Proud parents of premature babies share their stories
Members of the public as well as staff have relived their memories to mark World Prematurity Day, which takes place on Saturday 17 November.
World Prematurity Day is a global event to help raise awareness of premature birth and the sometimes devastating impact it can have on families.
Julie Oldman from Chichester; shared her story about her son Isaac who was born prematurely at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital and subsequently transferred to the neonatal unit at St Richard’s.
The team on the neonatal unit are like family.
On 29 January 2015 Isaac was born at 26 weeks, through an emergency c-section, weighing just 1lb 11oz. Isaac was very poorly and spent six weeks at the Queen Alexandra before being transferred to the neonatal unit.
Julie explained: “Up until that point, his hospitalisation was most definitely about keeping him alive. When we met neonatal matron Zita Warren and her team, the focus was on enabling Isaac to become stronger and thrive and equally to enable us to become a family and to bond.
“I wouldn’t have coped without the support of the team. I felt that they really listened to me and understood when I said I was determined to breast feed. They all helped me and I successfully fed Isaac from 34 weeks and I’m really proud that I successfully continued until he was 19 months.”
Isaac’s actual due date was 8 May and he went home on 29 April where he is now three-years-old. Reflecting back now, Julie says “the team on the neonatal unit are like family” and they “wouldn’t be where they are now without their professional clinical skills and their love and support.”
Worthing Hospital porter and mother of one, Nadine Wiseman is also raising awareness on World Prematurity Day after her son, Daniel was born two months early on 4 June 2010, weighing 4lbs 12oz.
Nadine recalled her moment when she was swollen at 33 weeks – and was diagnosed with preeclampsia – a form of high blood pressure in pregnant women. She gave birth to Daniel, a week later after 12-hours of labour.
Reflecting on her pregnancy, Nadine said: “I was admitted to Bramber where they monitored my blood pressure and tried to get it down. They also gave me steroid injections to develop his lungs in case they had to induce labour.
“After five days my blood pressure was dangerously high so they decided to induce. I went to delivery suite just as the day staff came on and they were absolutely amazing. I was told that I had a text book birth apart from Daniel being born early.”
Now eight-years-old, Daniel leads a full life, just like any child would. Nadine currently works in the portering team – providing excellent patient care – just like the staff at Worthing Hospital did for her in 2010.
Nadine said: “Bramber ward were excellent. Always on hand when I had questions always happy and when I found it tough to be apart from Daniel while he was in Beeding they were very comforting. I loved the whole experience and I cannot thank the midwives at Worthing Hospital enough.”
Speaking about her team, across both sites, neonatal matron, Zita Warren, said: “Both teams at Worthing and St Richard’s work tirelessly to support as well as nurture parents and families during every phase of their neonatal journeys.
“Our teams are proud and privileged to being able to make a difference and support our families during what can be a very difficult time.”
Picture – Julie Oldman with husband James and Isaac.