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World Prematurity day - Harrison's Story

17 Nov 2020 12:22:53

Harrison Gannon has not long since celebrated his first birthday. He was born at 31 weeks gestation and has made amazing progress after spending the first two months of life in special care.

Mum Natalie shares her story: “We had no signs that Harrison might come early. I had been feeling extremely poorly and woke up in the night having regular frequent contractions. I was in a lot of pain, struggling to take information in. I was worried but my mind was more focused about making sure he was ok during labour and delivery.

“I first saw Harrison around 1.5 hours after delivery. It was very emotional. It felt surreal. I didn’t feel like I was a “proper” mum to him. He looked absolutely beautiful though. Our friends and family were in awe of him after getting over the initial shock and worry!”

Natalie soon returned home to care for Harrison’s big brother and sister but daily visits and constant communication from the SCBU team meant that Harrison had lots of cuddles and the vital care he needed: “It was hard leaving my baby but I trusted the nurses to keep me informed should I need to know anything. I was there as much as I possibly could.

Natalie describes her feelings: “Every day was a different day. Some days I felt positive as there was progress and some days I felt really down and upset. When we were finally told he could come home we were extremely happy and nervous. I couldn’t believe it at first. It was a long time coming and I was definitely ready for our trips to the hospital to end. He slotted in perfect to our already established routine at home. We had the much needed support of the outreach team from SCBU to help with any issues that come up after discharge. I didn’t feel so alone.

“I’d say to any other parent going onto SCBU there will be happy times but there will also be sad times. There’s no rainbow without some rain. Celebrate little milestones reached and cry when you need to. Reach out for support and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Without SCBU we wouldn’t be where we are today. I try to make sure that I think of all the positives of our time there and we are so thankful to all that taken part in Harrison’s care. We miss the nurses but we have got our baby home and that was our goal.”

We asked Natalie what Harrison is like now, she said: “Absolutely amazing! He’s such a pleasant little boy. He’s reaching all his milestones as he should. We are all happy. Harrison completed our family. He’s perfect for us and it’s like he’s been here forever. I wouldn’t have him any other way.

“Premature babies can go through a great deal and we should celebrate their journey so far. We should support families as having a premature baby is such as emotional time and we should raise awareness of premature birth. Not every story is happy one but hopefully with awareness we could see an improvement in statistics.”