“It is so hard to see your baby in hospital” - Wioletta’s story

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Wioletta shares her story of having two premature babies, Angelina and Dominic, who were born seven and four weeks early, as well as reflecting on her experience of baby loss.

Our experience in neonatal care unit was different from what we expected.

My daughter Angelina was born seven weeks early. Her due date was 27 May 2012, but she was delivered by emergency c-section on 18 April 2012, because the fluid around her was depleting very rapidly.

Angelina was my fourth pregnancy. I had a stillbirth at around eight months of pregnancy in 2010, where we lost our daughter Sofia. Then I had three miscarriages within a few years, so I travelled to Poland to have some private health checks.

The doctors in my country discovered that I have a blood problem called thrombosis, which causes blood clots because my thyroid was operative.

The doctors referred me to Sheffield Hospital’s Jessop Wing, where I could have more specialist care, and so my pregnancy could be closely monitored by a large team of medical professionals.

I had regular scans and blood tests, but then developed diabetes in pregnancy, so I was put on aspirin to prevent blood clotting.

I remember attending one of my scans, and the gynaecologist consultant said to me, “You can go home for two hours to pack your hospital bag because your baby will be arriving early.”

He also told me that I needed to come back to the hospital as soon as possible so they could deliver Angelina. I cannot remember anything - my partner Mark drove quickly back to Doncaster and helped me pack my bag.

When I returned to Sheffield, the whole team was there. They attached me to the monitors which would check how often Angelina moved. I had steroid injections to help develop Angelina’s lungs.

My consultant in Sheffield, Dr Priya Madhuvanta and her team of specialist nurses from the Jessop Wing, were amazing. They helped deliver Angelina and then she was in the neonatal unit for three weeks in the incubator, before moving to the Whirlow Ward with me.

Angelina was tube-fed for four weeks, because she couldn't latch.

Eventually, we were discharged home on her due date of 27 May 2012.

For all parents with babies in neonatal care units, I would like to say that I know it is so hard to see your baby in hospital, but those little babies are born fighters. Please try to not give up. Keep going because soon your little babies will become teenagers spending all of your money!

Each day gets better, and the experience will bring you closer to each other, and help you to build strong relationships with your baby and family. I noticed how quickly Angelina gained weight, how she had fewer monitors attached to her over time, and she soon moved out of the incubator.

I now have my amazing daughter Angelina and son Dominic, two years apart and both born prematurely. Dominic was born four weeks early because I had diabetes during my pregnancy.

When I was pregnant with Dominic, I carried twins, but unfortunately, we lost one child at eight weeks of pregnancy. That meant. I was pregnant and miscarried at the same time while having a two-year-old daughter.

Angelina will soon be 12 years old on 18 April 2024, and Dominic will be 10 years old on 30 July 2024. They are amazing, smart and the best children we could ever wish for.

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