Our light at the end of the tunnel - Nina's story

Nina's Story Hero

Sadly, Nina lost two babies before giving birth to Dexter at 23 weeks. Read her moving story about Dexter's early arrival and how he fought his way to become 'the strongest boy in the world'

I remember the moment my fiancée and I finally decided to start trying for a baby, I have a 16 year old from a previous marriage so this was all going to be new to me. I was really excited when we fell pregnant after three months of trying. Sadly at my 12 week scan we were told the baby had died. It was incredibly upsetting for us both, but we decided to try again. I fell pregnant again and things were going well, but at 19 weeks I began to notice that some things didn't feel right.

I was rushed into hospital at 21 weeks and told I had an infection. It had reached the baby and because she was so small, there was nothing they could do. I held on for a few days but my life changed when my daughter was born. We held her for an hour until she stopped breathing.

I was very ill from the delivery and was told that I might not have lived because so many things had gone wrong. At that point I didn’t care, the pain in my heart from losing her was too much.

Mentally, I was in a very dark place, but with help from the doctors and midwives I fell pregnant again. Everything was going great, they put in a cervical stitch at 17 weeks to make sure I would keep this baby safe, but again by 20 weeks I knew something was wrong. I was rushed to Oxford and had an Arabin pessary (a small ring to support the cervix) fitted as my waters were leaking. This seemed to work, but by 22 weeks my contractions started. We were told they were going to induce me, but a consultant had previously checked and I still had plenty of fluid, so the plan was to keep me pregnant for as long as possible.

I was given steroids for my baby’s lungs and magnesium for his brain, but at 23 weeks he couldn’t hold on any longer and Dexter was born after another very traumatic birth. It was five hours until we got to see our son and I never believed he could even be alive, he was the size of my hands and weighed just 550g. He was a miracle.

Due to the traumatic birth, I was told I could no longer have children, and we were told that he had a five percent chance of survival because of his prematurity. They could not say what his outcome would be. We didn't care, we just wanted our son, so for 15 hours a day for four months I sat by his cot, singing and praying, crying and bonding, just hoping that this everything would be okay.

My partner would make four hour long trips a day to drop me at the hospital, go to work and then come back. It was a life changing experience physically, mentally and financially. I will never forgot the night we nearly lost him, and I remember thinking I couldn't take more pain, but Dexter grew and grew and finally we could bring him home the day before his due date, and his sisters 18th birthday.

Doctors cannot believe how amazingly well he has done. He hasn’t had to have a single operation, he fought everything and he overcame everything, he is a miracle. He still has lots of specialists to see and winter is hard, but he is now 18 months old and is learning to walk and starting to babble. He has been in the papers and on the radio, our famous little boy! Considering we didn’t know what his outcomes would be when he was born, to us, he is the strongest boy in the world.

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