At 28 weeks pregnant I went to see a midwife for a normal check-up. My feet were like balloons but I put it down to having done a lot of walking.
As the midwife checked my urine she looked at my feet and said, "I'm going to do your blood pressure, but I think I’ll send you to the day unit too". She thought I could have pre-eclampsia, so after taking my blood pressure I made my way over to the part of the hospital where they did all the tests – they admitted me to try and get my blood pressure stable.
Three days later I got discharged. I went home and then back again for more tests during the week, but then four days later during a check-up they readmitted me. I spent three more days fighting to get my blood pressure stable, but on day four I was taken for an emergency c-section.
I was scared of what was going to happen and by the swelling of my body due to pre-eclampsia. They struggled to get the epidural in, but finally on the eighth go it worked. Within minutes my baby girl was born. I heard her cry and the weight on my shoulders felt as though it had been lifted but not for long – not being able to see my girl as they whisked her away got me starting to worry again.
I was taken to critical care where I was monitored. 13 hours later I finally got to see my daughter who weighed 2lb 14oz. So tiny. I just wanted to hold her but wasn't allowed until 16 days later.
After developing pneumothorax she needed to have a chest drain and was put on ventilation from C-pap, but when I finally got to hold my daughter it felt amazing!
She started to thrive. Day by day she went from strength to strength, until Christmas Eve 2013 when she developed suspected sepsis and was back on oxygen and into an incubator. That Christmas was full of worry, but four days later she was given the all clear. She went back into a cot in special care, once again she was thriving each day and on day seven we were discharged after six weeks of neonatal care. I was so happy and excited to take my little girl home. It was definitely a new start for the New Year.
Today she is 26 months and developing amazingly. She’s my little chatterbox - my world. We attend a Bliss playgroup and get to see all the other parents who have been or are going through what we have been through.
I'd like to thank all the staff at the neonatal unit and Bliss for all the support they gave from day one to today.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org