After what felt like a fairly uneventful pregnancy, my first child, Angus, was born 12 weeks early by emergency c-section due to severe intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). After the ups and downs of the neo-natal ICU, he was eventually allowed home, only to be sent back to the Paediatric ICU ten days later, where he had to be given a tracheostomy which he needed for 11 months.
There was no way anyone could have warned me as to how difficult this time was going to be. It was an incredibly isolating experience. There was no social media at that time and I actually didn’t know of anyone else that had a premmie baby. I felt like no-one understood what I was going through which made what was already an incredibly challenging time even harder.
Many people that have premmie babies carry a great sense of guilt, I know this is something I battled with. It goes against nature to leave your baby in a hospital while you go home. The feeling of not being able to protect and help them is utterly crippling. I was shattered, and felt completely alone.
A few years and three miscarriages later (one at eight weeks in 2009, one at 19 weeks in 2010 and another at five weeks in 2010), I fell pregnant again. This time I was 11 weeks early and gave birth to my second boy, Saxon, at 28 weeks.
In 2015, I discovered a charity called Miracle Babies on social media. I had a few interactions online with them and then I was introduced to some of their staff members at an event. After hearing about all the different services offered within and outside of hospital, I decided to get involved.