“We got to meet our little Christmas miracle almost nine weeks earlier than expected” - Bonnie’s Christmas Story

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Bonnie gave birth to her son Vinnie on Christmas Day 2020. Vinnie’s Mum and Dad had to navigate their NICU journey through COVID restrictions, but were helped by information from Bliss, alongside the amazing staff and other parents on the neonatal unit.

Our son, Vinnie, was born on Christmas Day 2020 via emergency C-section, at 31+4 weeks gestation. His arrival was totally unexpected, and we hadn’t prepared for a premature birth, but sometimes these things happen. On the positive side, we got to meet our little Christmas miracle almost nine weeks earlier than expected!

Vinnie weighed 1.36kg - he was so tiny but truly perfect to us.

Due to having COVID myself, the beginning of our journey was not totally straight forward. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet Vinnie for three days, but the amazing nurses and doctors in NICU took outstanding care of him. The day we did meet was so special.

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Vinnie spent four weeks in NICU before he was discharged home. He is now almost one years old and although the year has come with some challenges, he is such a happy baby and thriving in every way. Vinnie is and always will be our favourite Christmas story to tell!

Being first time parents and thrown into the world of NICU was the hardest and most challenging time we have ever faced. On top of that we had to navigate our journey alone as due to Covid restrictions, we were unable to visit Vinnie together. However, that being said, the support we received from all of the staff on the unit is amazing - they are not recognised enough for their hard work and dedication.

There was always lots of information available around our neonatal unit, and most of the information we noticed was published by Bliss. Once we heard about the charity, we also used their website for information and advice on what to expect when having a premature baby and this was invaluable to us.

We often look back at photos of Vinnie’s journey and are always so proud of how far he has come. If there is one thing I could do it would be to hug him so tight in the photos, to show him how much Mummy and Daddy love him, and to show him how bright the future will be.

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To any parents with their baby in NICU right now, or to those who know a neonatal stay will take place after birth, please remember you are not alone. You will have high days and low days - you will often ask yourself, “how will we get through this?”

You may also make friends for life with the other parents going through a similar journey on the unit - cherish them because they will truly understand you now, and in the future too!

Remember to take each hour, day and week as it comes, cry when you need to and try to enjoy the special moments with your baby when they happen. When your NICU journey comes to an end you will realise how strong you are and will be blown away by the resilience and strength of your little baby fighter(s) too.

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