treated for possible sepsis and had light therapy for jaundice.

Nothing could quite prepare us for the neonatal unit or the raw emotion that comes with it. I wanted so badly to take my baby home. I watched other mums come and go and felt envious - then I felt guilty for feeling envious! I felt also felt guilt wondering, "was it something I did?"

The medical team were amazing. They were there as much for our daughter as they were for parents. From showing me how to wash, feed, express, what the machines did, what each tube was for...everything. We can’t thank the team enough. I like to refer to them as our 'earth angels'.

Isabella is now a happy, healthy and very strong eleven month old. I put together this poem for her, I hope you like it:

Chaos, confusion
Nothing seems clear
One thing's for sure
You shouldn't be here

You decided to come early
God put us to the test
Premmie babies rule
You're simply the best

Little fighting miracles
Look so frail and so small
But don't underestimate:
These babies've got guts and they’ve got gall

Artificial womb
Temps got to be right
You're one degree under
Not allowed to hold you tonight.

With your eye mask on
How will you know I am here?
I am your mummy darling
My heart sheds a tear

Can you hear my heart beating?
It's bursting inside
One part fear
One part pride

Nurses tell me it's all OK
She knows your voice, your smell, your touch.
But its killing me, it’s all just too much.

Tomorrow is another day
I get to hold you....a great big yay!
Feeling is bliss
Machines beep
All of a tizz

Bizarre feelings, she's fragile
"Please do not touch"
Choke back tears when it all gets too much.

Doctors do ward rounds
Hero scores good
Reduce down the monitor
Take less of the blood
Easier to hold you my true love.

Your weight is increasing by the day
You're back up to your birth weight
I heard them say

Out of the incubator
Into a cot
Growing fast
No longer a dot
You'll soon leave SCBU for your next step along.

Final step is Nursery Six
Bathing, washing, feeding tube out
You’re a big girl now, you’re not messing about.

Rooming in
Our first night together
Looking forward to you coming home forever.

Nearly a month has passed and you're home at last.
So relax
Take your time to grow
You've already taught me more than I could ever know.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this post and would like support, you can call our helpline on 0808 801 0322 or view our online support pages. If you would like to share your story with Bliss, please email


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