On the 17th February 2015 Sophia decided to come into the world at 28 weeks +2, feet first and weighing 2lb 4oz. She was the tiniest thing I had ever seen, like a little kitten. I saw her for a split second before the wonderful neonatal team at Queen Charlottes popped her into a mobile incubator and whisked her off upstairs to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU.
Although very scary, with the endless support of the aunties & uncles on the unit (Nurses) and The Winnicott Foundation, they made what seemed like the end of world a more bearable situation. The incubator that was keeping our little girl safe; the Zaky Hand that was giving her comfort when mummy and daddy couldn’t be there; the nests that she slept in; the heated mattresses; the cool bag – all supplied by The Winnicott Foundation!
At the time it doesn’t really register but now I realise just how helpful and important what they do is. A cool bag doesn’t sound like much but when you use that cool bag to transport the milk you have painstakingly expressed you realise just how important it is.
Sophia was on the unit for 2 months. We experienced just about every emotion a person can – fear; joy; anger. She was CPAP at first and in an incubator. She had blue light therapy or a sunbed as we preferred to call it! She then moved onto Hi-Flo and then Lo-Flo, every week becoming stronger and stronger, moving into a cot with a heated mattress. Then once she was regulating her own temperature concentrating on establishing feeds. The Zaky hands were our saviours. Sophia liked you to put your hand on her bum and if there wasn’t a recliner chair available it was painful to hold your arm inside the incubator for long lengths of time as the chairs were so low.
We will be forever grateful for the help and continued support we have received.