A Baby Was Born At 26 Weeks Gestation, Weighing Just 1lb 11oz, He Was Given Around A 50% Chance Of sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ
First-time mum, 32, told tiny 1lb 11oz baby born at 26 weeks had ‘50% sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ chance’, It’s quite a sʜᴏᴄᴋ when you walk into the N.I.C.U and hear all of the ʙᴇᴇᴘs ᴀɴᴅ sᴏᴜɴᴅs ᴏF ᴛʜᴇ ᴠᴇɴᴛɪʟᴀᴛᴏʀs and see your little baby in an ɪɴᴄᴜʙᴀᴛᴏʀ
The first time Carly and Mark got to see their newborn son, he was ʙʀɪɢʜᴛ ʀᴇᴅ, lying in an incubator and connected to a ᴠᴇɴᴛɪʟᴀᴛᴏʀ Fᴏʀᴄɪɴɢ ᴀɪʀ ɪɴᴛᴏ ʜɪs ʟᴜɴɢs, ᴀs ʜᴇ ᴡᴀsɴ’ᴛ sᴛʀᴏɴɢ ᴇɴᴏᴜɢʜ ᴛᴏ ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜᴇ on his own. He remained in an incubator on a ɴᴇᴏɴᴀᴛᴀʟ intensive care unit (N.I.C.U) for the first four months of his life, where his parents could only visit him up to two hours a day. But now first-time parents Cary and Mark, both 32, are overjoyed to have their baby boy at home and thriving after a “ʀᴏʟʟᴇʀᴄᴏᴀsᴛᴇʀ” year.
Carly, from Seaham, told Chronicle Live: “When we heard those words that he could finally come home I burst into tears. When we eventually got home, me and Mark both cried because we couldn’t believe that the time had come for him to be at home with us.”
When one sᴄᴀɴ showed that ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ Fʟᴏᴡ ʜᴀᴅ ʙᴇᴄᴏᴍᴇ sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇʟʏ ʀᴇsᴛʀɪᴄᴛᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ, Carly was ʙʟᴜᴇ-ʟɪɢʜᴛᴇᴅ to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, as there were no ɴᴇᴏɴᴀᴛᴀʟ beds available in Sunderland. Oscar was born by C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ᴀɴᴅ sᴡɪFᴛʟʏ ᴛʀᴀɴsFᴇʀʀᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ’s N.I.C.U, where he spent two-and-a-half months, before returning to Sunderland for Fᴜʀᴛʜᴇʀ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ.
Carly, who works as an electrician, said: “It’s quite a sʜᴏᴄᴋ when you walk into the N.I.C.U and hear all of the ʙᴇᴇᴘs ᴀɴᴅ sᴏᴜɴᴅs ᴏF ᴛʜᴇ ᴠᴇɴᴛɪʟᴀᴛᴏʀs and see your little baby in an ɪɴᴄᴜʙᴀᴛᴏʀ The ᴡᴏʀsᴛ part is knowing how ᴘᴏᴏʀʟʏ your little baby is and not being able to do anything about it and not being able to be ʙʏ ʜɪssɪᴅᴇ.”
Due to ᴄᴏʀᴏɴᴀᴠɪʀᴜs ʀᴇsᴛʀɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴs, Carly and Mark could only visit Oscar for two hours a day, wearing full PPE. Every evening, when Mark finished work as an engineer, the couple would make the 60-mile round trip to see their son.
Carly added: “You just wanted to be a mam to your baby, but because of Cᴏᴠɪᴅ ʀᴇsᴛʀɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴs you couldn’t – it was only for those two hours a day.”
His grandparents were also unable to visit their grandson, to ᴘʀᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ ʀɪsᴋ ᴏF ɪɴFᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ, until Oscar’s ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜ ᴅᴇᴛᴇʀɪᴏʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ when he was four weeks old. Carly received a call from the hospital to ask if she would like to come into the hospital early and was later asked if she would like. Oscar’s grandparents to meet him for the first time.
The couple knew there was a high chance that they could ʟᴏsᴇ their son, but it was a question they were too sᴄᴀʀᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴀsᴋ sᴛᴀff. Carly and Mark say they are lucky that there was technology to help them to stay updated on Oscar’s development, especially while they couldn’t be at the hospital. And they are incredibly thankful to nursing staff and the Neoangels charity, who support families with ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ babies, for their efforts to keep them in contact with their baby.
Carly said: “We’d often get pictures from the nurses of Oscar with a message saying ‘night night mummy and daddy, love you,’ or ‘can’t wait to see you tomorrow. And you’d get pictures of him doing things like sᴛɪᴄᴋɪɴɢ ʜɪs ᴛᴏɴɢᴜᴇ ᴏᴜᴛ. Neoangels also did little things for us. We got a little soft toy elephant and when you pressed a button on it you could hear Oscar’s heartbeat in the elephant. When we weren’t with Oscar we could press the elephant and hear his ʟɪᴛᴛʟᴇ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ. We are so grateful to everyone who kept us in contact with Oscar when we couldn’t be there for him and we’re so happy”.
How Your Premature Baby Looks
The earlier your baby arrives, the smaller she will be, the larger her head will seem in relation to the rest of her body, and the less fat she will have. With so little fat, her skin will seem thinner and more transparent, allowing you actually to see the ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ ᴠᴇssᴇʟs ʙᴇɴᴇᴀᴛʜ it. She also may have fine hair, called lanugo, on her back and shoulders. Her features will appear sharper and less rounded than they would at term, and she probably won’t have any of the white, cheesy vernix protecting her at birth, because it isn’t produced until late in pregnancy. Don’t worry, however; in time she’ll begin to look like a typical newborn.
Because she has no protective fat, your ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ
Baby will get ᴄᴏʟᴅ ɪɴ ɴᴏʀᴍᴀʟ ʀᴏᴏᴍ ᴛᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇs. For that reason, she’ll be placed immediately after birth in an incubator (often called an isolette) or under a special ʜᴇᴀᴛɪɴɢ ᴅᴇᴠɪᴄᴇ ᴄᴀʟʟᴇᴅ ᴀ ʀᴀᴅɪᴀɴᴛ ᴡᴀʀᴍᴇʀ. Here the temperature can be adjusted to keep her warm. After a quick examination in the delivery room, she’ll probably be moved to the NICU.