Charlie Harding's story
Charlie was born at 29+4 in the Princess Anne Hospital Southampton. He arrived early after I was diagnosed with a low lying Placenta (Placenta Previa) at 20 weeks. The placenta was covering the cervix meaning a C-Section was the only option for delivery.
I started bleeding at 23+4 and was advised they may not be able to help due to the pregnancy being before the 24 week mark. I was given steroids and put on a ward for 3 days before being released and advised the bleeding would be likely to happen between now and when he was delivered. On Christmas Eve last year, I was rushed back onto Labour Ward with further bleeding and admitted for a week. I lost 1.5litres of blood over 3 days and I felt terrible. On the 3rd January I was again admitted for a small bleed which they had mentioned would only keep me admitted until the Saturday. On Friday evening the bleeding worsened and I was put back downstairs on Labour Ward to be monitored. I received Magnesium Sulphate, a rescue Steroid injection and 2 pints of blood via a transfusion. I lost a total of 1.5litres in around 6 hours.
It was agreed that I would be rushed down for an Emergency C-Section under General Anaesthetic due to me being tachy cardic and Charlie’s heart rate was dropping in and out of the monitor too. Charlie was delivered in the early hours of the 5th and transferred straight to the Neo-Natal ward.
I was kept in High Dependency for 12 hours before being wheeled down to catch the first glimpse of my little bundle safely tucked up in his plastic box. The feeling of love was overwhelming. The sound of all of the beeping machines and nurses’ whispered voices felt utterly terrifying. Charlie weighed in at 3lb 1oz.
Apart from having some breathing problems due to Respiratory Distress Syndrome and being discharged with medication to prevent Osteopenia, Charlie was discharged in good health, which was a relief for us all.
He spent 7 long weeks in NICU being cared for and nurtured by all of the wonderful nurses there. The experience was something that even now I still struggle to describe. It has certainly made me the mum I am today. We cannot thank the staff enough, along with the help and support of all of the charities like Ickle Pickles. Without them, the support and guidance in those first weeks would be even more desired than it is now.