Blog post by Hayley Markham
Sonny was born at 11:18pm on Sunday 14 October 2012 weighing a tiny 2lb. The night it happened is a blur. One minute I was enjoying a Sunday roast with friends, the next I was driving anxiously to the hospital with my husband, in complete denial that the pains I was feeling could possibly be contractions!
When we got there it was confirmed, I was in advanced labour. My whole world came crashing down. Everything happened very quickly and Sonny was born via emergency c-section because he was breach. As with some premature babies he was put into a “sandwich bag” to keep him warm and protected and was taken to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. As my baby boy was taken away I was left in shock and disbelief, all I had was a photo.
The next day I was taken to be with him, and the following days merged into one. All I could do was stare at him through the incubator for the first few days until the day I finally got to hold him, which was just amazing. The emotions were uncontrollable, I sobbed because I was so scared for my baby and how fragile he was. I sobbed because I felt so lucky that he was okay. I sobbed because I didn’t understand why this had happened, why he was here 12 weeks earlier than he should have been. My husband was my rock even when he was struggling himself.
The hours turned to days, the days turned to weeks, the scary sounds of the bleeping machines became more familiar and Sonny got stronger and stronger with each day that passed. Every ounce gained was a victory and I was proud of every movement he made.
There were ups and downs along the way, a bleed on the brain, chronic lung disease, blood transfusions, chronic reflux and suspected NEC (an infection in the bowel) but he pulled through everything like a soldier. I can’t begin to describe how we felt during his time in the NICU. The nurses were outstanding and made us feel so at ease. Nothing was too much trouble.
Eventually after nine long weeks, December 14 came and we were finally able to take our baby home. He was still only 4lb! Our first nights at home were terrifying, exhausting and joyous all at the same time.
Sonny is two now and I am so immensely proud of how far he has come, he is a strong minded, intelligent happy little boy who loves life to the full. Not many people know, but we went through three gruelling rounds of IVF to conceive our baby boy, but everything that’s happened just makes us appreciate and love him even more. He’s not had it easy, but that will never stand in his way!
Sometimes, when I sit and wonder “why us” I look at him and all my negative feelings go away. We are so blessed to have him and I wouldn’t change a thing about our experience, it’s just made our family bond even stronger.