I was born at 32 weeks premature. Recently I asked my Mum to tell me about my birth story. I wept when I read it. Until now I hadn’t realised how terrifying those early weeks must have been.
By chance I stumbled upon @sageandnellie’s profile on Instagram and instantly loved gorgeous Nellie. Here her mama Georgia shares their story.
I couldn’t be more open to share mine and Nellies story, I could write about her all day but where an earth do I start?
With her birth because i don’t remember much of that. Perhaps all our medical complications, I know endless information on those! Or just the shear love and joy she brings me? I think this may just be a mess of feelings and thoughts on what its like to have a micro-preemie, my baby born 12 weeks early, weighing just 1lb6oz with many complications and a whole load of love, my Nellie…here goes our list.
- To start I will cut to the factual stuff, how it all came about and see where that takes me.
- 14 I’m diagnosed with PKD, a lifelong kidney disease.
- 18 I’m diagnose with lymphoma, cancer of the blood.
- 19 I travel the world with my partner, learn to live after cancer.
- 20 Im in Australia and holy shit I’m pregnant. Time to come back to England and attempt to be an adult, this baby is obviously meant to be.
- Pregnancy after intensive chemo was a bit of a surprise. Infertility was always something i thought id struggle with but all i could think was Im going to be a mumma, things are going to be good.
- I’ve had my share of bad luck, what could go wrong huh?
- My blood pressure began to creep up, my kidneys couldn’t cope and my placenta was being affected. At 27 weeks a scan showed my baby had stopped growing, starving of oxygen and extremely malnourished.
- But she was still moving, heart was still beating, I was told if she did survive she may have severe brain damage.
- She had to live.
- I was rushed that day to a bigger hospital four hours away, where we could have the best care before and after the birth.
- Two days later at exactly 28 weeks Nellie was born via emergency c-section screaming and kicking. Hands the size of my nails and legs no bigger than my baby finger but SHE CRIED she wanted to be here.
- There is nothing worse than watching your child sick, having Nellie gave me a whole new perspective on what my own mum must have gone through with me.
- After three weeks I was discharged without my baby and Nellie was moved in a specialised ambulance back to a hospital closer to home.
- There were no parent rooms so me and my partner had a 45 minute drive to get her from home each day. Premature babies can take a turn fast, a thought that terrified me, what if we couldn’t get there in time.
- Just to number a few things Nellie dealt with and like a champ may I add-
- Hours old and tubes in her legs, arms, hands, through her umbilical cord, nose and mouth. A lot of tubes for a 625 gram baby.
- Skin so thin to hold her it could would tear
- Numerous blood transfusion
- Two brains bleeds
- Daily, sometimes hourly bloods.
- 8 months attached to an oxygen tank
- Her first cuddle was at two weeks old and then just one a day for ten minutes or so until she was stronger.
- She looked so frail and alone in her incubator. I should still have been carrying her for another 12 weeks but in my heart I knew she was strong, I knew id be taking her home.
- My heart ached, I yearned, my milk was so ready for her, i expressed 10 times a day, 4 bouts of mastitis, it was the only thing i could really do for her.
- We took our girl home at 3 months old, she was still on oxygen and weighed just 4lb3 but boy was she feisty. Id started to fully breastfeed around 10 weeks.
- We continued to have our struggles, daily nurses visits, severe reflux and still underweight but she was HOME. In my arms whenever I wanted, that I cant even explain.
- In short that is what Nellie went through, we came through with help from the NHS and a lot of fight. I now have a beautiful, defiant, toddler who thinks she’s 13.
- However one thing I still find hard to get my head round is the many emotions I felt as a mother.
- I think on some level I struggle with post traumatic stress. At the time you have to be so strong, hold it all together but when the storm calms you’ve got to find normality again, come to terms with all thats happened and a lot has happened in the last few years.
- And then sadly I fell into a trap of jealousy and resentment. I couldn’t look at pregnant mums, at first I avoided baby groups, I guess it reminded me of what i couldn’t do, safely carry and deliver my baby.
- People moaning about how hard the last trimester is, telling me how lucky I am to have never experienced it.
- Or that women that told me i was LUCKY to have had a small baby, poor thing gave birth to a healthy 8lb boy.
- Oh and the one that said at least you got a good nights sleep in those first three months. Yes because getting up every hour to phone and check your baby is still alive is a good night sleep.
- Well yes, as you can see that bitterness is still lingering but I’m getting over it. In a way i wish i could still be that naive mum, not everyone can understand, perhaps they need a wake up call, to open their eyes.
- Ok, like i said I’m working on that side of it… really.
- I think there just needs to be more awareness, more information. A premature baby isn’t just a small baby.
- I am so blessed, we all are as mothers, there is always someone with a bigger struggle, we watched countless babies not make it, others with life long problems from their prematurity.
- Everyones struggle is real to them, who’s to judge who’s is harder.
- I wouldn’t be me without my story, my fight, Nellie wouldn’t be who she is today. Im grateful everyday, maybe I wouldn’t be if i hadn’t felt some pain.
- I may not be lucky but i am definitely blessed.
- Yep, that was a mess of thoughts and facts but how else can i describe our journey, it was one long, wonderful jumble. Just wish me luck for next time because I’m about to do it all over again with baby number two!