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Becoming a NICU mum

Becoming a NICU mum

This isn’t how it was supposed to pan-out.

We all anticipate how our babies will arrive and try to envisage that spectacular moment our little creation enters the world.

Then fate cruelly interjects and suddenly the dream bubble that’s been floating above your head for the past few months is torn in two and is replaced with the sound of beeping machines, the hustle and bustle of a busy ward and the reality of this tiny fragile human-being with wires and tubes protruding ever limb on their helpless little bodies.

It’s a massive shock to the system and you’re expected to just take it in your stride. As if becoming a mum for the first time or adding to your brood isn’t enough to take on board, now there’s the fear that this little part of you, won’t make it.

When they are born, that’s the helpless moment you lose the ability to protect your little one safely inside your body, the moment they leave your body, the responsibility then leaves you and is passed on to the nurses and doctors, which although we are grateful for, is heartbreaking, because all we want to do is cuddle our little bundles of joy and keep them safe in mummy’s arms.

With a “normal delivery” mum’s are so excited to finally meet their new addition, but during premature birth we have the fear of the unknown, knowing your baby may not breathe or be born with long-term health complications.

You would be judged for saying this isn’t what you wanted to happen, but I can’t quite understand why someone would pass judgement on the feelings of something they have no understanding of.

We don’t feel disappointment and sadness because this premature baby has become an inconvenience to our lives, quite the opposite.

It’s sadness for our baby and disappointment that this person we love more than anything else on the planet it having to struggle through the early days, weeks, months and sometimes even years of their life.

We call them fighters, because they are.

We call them miracles, because they are.

We wouldn’t change them because we love them in a specially particular way after being astounded by their strength….

But would we, if we had the choice wish they had never had to go through this?

Of course we would!

I look at Jack now, my waters went with him at 25+5 weeks and he was born at 29+5 weeks, spending 40 days in NICU and I’m still astounded by what he went through as a 3.5lb preemie. But the heartbreak of seeing my tiny baby squeal in pain with needle after needle, knowing his body couldn’t provide what he needed to keep him alive breaks my heart and I’d of taken it all for him if I could.

Nobody hopes to become a NICU mum, but once you are one, all you do is hope.

Hope that your little one makes it through the fight for their life.

I’m just one of the lucky ones my fighter made it through unscathed.

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Flutterbydreams Photography: My best ranked Photographer in the North West

Photographs, the perfect way to capture a perfect moment forever, these days you can capture them on your phone, devices and professional cameras are even affordable.

But like any profession, you can’t quite get it perfect if you don’t have the training, photography isn’t just about clicking a button, it’s about having a vision and being able to make those perfect moments happen and capture them at the right second.

The best way to make sure you have those memories to treasure forever is to hire the right photographer for the job.

Since Jack has been a baby, I’ve been going to the same person for our professional pictures, Danielle at Flutterbydreams.

My first photo shoot with her was actually supposed to be a pregnancy-bump shoot when I was pregnant with Jack at 30 weeks, but he was born at 29+5 so that didn’t happen!

But she came to do his newborn shoot, the day after his due date so he was 11 weeks old but only 5lbs! She came for around 09:30am in the morning when we had agreed and she stayed for around 5 hours! The photo shoot was in the comfort of our own home and she was so gentle and patient with Jack! He peed on her three times and she didn’t bat an eyelid.

As Jack was so premature I was extremely nervous about anyone handling him, but Danielle explained she had been specially trained to handle and pose newborns for photo shoots, I didn’t actually know you needed special training, but she explained to me how important it was that she had this training for Jack’s safety.

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It was obvious that she cared deeply about the babies and families she photographs, she has this great vision and wonderful ideas for poses and she made us feel completely at ease. We were her only clients that day and you could feel that she wasn’t rushing us at all, she took the time to rock Jack to sleep to get the perfect pictures.

My only regret is that after Mikey was born I didn’t get his pictures done, I always meant to get round to it, but we had literally just moved house and it was always on our list of things to do, I know that Danielle would have done a fabulous job photographing Mikey.

When we got married, there isn’t anyone else I would have gone to for the photography, Danielle was our first choice and she came along with another professional photographer Lauren and had the cheapest price of all the quotes I’d seen! She stayed from Bridal Prep all the way through to the First Dance and brought along a backdrop so we could do a photo booth. She wasn’t just a photographer on the day, she was a friend, nothing was too much to ask.

She waited until we were ready for our posed pictures and captured so many beautiful moments, you wouldn’t have even known she was there taking them, I received my photos within a month and there were over 600!! I’ve heard the biggest regret you can have on your big day is having a bad photographer, well we are so lucky we had Danielle, it isn’t just a job to her, you can tell she puts her heart and soul into getting the perfect pictures to treasure for a lifetime.

Shortly after our wedding I had our third baby Nicole and as you can imagine a selfie of the 5 of us together wasn’t easy to capture and getting a picture by anyone else just wasn’t cutting it, so we thought why not get Nicole’s baby pictures and a family portrait at the same time! I booked in with Danielle and she gave us a great price and the same as with Jack three years earlier she stayed for hours and waited patiently to get the perfect pictures.

As you can imagine getting a family picture with two toddlers and baby is near impossible, I wasn’t expecting any miracles, don’t get me wrong Danielle is a fab photographer but I knew my kids and how difficult they’d be to sit still and smile…well she proved me wrong.

She didn’t just get one but she got numerous pictures of us together all smiling and looking at the camera, the kids love her! At this time Mikey wasn’t speaking or making any eye contact and she managed to get him to come out of himself, it was amazing to see and even though I knew the shoot had gone well but I still couldn’t believe how perfect the pictures were when I saw them and all my friends with kids were amazed at how she’d managed to get a picture of us all looking at the camera and smiling.

I’ll continue going to Danielle at Flutterbydreams anytime I need a photographer in the future, I can’t recommend her enough! She’s everything you need in a Photographer:

✔ Professional

✔Qualified Photographer

✔Qualified in handling and posing newborns

✔Great with kids

✔Great prices

✔Patience and takes the time to capture perfect moments

✔Experience

✔High quality pictures

Check out the page and message Danielle for a quote: Flutterbydreams Photography

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My scariest moment as a preemie mum

As a mother to two premature babies, I feel extremely blessed that they are now healthy strapping boys.

Mikey my youngest was 5 weeks premature weighing 4lb 12oz but came home after two days with no complications except mild Jaundice that he didn’t need treatment for,

Jack my eldest was born 10 weeks and 2 days early. He had oxygen for 2 days before taking off the mask himself and never needing it again, Jaundice which was resolved with photo-therapy after a week, he needed a humidified incubator for 3 weeks, he suffered from Patent Ductus Arteriosus which was resolved in 3 days with Ibuprofen, he needed to be tube fed for 5 weeks before moving onto bottled breast milk, he required a nutritional feed for 4 weeks and was underweight at 3lbs and half an oz at birth but is now a healthy 2 stone!

My scariest moment in NICU may be something you wouldn’t expect, it lasted less than a minute and to others may seem like a small misunderstanding, but to me that minute lasted a lifetime and for that minute my world came crashing down.

When Jack was two weeks old I rarely left the ward, the only time was to walk across to the hospital canteen. I made Paul stay by his side while I went to get food. Gone only 10 minutes I already missed him, as I waited to be buzzed back into the ward  I pictured Paul sat by his incubator tickling his feet as usual, but as I entered the door Paul was waiting for me. Instantly I felt sick with fear, he only got half way through his sentence before I broke down, his words…”Emma, we’ve only got 10 minutes left with Jack…” before he could get another word out I crumpled to the floor in tears, I don’t know what I thought had happened, but in the back of my mind I’d prepared my self for the chance something could go wrong.

Finally he got his sentence out, “Emma, stand up, we’ve only got 10 minutes left with Jack before they have to close the area for an hour, there’s nothing wrong with Jack, the baby next to him keeps having seizures so needs to be transferred to a high dependency unit”.

Instantly relief flooded over me, my baby was ok, for that minute I thought I’d lost him, my world collapsed and I felt helpless, as I basked in relief it was quickly replaced by another emotion…guilt. My baby was fine, the worst moment I had experienced was a single minute of misunderstanding, but the parents of the baby next to Jack were experiencing a very real nightmare, they didn’t know why their baby was having seizures, they had the fear of the unknown.

Then it hit me, how very lucky I am that my scariest moment wasn’t real, that amongst everything our baby is healthy and really that’s all that matters.