Our rollercoaster journey through the neonatal unit - Lorraine's story

Lorraine And Harry's Story Hero

Lorraine's son Harry was born at by emergency c-section at 31 weeks. Here she remembers their rollercoaster journey through neonatal care.

When we found out that we were having our second baby, we were filled with so much excitement. Who would’ve imagined, then, that I would have our little boy Harry at 31 weeks?

I went to hospital for a routine blood pressure check at Christmas, during which the midwife asked if I felt OK. It turned out that I would spend the next nine days in and out of the delivery suite – they were trying to stabilise my blood pressure.

It was agreed to try and get me to 35 weeks, but Harry and I had different ideas and after yet another growth scan it was explained that I needed an emergency c-section. My husband and I didn't have time to get worried. I remember the consultant asking if I had any questions and I had just one. “Would he cry?”

We then got to meet the neonatal team in the operating theatre, and so our journey began.

Harry was born on 8 January 2016 at 7.09pm at the Leeds General Infirmary, weighing a massive 2lb 6oz. By the time I got to see him at around 5am the following morning, he was breathing only by a ventilator, and had lots of wires and tubes everywhere. I felt so guilty, like I was to blame for Harry having been born so early. I couldn't touch him, the machines and everything scared me and I cried nearly every day that he was in the neonatal intensive care unit.

All the staff at the hospital were amazing. Over the next 12 weeks we had a rollercoaster of a journey. It was one step forward and then three back! Harry would forget to breathe and really didn't want to come off high flow oxygen! This was then followed by sepsis infection and a blood transfusion, and several chest X rays later a plan was in place for him to come home on oxygen and feeding tubes, which I learned how to use.

To be honest, I couldn't imagine Harry coming home. But 12 weeks after he came in to this world we got the moment that every parent wants. We carried Harry out of hospital, with his oxygen and feeding tubes. We got a few stares, but nobody could take us off cloud nine.

Lewis, his older brother, had come every night after school to the hospital and read to Harry. Lewis hadn't seem phased by the machines, but now we could become a proper family of four.

The bonding could finally begin for us all.

Harry is now off oxygen and weighs a massive 12lb 12oz. People say to us they don't know how we did it. We did it because Harry is ours and we love him so very much.