Blog post by Caroline Morris
It all started two years ago, when I and my partner decided to have another child. After all the stress, doctors, hospital appointments and all the disappointment I finally got pregnant. I was 12 weeks when we found out, and everything ran smoothly until I got to 30 weeks, when I started getting high blood pressure and swollen feet and face.
At 31+5 I was admitted to hospital where my blood pressure was high and I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. Being in and out of hospital and still trying get to work full time and look after our six year old child was tough going.
On Friday 14 February I went for a scan and the results were poor. The blood flow from me to baby was stopping and starting, and baby’s stomach hadn’t grown since 27 weeks. After the scan the consultant came and sat us down, and said they needed to give me a caesarean-section. At 4.20pm our baby girl Alyssia Grace was born weighing 3lb.
She was quickly rushed off to SCBU for the night and then I finally got to see her on Saturday night. On the Sunday the consultant who Alyssia was under tried to feed her and see if she could breathe on her own but she was too ill. That’s when they decided that we had to be transferred.to Newcastle. On Sunday night at 11pm we arrived and the team was there to meet us and explain what was going to happen. Alyssia needed intensive care support and was put on Total Parental Nutrition (TPN), being fed only through a drip. This worked great and two days later she started taking constant feeds and gaining weight.
Alyssia was tolerating her feeds and finally came off the CPAP machine and began breathing on her own, we couldn’t believe how much she was coming on. After just a few days she was able to be moved out of intensive care and we could hold her and cuddle her which was absolutely marvellous. Also, on 18 February my little boy turned seven and the staff at the RVI made his day. They had made him a birthday card with Alyssia’s hand and foot print and a photo with only just her feeding tube. He thought it was the best present.
Days passed and Alyssia got stronger and stronger. Then on Saturday 22nd we got some good news that they were taking Alyssia back to the hospital she was born in Cumbria. So, we got her ready and off she went, and we followed in front. When we arrived at the hospital the sister took us to one side and said that there had been a problem en-route but nothing serious. I started to cry thinking of all sorts of things it could have been. The ambulance had broken down and they had to take Alyssia to Carlisle SCBU until they got another ambulance. When Alyssia arrived it had taken her six hours in total. They then decided to stop her feeds and put her on a drip because they thought she had an infection. They put her on antibiotics and by the following day she was back feeding and her usual self.
Days passed and then weeks, and Alyssia came off constant feeds to getting fed every two hours, then three, then went on to four hour feeds. Then she started taking the bottle with expressed milk and her weight gain went well. At exactly one month old Alyssia was allowed to come home weighing 4lb 80z. This was the best news we all wanted to hear.
Without our family there for all their support and help we couldn’t have done it. Alyssia is now three months old and weighing 8lb 3oz and is enjoying all the attention of her big brother.