Blog post by Georgina Poole
My daughter Nellie Marjorie was born on 30 May 2014, weighing 1lb 15oz at 26 weeks gestation. Her due date was 1 September. The time flies by and you do what you have to do, meaning you rarely have time to think, but sitting here now and writing this ,the tears are starting to fill my eyes as I have not thought about the last five months until now.
I had been in hospital two weeks previously with heavy bleeding and as I had previously miscarried, I was scared. The doctor came to see me to give me the facts and figures on the survival rate of babies born at 24 weeks.
I wanted to get home as the strain of leaving my three year old son was hard. I was torn between doing the best for my unborn child and caring for my boy. He would visit and cry because he wanted to stay with mummy, so we tried to keep the visits to a minimum.
Two weeks later, after another ambulance ride with severe pain, it was decided to get my baby out. This was because my waters had broken and I had had an infection. At first I was relieved that the pain had gone after Nellie was born, then it dawned on me what exactly was happening and all those words from the previous neonatal doctor came flooding back. Dad had seen Nellie wrapped in cling film before she was whisked away and I cannot remember the following few hours. It was strange how I felt guilty and felt as if I hadn’t got the infection she would have been OK; your head says that’s rubbish but it still hurts your heart.
I had to see my daughter, so, with a lot of padding and a wheelchair, I was taken down to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I was doing quite well and holding it together until the door of the small High Dependency room was opened and that was it, the tears came. All I could see was machines and tubes and a tiny little thing in the incubator. The only thing I can remember thinking is how I could have let this happen? The tears came every time I walked in that room for the next few days. We could only put our hands on our daughter and it was some time before I could actually hold her.
Everyone kept saying that sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back but Nellie started doing amazingly well. First 1ml of breast milk then 2mls, it was amazing.
Then the step back and it hits you like a ton of bricks. She was anaemic and had to have a blood transfusion, which now I know is not that big a deal, but I didn’t want to see my baby who had gone through so much cry when they tried to find a vein for the cannula; I could just about bear the daily foot bloods.
We got transferred to a new hospital, and were making new friends and getting to know another lot of nurses and doctors, and the steps kept going forward. Nellie moved from an incubator to a cot and even though that was a good step, I felt like that incubator was my baby’s protection. It is weird just how small things can seem so major. Her feeding tube was taken out, but then another step back, another ton of bricks to my chest, another blood transfusion. Again my head said this is what she needs but my heart was screaming don’t hurt my baby.
I saw people come and go and made new friends every time, thinking when am I going to get my little girl home! But then she finally came home on 19 August 2014.
She is now home on oxygen with the nurse visiting every week taking each day at a time. She is now 6lb 12ozs and hoping for that big 7lb!
I have been through some rough times but this particular journey has been the biggest rollercoaster of my life. You feel emotions you never thought you could and it tests your relationship. Even money is tight as I hadn’t actually planned to be off work three months beforehand.
I cannot put into words the gratitude I have for the doctors and nurses. A huge thank you to everyone involved at Oldham, North Manchester and Bolton.