”Archie was born unexpectedly at 24 weeks; until this point my pregnancy had been problem-free, so it came as a complete shock when he arrived so early. We really didn’t know what to expect, and it was touch and go for the first couple of weeks. He’s doing better now, but the doctors reckon it’ll still be at least another two months before he can come home.
”Steve’s already had to go back to work, so I’m on my own. After my c-section I can’t really drive, but the hospital’s 30 miles away and I’m spending a small fortune on bus and taxi fares. I wouldn’t mind, Archie’s worth every penny, but I’ve no idea where we’re going to find the money.
“Both Steve and I have good jobs, but we’d not planned for this and suddenly I’m on maternity pay and we’ve got a 60 mile round trip to see Archie each day. And that’s just getting to and from the hospital. My diet currently consists of canteen food or whatever the vending machine has to offer and it’s amazing how quickly it all adds up! We realised we’d spent £50 last week just on food at the hospital.
”Then there’s poor Sophie. She’s only five (although she’d be upset if I didn’t include the three-quarters) and doesn’t really understand what’s going on. My mum’s been amazing and come to look after her – which I suspect means she’s getting completely spoilt, Gran can never say no! But I know she misses her mum and dad and wants to know when her little brother’s coming home. To make matters worse, there’s a lurgy going round her school, so she can’t even come and visit at the moment.
”I just feel guilty the whole time; when I’m with Archie I’m thinking of Sophie and vice versa. The worst moment comes when we have to say goodbye to him each night, I can’t bear the thought of him waking up crying in the night and his mummy not being there.”