Karen & Lee Dear, Stockton


George was born on 6th April 2015 at 31+4 weeks by emergency cesarean and weighed 3lb 12oz. I hadn’t anticipated that he might have any problems and although we were given information from the neonatal team before the delivery, it all just washed over my head.

Lee brought me some pictures of him just after he was born but It was 12 hours before I was wheeled by one of the nurses over to the ward to see him and there he was, a tiny little baby in an incubator with tubes and wires and monitors all over. He seemed so peaceful and I hadn’t realised at the time that he’d had problems with his breathing. Over the next few days we slowly got used to handling George and looking after him and he went from having CPAP to being ventilated, back to CPAP, onto low flow and back onto CPAP again. A few days after he was born he had a pneumothorax but he fought it and had his chest drain taken out after a few days and was doing great. Although he spent 7 days in intensive care, we did get chance to have cuddles and started reading to George to help him recognise our voices. We were excited when he moved into the high dependency room as it meant he was improving but he had a set back when he picked up an infection and became very lifeless. Antibiotics soon sorted him out though and although he had to have a lumbar puncture to check he was ok, it was a common infection and there was no harm done.

It wasn’t long before he moved into the special care nursery, another positive step, and then when he moved out of his incubator and into a cot we knew he was getting ready to come home.

The next 3 weeks were spent trying to help George to establish his feeding, weaning him off his low flow and getting him to regulate his temperature. It was frustrating as he was so close to being ready to come home but he wasn’t quite there yet.

Finally I moved into transitional care with him for 3 nights to get used to looking after him and we came home on 11th May.

The care and support that we had from all of the doctors and nurses on the unit was amazing. They were there when you needed a laugh or a cry, or some advice, or something explaining. They got to know us and George, and cared for him like he was one of their own. We can’t thank them enough for everything they did for George. They are fantastic people who deserve recognition for the work that they do and their dedication to the little people in our lives.