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World Prematurity Day 2021

16 Nov 2021 13:21:07
Emma and Theo

This World Prematurity Day we wanted to introduce some of the tiny patients who are currently in our Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and getting stronger by the day thanks to the care from their amazing parents along with our brilliant teams. Read more on our Facebook page.

Baby Theo and mum, Emma

“All of the nurses are really helpful. Every single time I walk in… they come straight up to you and give you an update”

Emma spoke to us about her experiences on the Special Care Baby Unit and how baby Theo was doing after being born at 33 weeks. 

Emma said Theo has been on SCBU for about three weeks. “He came early because I had Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM), which is my waters went early, and they were monitoring me for infections because once your waters have gone you’ve got nothing there to protect your baby. 

“I actually went into labour naturally at the end of it. He came very, very quickly, unexpectedly, but he was perfectly healthy as in he was breathing on his own.” 

Emma said Theo didn’t need any special help with this breathing and that he was a quite a healthy little boy. 

“They are just keeping an eye on him, making sure he’s the right temperature, and demand feeding rather than through a tube. At first he was on a feeding tube and now he is off that. They are just monitoring him all day to make sure he is feeding right before he goes home and he can maintain his temperature. 

“All of the nurses are really helpful. Every single time I walk in, cause I’m here most of the day, they come straight up to you and give you an update and tell you how he’s been throughout the night and when you come back in the evening they tell you how he’s been while you’ve not been here. 

“He sleeps most of the day, he’s a little night owl. We’re hoping to get him home soon, we’ve just got a little bit of reflux and he’s on a bit of medication, but he seems to be doing really well. 

“Hopefully in the next few days we’ll know more about going home.”

 

Baby Tyde and mum and dad, Emily Caudwell and Karl Garratty

Emily, Karl and Tyde

“The staff become like your family” 

Mum Emily said she was also born premature, along with her twin sister, and that she was being monitored because of this. It was a normal pregnancy until one night and little Tyde was born at 29 weeks. 

Emily said: “I was rushed into hospital in an ambulance two days earlier on a Sunday. It had been a completely normal day and I had gone to bed about half past ten at night and had a massive bleed. [Karl] rang the ambulance and rushed me off to Jessops. I was on and off labour for about two days and Tyde was born at 10.30pm on 21 September. 

“We had about 10 minutes with him in the room and then he was taken down to intensive care. He was in intensive care at Jessops for a week because I was in hospital as well for a week. They had to monitor me and then he got moved into the Dependency Unit there for another week.” 

Emily and Tyde were at Jessops for two weeks and then brought to Rotherham Hospital. Little Tyde was eight weeks old on Tuesday. 

Dad Karl said: “It’s been a strange experience and there have been ups and downs throughout but the actual place and the staff are really, really good.” 

Emily added: “There have been quite a few breakdowns from me but the staff, they become like your family. “When I’m sat crying over his cot there is someone there cuddling me and putting their arm around me, sat next to me trying to make the days go a little bit easier. 

“My pregnancy was completely normal. I was born premature, me and my twin sister, we were born at 30 weeks because my mum had preeclampsia, so I was monitored really closely because that can make you more prone to preeclampsia. But there was nothing, everything was fine and completely normal. At his 20 weeks scan he was measuring exactly as he should have done, and then just randomly one night.” 

“We didn’t have any bags packed, we didn’t have a cot ready, we didn’t have anything, so it was quite the shock. 

They are hoping to get baby Tyde home in the next few days. 

“We are staying over tonight and hopefully we’ll get home this weekend,” said Emily. “We’re aiming for Sunday. He’ll be 37 weeks on Sunday, so it’ll be two months since I got rushed to hospital. It feels like a long time but then again it feels like it was yesterday.”

 

Baby Alice and mum Laura

Laura and Alice

Baby Alice was born on 1 November at 33 weeks. Mum Laura said: “We don’t have a reason for it. Her big sister was born at 36 weeks, so I just tend to have early babies, for no reason in particular. She’s doing very well, she is making good progress. 

“I went from not being in labour at all to being here within a couple of hours. They told me, you’re not in labour, and then here she was. She needed a little help with her breathing when she was born. That didn’t last very long, just a bit of oxygen. And she’s been improving ever since. She had her oxygen removed and was under heat for a little while and treated for jaundice but that’s sorted as well. It’s just sorting her feeding out now, making sure she’s eating enough and then she’ll be ready for home. 

“The staff here have been brilliant, they really have. They keep us updated all the time. If there are any questions there’s always people to speak to. It’s really nice, everyone is so friendly.” 

Laura’s husband is Alex and she also has a daughter, four-year-old Lydia. 

“Obviously it’s an awful experience, trying to balance having a big sister at home and coming here and visiting and things like that. The staff have been amazing and we’re really happy with how they’ve looked after her. 

“The big one doesn’t understand properly yet, she’s four. She doesn’t quite get it yet but she will. Alice is making a really good recovery and we’re just really grateful.” 

Baby Nova and mum Hayley

Hayley and Nova

“I don’t have any worry leaving her here at night time because I know that she’s with the best people and who would do absolutely everything they can for her”

Mum Hayley and baby Nova have been at Rotherham Hospital for ten weeks. Hayley was 28 weeks and six days when Nova was delivered by emergency C-section. 

“Within two days she had to be intubated and we had to get her transferred down to Leicester because that was the nearest bed that could take her,” said Hayley. “We were only in Leicester for a week and then we came back here and have been here ever since. I can’t sing their praises enough, they have been absolutely fantastic. 

“She was literally the size of my husband’s hands. And I can see the change in her, I take a picture of her every day so I can see that change.” 

Hayley said she has been kept informed by staff every step of the way. 

“Everything that has happened, any bumps along the way they have kept me informed. They have been really supportive, even emotionally. There have been some days I’ve come in and I’ve just wanted to cry. It feels like a family here so I don’t have any worries leaving her here at night time because I know that she’s with the best people and who would do absolutely everything they can for her.” 

Hayley has two boys at home who have yet to meet their baby sister. 

“They know they’ve got a sister, a sister that they’ve not met yet because they can’t come in because of Covid. It’s been a massive strain on the family. 

“It’s definitely been the scariest time of my life, but at the same time, it’s been really positive.” 

World Prematurity Day aims to raise awareness of families with premature babies and the care that they receive. 

Hayley said: “It seems to be a taboo subject. People don’t talk about it. People don’t say, ‘I had this experience’. You hear about pre-terms and everyone assumes it was a negative experience and that it must have been the worst time of your life. It is a really tough time but I wouldn’t say it was the worst time of my life because it’s been made to be a positive experience.” 

She encouraged people to talk about their experiences. “It takes that burden off you as well, knowing that there are other people out there who have been thorough that situation, you don’t feel as alone.” 

Hopefully, the family will be reunited soon and Nova’s brothers will get to meet their sister. 

“We are closer to home now than what we were last week. She was in an incubator for eight weeks so just moving to the cot was like we were actually getting somewhere. But she’s doing everything she needs to do now, she’s feeding on her own but we just need to get rid of the monitor. 

“Maybe we’ll be lucky and get to take her home on Wednesday [World Prematurity Day].”