Today is the story of my son Myles. He is 2 today but he has come a long way!
I will try to keep this post all about Myles and as brief as I can, try to summarize his story.
Date of birth: 22nd November 2010. (Chinese Zodiac: Year of the Tiger).
He was born at 25 weeks gestation (15 weeks early) and weighed 1 lb, 9oz (748g).
Before he was born the doctors at Northampton General Hospital warned us that Myles would most likely not be breathing at birth and would need to be ventilated as soon as he was born, if he survived.
It was a long 4 hours before I was given any news on his condition as he was whisked away almost immediately after being born. I was given the briefest of moments with him. He barely touched my chest before doctors rushed him into an incubator to have him stablised.
My little Tiger boy is a fighter. Doctors warned of his 50% chance survival rate of even making the trip home one day. Then out of those survivors only 50% of those had a shot at leading a real normal life without debilitating disabilities.
On day 2 of his birth we almost lost him. Even the doctors had called the family in to explain the situation. His lungs started bleeding heavily and we were told to be prepared for the worst. There was also high possibilities of brain haemorrhaging overnight, or further bleeding to the lungs. The following 24 hours were crucial for him having any chance at all.
So many other obstacles along the way. He caught a cold quite early on, which to a normal child isn’t so bad. But for a premature baby born so early there can be many complications.
He needed heart surgery at 2 months of age. (Even then he was still supposed to be safe inside mummy’s tummy.) He had a hole in his heart that never had the chance to close as he was born so early. On the day of surgery he still weighed less than 1 kg.
After surgery, he had to work on regulating his own body temperature, had to learn to feed from a bottle as he was always fed via a tube through his mouth or nose. Feeding was chaos. He didn’t know how to breathe, then suck, then swallow. But when he realised what he had to do we then found out that he couldn’t keep the milk down. He was sick after almost every feed. He was fed at 2 hourly intervals all day and night at first, but gradually he became stronger and settled into a better routine. After learning to drink from a bottle, he then had to learn to eat real food. This was an even more difficult task. In the early days he would gag after every first mouthful and refuse food. If he was too full, he would bring all the food back up again along with the milk. Being highly intolerant to dairy and a possibility of any other food group ment that his baby food had to be made with extreme caution as to what ingredients were used. Cleaning up milk/food after every feed became a very exhausting chore. But the bigger issue was any long term damage this could cause to his little self.
Myles was on oxygen, from birth, for 170 days at hospital. At first he was ventilated, meaning that he fully relied on the machines to pump oxygen into his body. As he grew stronger, he gradually began to take partial breaths, then was allowed to breath on his own for short periods of time each day, until he was finally weaned off the oxygen and machines completely. We were told he would highly likely be taken home with oxygen, which was to be fitted into the house. But my little man surprised the doctors and nurses once again.
Somehow with the help of the amazing doctors and nurses in Gosset ward my little fighter beat the odds. After 176 days in hospital he finally made the final step home.
Today he is 2. His eyesight and hearing is fine, he is walking and running. Cheeky and naughty just like all children his age. Although he has an intolerance to cows’ milk, his other dietary needs are fine.
He’s still a bit on the small side and the only thing he hasn’t yet caught up on is his speech. There are so far no serious concerns as he is making all the sounds and signs of learning to talk any day now. I bet when he does he will never stop chattering away!
Sometimes I even forget that he has had such a rough start. Every child can drive their parents crazy, but whenever I think back and remember when he used to be so tiny and fragile, I blink back my tears. I am forever grateful to all the staff who ever looked after my little Tiger. If it wasn’t for the wonderful team at Gosset Ward, Northampton General Hospital, my little man wouldn’t be here with us today.
So any of you parents out there with premature babies or friends with premature babies… There’s always hope! My little Boy’s survival story 🙂
Please feel free to ask any questions or add any prem baby difficulties of your own to this post x