Queen Alexandra Hospital
Sarah’s and Paul’s daughter Hope weighed just 2lbs when she was born in April 2014.
Hope spent the first 10 weeks of her life in the neonatal unit of the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, where she was put into quarantine and received numerous blood transfusions. Sarah recalls:
“I suffered a pregnancy loss at two days short of 20 weeks in 2014. After a post-mortem, we were still none the wiser and got referred to our consultant to look after us during future pregnancies.
Two months later we fell pregnant again and decided we should call this bump Hope because we were hopeful it would go well.
Everything was going well until my 20-week scan. This was a milestone for me as I hadn’t made it this far previously. Following the scan, I was wheeled into the labour ward and told that there was only an 11 per cent chance that the baby would survive as I was 4.2cm dilated.
I had a cervical stitch put in and was put on bed rest in the hospital until our baby was born.
I managed to hold on for five weeks but at 25 weeks I went into natural labour again and despite the efforts, Hope was born 14 weeks and two days early.
She weighed just 2lb, which is 907 grams. I saw her for about 5 seconds before she was whisked away to the neonatal unit. This was so hard and we were full of mixed emotions. We knew we had a very bumpy road ahead.
I tried to make myself useful by changing her incubator blankets every day and when allowed buying outfits for her and changing her. This made me feel like a mum, being able to have some control over the decisions for my daughter.
It took two weeks before we were able to hold her and this was the best feeling ever. After spending months in hospital we were finally able to bring her home and use all of the things we had bought for her. We’ve never looked back.
We were told she may have brain damage as she was so badly bruised but thankfully, here we are and all is fantastic with no health issues at all! In fact, you can see a picture of her most recent achievement on the right which is her young writer’s certificate where her poem is going to be published in a real book! What an achievement at only 9 years old, I am a very proud mummy.
I learned about the work of Ickle Pickles through our own experience and I try to get involved as much as I can. I participated in a 20-mile walk through Portsmouth a few years ago and Hope was part of Ickle Pickles’ yearly fundraising calendar. I also participated in the Great South Run on behalf of Ickle Pickles with matched funding from my work. I have attended a few of Ickle Pickles’ Christmas and Summer fares and recently purchased a Tiny Tatty Teddy for my new niece from Ickle Pickles’ shop.
I am now supporting the Ickle Pickles’ Hampshire Incubator Ball to raise funds for the Southampton and Oxfordshire Neonatal Transport Service who transports sick babies across Hampshire.”