Grace’s story
Grace’s story
Grace’s story
Grace’s story
Grace’s story

Grace’s story

Barnet Hospital

Our amazing Grace was born in August 2018 at 29 weeks gestation. 

Lucy’s Pregnancy

My pregnancy had been largely straightforward. Only two days before she was born, I was approved by a consultant for a water birth after a couple of complications with our eldest. I felt pretty relaxed about the final stretch… but then I noticed that I had gone a whole day without feeling her move.

I tried cold drinks, caffeinated drinks, different positions, and different movements but I just couldn’t get her to move. I had read enough to know I should get checked out - so off I went to the maternity unit to get checked, thinking I would be home for dinner.

An unexpected delivery via C-section

They immediately found her heartbeat which felt like a huge relief. After monitoring it for a while they were concerned. Fast forward two hours later and Grace had been delivered via emergency C-section. 

I didn’t see her in theatre, she was swept away to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) but my husband was able to take a photo of her before they did.

Grace’s neonatal journey

Grace spent the first three months of her life on the Starlight Neonatal Unit of Barnet Hospital. It was a long and hard journey. It often felt like one step forward and two steps back.

We had our eldest daughter, at the time nearly 2 years old, so I spent days trying to provide as much kangaroo care to Grace as I could and evenings pretending everything was “ok” for our eldest.

NICU Friendships

Within the first week or so of our “stay” I made friends with three other women, a friendship that made the whole experience so much easier. We picked each other up, held each other, joked with each other- we found sunshine in the clouds.

My new friends, along with the wonderful doctors and nurses of the unit, mean that I can look back with almost a fondness of our stay. I will be grateful for the rest of my life to these amazing people.

Coming Home

After we came home, it was hard. Grace, like many other premature babies, had silent reflux so we did not sleep for a long time.

The GPs were very difficult and unwilling to prescribe many of the medicines she came home needing. There were so many follow-up health checks for her. It felt like the journey was never-ending. I now know it never truly does.

Grace is amazing

Our amazing Grace is now nearly 6 years old and thriving.

I want to help anyone I can, in any way I can, who has a shared experience so I am now volunteering with Ickle Pickles as a NeoHero for the Starlight unit at Barnet Hospital.

Please get in touch with me at [email protected] if you would like to help give babies like Grace a chance.

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