Blog post by Kelly Smith
This is my story of having a premature baby.
At 6.30am on 19 August 2009 I wake up to the feeling of wetness on the bed sheet. I get up and walk to the bathroom but as I am walking the clear liquid is running down my legs. I immediately knew that something wasn’t right as I was only 26 weeks pregnant. I frantically wake up my partner and tell him that I think my waters have broken then phone up our local hospital and explain to them what has happened. They tell me to get to the delivery suite as soon as I can.
I get there and they immediately put me on a foetal heart rate monitor; everything was normal. They then tell me that they are going to give me a steroid injection to strengthen the baby’s lungs just in case baby was going to make an early appearance. I’m told that I have to wait 12 hours for the second lot of steroid injections and that I would be waiting up on the ward. I walk up to the ward with my partner and his mum and get changed into one of the gowns, but I haven’t been there five minutes when a midwife from the delivery suite says that she has spoken to one of the doctors and that they want me back downstairs. I’m starting to panic now but I don’t say anything and just follow them back down.
When I get down there they put me back on the foetal heart monitor again; they tell me that the baby’s heart rate keeps on dropping dangerously. The next thing I know, a consultant has come into the room and is telling me that due to the baby’s heart rate dropping, they have no choice but to perform an emergency Caesarean-section to save the baby. I just burst into tears and I remember saying “No, you can’t it’s too early, he will be too small”.
At 2.59pm on 19 August 2009 my baby boy Ben was born weighing 2lb 6oz. He was so tiny (although the doctors said that 2lb 6oz was a very healthy weight for such an early baby) and fragile, I never got to see him as he was whisked away in an incubator straight to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU). It wasn’t until 4am the following morning that I was allowed to see my precious baby boy, he had tubes everywhere and he had oxygen to help him breath, I couldn’t believe that this had happened.
I was in SCBU visiting Ben every day, sometimes twice a day if I could, but funny as this may sound it actually got quite tiring and draining just staring at this tiny baby in an incubator.
I got my first cuddle on 14 September, nearly 4 weeks after having him. Ben was in SCBU for a total of ten weeks, we had a few scares but he was such a little fighter.
He was finally allowed home on 31 October 2009 weighing just over 5lb. I was over the moon to finally be able to take my baby boy home and be a proper family. We got home and sorted things out, had tea and made Ben’s bottles etc. It was time for bed so my partner carried Ben upstairs in his moses basket, then got Ben out and put him on our bed to change him.
Ben was starting to look very grey, he wasn’t breathing! My partner started to do CPR on him as we had been shown this before we were allowed to take Ben home, whilst I phoned for an ambulance. I was in hysterics; my baby boy who we had only brought home a few hours before was now laid on our bed not breathing. It wasn’t even five minutes and a first responder turned up shortly followed by the ambulance. Ben started breathing again before we had even gotten into the ambulance; he was pink and looked fine.
At the hospital the doctors said that Ben had suffered with an Apnoea attack (he had stopped breathing in his sleep). He was kept in on the children’s ward for a further three days to make sure that these attacks didn’t happen again.
Once he was allowed, he was sent home with an Apnoea monitor which was attached to him via pads on his chest which would monitor his breathing and the alarm would sound if it didn’t detect a heartbeat. After that we didn’t have any problems.
Ben is now coming up for five years old and is a perfectly healthy boy.