“Stanley’s arrival was not a complete shock, in the run up to him being born I had been in and out of hospital for 5 weeks after complications in my pregnancy and we were warned he would arrive early. We first thought he would arrive around 27 weeks (I didn’t even look pregnant) but in the end he was born naturally at 32 weeks.
Having him born prematurely was not particularly traumatic but there were two tough moments that stuck out for me - the night he was born and me being alone without my baby on the ward; and the day I was discharged and leaving him in hospital on the baby unit. Stanley being my first baby and not having other experiences to compare to certainly helped me feel less overwhelmed.
The baby unit in Guernsey are brilliant and the support network within that room was what got me through. There were two other babies in the unit when we were in and it was great to have families there going through similar experiences. My advice to anyone who’s baby gets admitted is: to make a diary/journal of the days you are in there (the PPBF kindly gift one to all families on the unit). Stanley has recently turned 6 and I often go back and read the notes I made, it is so easy to forget the detail when you are in the moment and sleep deprived.
While on the unit we received various gifts, including a box from PPBF with clothes etc. for baby and bits for mum. It was such a nice thought. From day one I always brought all Stanley's stuff to the unit, nappies, clothes etc. Although the unit do provide them it made me feel better providing them myself.
Stanley spent nearly 4 weeks on the baby unit and aside from being anaemic and jaundice had no other ailments as a result of being premature.
Coming home was so strange, it was mid June by this point but Stanley was still so tiny and wrapped up in all these layers. I questioned myself all the time, and took his temperature 3 or 4 times a day! The health visitor came a few times a week and helped answer my questions, was understanding about feeding and we soon found our way.
Stanley is the most caring little boy, surrounded by friends he is always the life of the party. He loves everything outdoors, building stuff and taking it apart. He is never happier then when he is covered in dirt!
I am grateful everyday for the staff at PEH for keeping both Stanley and me safe and well.
For anyone who’s baby arrives early, you are not alone. Accept the help, share what you need to with people and just take it one day at a time.”