Almudena and Vidjan would like to tell their story, of how their baby Enzo was born 3 months early at 29 weeks. In line with his projected birth date or corrected age, Enzo is now 2 weeks old but he and his family already had to deal with a lot.
“We had a regular scan scheduled and right after work, we headed to Croydon Hospital. Everything was fine at first but towards the end, the doctor and nurse noticed that the oxygen and nutrients fluid through the placenta were not right. I had been told my placenta was insufficient from the beginning and I was taking aspirin daily. The team told me that I would need to remain in the hospital for six hours to be monitored.
Those six hours ended up being the whole night in which our baby’s heart rate dropped drastically three times. So, the next day at 8 am they took me to the operating theatre. I was afraid, terrified to lose my baby. The doctors and nurses were absolutely amazing and my partner was my rock.
Our baby Enzo was born at 9.30 am by C-section. He came into this world screaming which made me cry with happiness because he was alive!
It was hard to get through everything. I became a mum all of a sudden. At 6 months and 3 weeks (not even 7) our baby only weighed less than 1kg. But his organs were ‘healthy’ and he needed minimum oxygen from the beginning and his heart was always great.
Our nightmare started when he was not able to pass the meconium (baby’s first poo). After three days of hesitation, Croydon Hospital transferred us to St George’s Hospital. Of course, our baby started pooing in the ambulance! Once we got to St George’s they continued to monitor him. Things were moving slowly but surely. However, after six days he got extremely sick with Sepsis and was intubated. He was on morphine, adrenaline and 13 additional fluids.
Our world was just crashing down. His dad and I could not keep going. We felt lost and we thought we were losing him. But those premmies are just the strongest babies you will ever see. As a doctor told me: “Your baby only has one thing on his mind now, to survive! And he wants to live, so he will.“
Enzo did it! Four days later he was back to himself as if nothing had happened. Even so, he was on antibiotics for a whole month and had a lumbar puncture for suspected Meningitis. We spent four days crying next to his incubator, blaming ourselves and begging God for help as doctors and nurses were doing everything they could already.
When Enzo recovered a doctor named him ‘The Start of the Week’ and I cried like never before but this time out of pure happiness.
After that, everything went a bit smoother, although each NICU journey is always a roller coaster. It feels as if it never ends. It feels as if others get to go home but you are always there. But no, you are not alone and you cannot say ‘I give up’ because that little baby only has you and he needs you.
We read and sang to Enzo all the time. We held him every single day and reminded him that he needed to eat, poop and sleep a lot so that he will get strong and can go home with us!
In total, we spent 62 days in hospital. Enzo also had a double hernia surgery just days before going home and he once again recovered amazingly well!
We have now been at home for over a month and things are great. Enzo is passing all the ‘tests’ including ROP (eyesight) and his hearing tests. He is putting on weight steadily and is growing way too fast for us!
We hope our story will help other families to remain positive. Remember that you must never lose hope. We have heard awful stories and seen many babies over the last few months who were all so resilient and made it home healthy and happy.“
Thank you Almu and Vidjan for sharing your story for others to take courage from. If you would like to share your story, please get in touch.
Almu was gifted Mama Bamboo nappies for her baby Enzo, during a visit by TV weather presenter Laura Tobin to Croydon’s neonatal unit promoting our charity partnership.
Almu told us: “When you have a premature baby, you think you are the only person on this planet that is facing it until you start going to neonatal units and meet other families with similar stories and sometimes with complications. Entering the ward and seeing success stories on the walls of the neonatal ward, gives you hope that you are not the only one and there is light at the end of the tunnel. What I found most helpful is the staff support, the coffee mornings and nurse Christie’s support through kind words and chats in the unit. I feel very lucky to be part of an Ickle Pickles event in which I had the opportunity to meet Laura Tobin.”
Ickle Pickles, together with Mama Bamboo, want to do everything we can to give every newborn a chance and help families affected by premature birth. To help donate nappies to other NICU parents you can subscribe to receive Mama Bamboo’s super-soft, breathable and temperature-regulating nappies and join the “Give Another Mother” scheme.