Tommy's guest blog by Dani 13/11/17
Eddie was born at 32 weeks, at just 3lb4oz.
My pregnancy hadn't been complicated, but I'd been in hospital 2 days before with bad stomach cramps which caused my uterus to contract (although I wasn't in labour) so while it was a surprise, we'd had a little bit of time to think about what would happen if he arrived early.
Thankfully I'd been given a steroid injection to boost his lungs as a precaution, which meant he was able to breathe unaided when he was born. He was taken straight to ICU, but thankfully only spent a day there and didn't need oxygen, his only complications were low birth weight and jaundice, so he spent most of his time in hospital in the Special Care Baby Unit. The doctors told us to expect him to be in hospital until his due date, but it all depended on how he progressed. His time in hospital was intense and overwhelming for us - seeing him hooked up to machines, and doing simple things like changing him were so scary as he was so tiny.
We'll always be incredibly grateful to the amazing support, care and expertise from the staff at St. George's, and we always knew he was in the best possible place. They helped us through the hardest weeks of our lives and we couldn't have got through it without them.
His jaundice gradually reduced, but it was very 'one step forwards, two steps back'. We would leave him at night and he'd be doing well, and it was so hard to see him back under the lights when we came back in the morning. We've kept the eye mask he wore, to remind us of everything he made it through. We were lucky enough to establish breastfeeding fairly quickly, and he was home in 3.5 weeks!
Getting him home was both brilliant and terrifying at the same time - we'd gotten used to having amazing care 24/7 and now we were on our own! Eddie has continued to thrive and is now loving food, sitting up and chewing anything he can get his hands on! He's continued to gain weight and we're hoping to be fully discharged after his first birthday. He's such a happy baby and makes us laugh every day!
If you would like more information on our research into premature birth see here.
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Lewis writes about his journey and why he chooses to run for #TeamTommys.
There are times when it all feels like too much, but at those times I think of my daughter, who was such a fighter, and suddenly everything seems more manageable again.
"I truly feel without the support of the EPU and the peace of mind given to us through the Tommy's study we would not be where we are today."
Little Anderson was born under the care of the Tommy's Early Miscarriage Research Centre at London Imperial.