'I sat by his incubator, staring at him, willing him to grow.'

For babyballet franchisee Emma, taking part in our first ever Danceathon to fundraise for for Tommy's has a personal significance as she has experienced firsthand the anxiety of premature birth.

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October 2016

“I sat by his incubator, staring at him, willing him to grow. Listening to all the beeps on what seemed like a hundred machines, tubes everywhere.”

This October we are joining forces with Baby Ballet to raise vital funds for research into pregnancy loss though our first ever Danceathon.

Ballerina babies all across the country will be stepping their ballet shoes and getting sponsored to take part in special Danceathon events.

For Emma, who runs babyballet in Halesowen, fundraising for Tommy’s is so important as she has experienced the anxiety of premature birth with both of her children.

Here is Emma’s story

After 3 years of trying we finally fell pregnant. We were so, so happy!!

Everything was fine. But in my final trimester at a routine check we were told that baby wasn’t growing.  We were 32 weeks pregnant and our baby was only plotting around 2.5 lbs!

I was diagnosed with absent end-diostilic flow. We had never heard of anything like it before. I was immediately admitted to hospital and lived in the ward being monitored three times a day for a week.

Then, at 33+3 weeks, baby started becoming distressed.  I was sent for an emergency C section. It was so scary, we just didn’t know what to expect, would our baby be OK? 

Ethan John Skett was born weighing just 3lbs.

He was shown to me for a second and then whisked off to the Neonatal unit. We weren’t able to hold him.

I can’t describe how I felt when I looked at him through the glass. I was happy, sad, scared, excited, angry, relieved, strong, weak - it was literally a rollercoaster of emotions.

I sat by his incubator, staring at him, willing him to grow. Listening to all the beeps on what seemed like a hundred machines, tubes everywhere.

I was trying desperately to express some milk for him even though he was on a drip feed.

Then we were told that Ethan had a liver problem and things weren’t looking good for him. When someone tells you something like that, you go numb. We couldn’t process the information.

Amazingly, our tiny little boy was stronger than everyone thought, he pulled through, he slowly, slowly gained his weight and the tubes started to disappear.

At 26 days old and weighing just 3.7lbs Ethan was allowed to come home.

What a journey our little boy had already had and he was still so, so tiny.

6 months later we had the amazing news that we were expecting again! But, at 26 weeks, they detected the same problem.

I had to move into the hospital again. This time I lived in the hospital for a month. We managed to keep our baby in until 33+4 weeks. It was like history repeating itself. 

Amelie Jane Skett was born weighing 2.9lbs. She was taken straight to the neonatal unit, another baby I wasn’t able to hold. Amelie came home 26 days old and weighing 3.8lbs.

After our time spent in the neonatal unit and meeting so many different families with premature babies, we consider ourselves to be extremely lucky.

We have had 2 very beautiful premature babies who have grown into perfectly fine, noisy, cheeky, bright, intelligent children with no concerns at any of their milestones.

And with our third baby I went 4 days over my due date and gave birth naturally to a healthy 6.7lb baby boy, Sebastian!

 

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