I mentioned in my first ever post (Welcome) that Super Tiddles had a rather heroic start to life as he escaped from my womb incredibly early. Today is World Prematurity Day so I feel it’s a good opportunity to tell you that tale. His story began in late March 2009, when the routine second trimester scan didn’t go as I had expected. I went in expecting all to be well. What I did not expect was to discover that the little foetus had stuck his tiny foot through my cervix, he appeared to be trying to stamp his way out into the world! I distinctly remember the Sonographer telling me that if the baby came that day it would not survive. It was the stark truth. What happened next all seems rather a blur now but to cut a long story short, the foetus was gently pushed back in and I was hastily stitched up to try to prevent the little tinker escaping. I then had to stay in hospital for a week to be closely monitored. After a week I was told that I could go home as long as I rested in bed. Things seemed to be going well but then a few days later it became clear that the baby had other ideas.
Super Tiddles was clearly keen to get out into the world and on the 15th of April he made his dramatic entry into our lives 16 weeks early and looking like a tiny bird. He weighed 770g at birth. The few hours after his birth were an anxious wait but he fought long and hard and defied the odds to survive. Super Tiddles spent the first few months of his life at St George’s and Mayday Neonatal Units and received great care at both hospitals. It felt amazing when he finally came home (but sometimes tough managing his oxygen equipment).
Our story had a happy ending but sadly not every story of premature birth has a happy ending.
One in nine babies are born prematurely or sick in the UK each year, that is over 80, 000 each year. 39% of babies born at 24 weeks survive. It is my belief that awareness of premature births should be raised and more information should be made available to women at the 12 week scan. Everyone hopes for a healthy full term baby but it does not always work out that way. Let’s spare a thought for all premature babies today, on World Prematurity Day. Bliss is the charity for premature and sick infants, have a look at their website for more information http://www.bliss.org.uk/.