As I’m back on line I thought it was about time I shared my birth story with you all.
I had Lily Storm 9 weeks ago and it’s been the most testing, emotional 9 weeks that I think I’ve lived through so far!
Lily was due on the 13th of August, just a week ago, but was born 8 and half weeks premature on the 16th of June with no warning! Chris and I were actually sat in our parenting class when I started to develop quite bad backache. To be on the safe side we decided it was best to go and get this checked out at the hospital, so off we went thinking they’d take one look at me, tell me I was being dramatic and send me on my merry way. Not quite! After examination the midwife told me I was in labour and was going to have my baby within the next few hours! Things progressed pretty quickly for me and within 2 hours Lily was born weighing a dinky 3 pounds 3 oz. It was all pretty crazy but she was stable and put on the neonatal ward where we expected to spend the next week or so.
It was from there that things got more complicated. Following a new born scan the doctors discovered that Lily had part of her small intestine missing (we later found out that was the reason she came early). This required an operation and meant that we were transferred to Southampton hospital for Lily’s surgery. Everything went well and the staff at the hospital were so reassuring and positive but it was still a very scary time for Chris and I. I was terrified that being so small Lily wouldn’t make it through, that something would go wrong and that we would lose our baby girl. Thankfully this wasn’t the case. Lily coped amazingly with her surgery – they actually took her organs out, sewed her small intestine back together and then put them all back in! Totally mind blowing!
The next 4 weeks were a mix of emotions. She stayed on the neonatal intensive care ward in Southampton and Chris and I moved into hospital housing. I sat by her incubator for up to 10 hours a day watching her progress, I spoke to countless doctors and asked hundreds of questions. For 4 weeks I went nowhere but to Lily’s ward and back to our room, it was emotional, tough and draining but seeing her improvements and knowing she would come home fit and strong made it easier to cope. She had good days and bad days, sometimes she would improve and sometimes she would slip back, it was a constant roller coaster. But after 3 weeks we were transferred back to our home hospital because she had done so well. Here she learnt how to feed and we were let home on the 13th of July.
Since being home Lily has got stronger and learnt to cope well with the challenge of surgery and being premature. We have had a couple of visits back to the hospital but she is moving forward and is in an amazing place.
This experience taught me so much, but I think the one thing that stands out for me is that you may not know why things happen, but the universe will never give you more than you can handle. I’m stronger and more resilient than I ever thought I was, and for that lesson I’m truly grateful.