William George was born after an induction because of reduced movement. My waters started leaking around 22 hours before William was born. After 3 pessaries and the midwife realising my waters had gone the day before she started her shift, she started to rush things along to get me to the labour ward. I began to have contractions and by the time we got to labour ward, I didn’t need the drip as my body was doing it. I had an amazing, empowering labour, just using gas and air and delivered William naturally. The midwives who delivered him were amazing! We did the delayed cord clamping and as I held William I noticed he had lots of mucous in his nose and mouth. I tried to latch him on to the breast and he did a couple of sucks but was struggling to breathe. I asked the midwife to check him over and she took him to the side and noticed something wasn’t right. The doctor came and William’s oxygen levels were really low. He was rushed off to NICU and me and my partner were left in an empty room looking at the babygrow we were expecting to dress him in. It was so emotional, such a shock.
We had the midwives and neonatal nurse explain that they would get him settled and we could see him as soon as possible.

I showered and after about an hour, we were able to go and see him. It was overwhelming entering NICU. It’s not an environment we had ever been in, or expected to be in.
The neonatal nurses were brilliant and explained everything as much as they possibly could. They had put William on oxygen and antibiotics straight away whilst they waited for test results.
It was so hard to see him in that incubator with so may tubes and with needles in his tiny hand. We knew he was in the best place he could be and just had to wait.

Time went by so slowly, it felt like a lifetime to wait but the next day the results came back that he had high levels of infection and they needed to do a lumbar puncture to see if the infection had crossed into the brain. It was so scary. I felt helpless. The only thing I could do to feel useful was pump milk every 3 hours.
Thankfully, the infection hadn’t crossed to the brain. We later found out it was sepsis. Once he was more stable Will was tube fed my milk through his nose into his tummy. His infection levels started to drop as the antibiotics kicked in and they were giving him more and more milk as the days went on. On day 4 I managed to take him out of the incubator and try and feed him myself. It was the best feeling ever. He was still on oxygen so started to struggle and had to go back in. He did it though, and from there, the oxygen was reduced and feeding from me increased.

nicu skin to skin

We finally brought him home on day 7 and he is now a chunky, strong boy.

His 2 year old sister Elsie loves him. It was so hard for Elsie as she had to stay with grandparents for over a week and just visited the hospital. She didn’t understand much of what was happening, but was happy to see her brother under the cool lights in the incubator. When he came out of the incubator for cuddles she sang nursery rhymes to him and still does now. He loves watching her play.

nicu family photo

I cant thank the NICU staff enough. It was a very hard and scary time in our lives, and they were so supportive, reassuring and amazing at their jobs. The Spoons sibling pack was a lovely touch for Elsie to have when she visited William and is a special keepsake of that time. We look back with positive memories of such a frightening time, and that is thanks to the NICU team and Spoons.

baby and big sister