Oscar Albert was born on 13th September 2021 at 27 weeks 3 days gestation weighing 1.9lbs. He was born in Chelsea & Westminster Hospital by emergency C-section.
Oscar spent three weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and then one week in a high-dependency unit before we were transferred to our local hospital, Croydon University Hospital.
The transfer was very daunting. We had become very used to the medical professionals and NICU, and the thought of leaving this comfort for another hospital was very unsettling. We should not have worried.
Oscar spent another six weeks in Croydon University Hospital, which became our home from home. The staff were warm and welcoming, and Oscar received the most amazing care from everyone who looked after him and we, as parents, were looked after and supported. We all thrived in their care.
In total, Oscar spent 10 weeks in hospital and was discharged on oxygen three weeks before his due date, weighing 5lb2oz.
It was a rollercoaster of emotions for us as parents and we learned how to adapt to life in NICU and all that came with it. We spent hours sitting next to his incubator, reading to him, doing his care and trying not to panic at the beeps from the monitors. This was our new world of neonatal care and the equipment that surrounded us, and it was truly vital to Oscar and many, many other sick and premature babies.
Oscar spent 7 weeks in an incubator, he was on oxygen for 13 weeks: three weeks on CPAP which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is a machine that uses mild air pressure to keep breathing airways open while you sleep, five weeks on high-flow and a further five weeks on low flow. He also had three blood transfusions and two courses of antibiotics.
We heard about Ickle Pickles during Oscar’s stay at Croydon Hospital. I was given a milk storage/cool bag from Ickle Pickles, which was such a huge help in transporting breast milk to and from the hospital every day.
I enquired about the charity from the nurse who was going around giving away these wonderful helpful milk-cooling bags. Since then, we wanted to help fundraise and help other tiny babies and their families.
The current appeal from Ickle Pickles for the Croydon Neonatal Unit is to redecorate the unit to match the friendly, warming, caring environment that the medical staff and carers create. This would be hugely beneficial for any family that has to spend time on the unit. Whether your stay in NICU is long or short, having homely surroundings is sure to help ease some anxieties.
Please donate and help us reach our target. Every donation, however big or small, will go a long way to helping families in similar circumstances.