Katie & Simon’s Story (Flo’s mum & dad)

Florence Ellen was born on 10th March 6 weeks early.    Flo’s early arrival was due to my waters breaking early.  I had a premature rupture of membranes (PROM) at 31 weeks pregnant.  Once my waters had broken I spent some time in hospital where we were prepared for our early arrival.  We spent time talking with the doctors about what was going to happen once baby arrived, and we also had our first visit to NICU.   It was expected that I would go into labour shortly after the PROM happened but I didn’t.  Both myself and baby were monitored daily at the hospital and it was decided that I would be induced at 34 weeks. Florence Ellen arrived at 1.56am and to our surprise she was 4lb 14oz (larger than we all expected!)

After we’d had a very quick first cuddle Florence was whisked off with the NICU team.  She required some help including drugs for her lungs and antibiotics for an infection she had.  She spent time on both CPAP and the ventilator.  Flo spent 5 days in intensive care before she was moved into special care.  In total we spent just 2 weeks on the neonatal unit before we were able to come home.
Spending any amount of time in hospital is tough, but it was made even more challenging as we have a little boy (Benjamin who was 3 at the time) who couldn’t understand why his mummy was in hospital, why he was having lots of extra sleepovers at Nanny’s or Granny’s and then it was even more confusing when his little sister arrived and she couldn’t come home with him to his house.

Benjamin would say every time he left the hospital ‘I’ll take strawberry home with me now’ (strawberry was the nickname Benjamin had given the baby while I was pregnant) and it was always very difficult to explain why he couldn’t! It really affects the whole family.

NICU is a wonderful place the staff and support you receive is excellent not just from staff, but the parent support groups and the other parents you meet. They are going through the same as you and that can 100% appreciate how you feel!