February 24th 2009 was just another day. There we were, happy and excited awaiting the arrival of our very much wanted first grandchild, due to be born at the beginning of June. The mother-to-be was healthy and blooming, feeling well and, like us, looking forward to her first baby’s arrival in four months time.
But that night our lives were put into turmoil, as ‘Miss Molly’ decided that she had had enough of being in the womb and decided to make an unexpected arrival, feet first if you don’t mind! There is nothing like landing on your feet especially when you weigh in at 1lb 9oz aged just 25 weeks and 3 days.
Her head was the size of a satsuma, and her hands the size of a thumbnail. She had thick black hair and was covered in a furry down. That night our lives changed forever, we experienced so many emotions that no adjectives could describe.
The wonderful midwives, doctors and paediatricians at High Wycombe’s Hospital who were on standby went into action. Professionally and with care and calm they instantly covered Molly in a Tesco bag to retain heat and moisture and whisked her off to the special care baby unit.
The first 24 hours were critical but our little fighter showed the medical staff just how strong and determined she was going to be. The next day Molly was transferred to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading to the Buscot Ward that specialises in babies less than 28 weeks.
This was to become Molly’s home for the next 13 weeks where she was cared for 24/7 by an excellent professional team who monitored her constantly - taking brain and heart scans and administering nine blood transfusions. The wonderful team explained everything to us and gave us so much support and love.
During these 13 weeks, our son and daughter-in-law never left Molly’s side. They kept her motivated by talking and reading to her and the staff allowed them to be as hands on as much as was allowed. They changed her nappy which was so big it
was up to her neck and allowed the occasional cuddle which helped with the bonding process.
Those 13 weeks were indescribable. All our emotions were like a roller coaster – one day on a high, very positive and then the next day we came crashing down fearing the worst. To see not only your grand-daughter suffer but also your son and Daughter-in-law going through so much angst and pain was a nightmare for us.
Our sleepless nights of worry and the feelings of helplessness were awful. We prayed every day for them and our life was put on hold as our little fighter battled on. We will always be eternally grateful to the staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
Molly coped with all the treatments thrown at her, she battled through several infections and then on the 25th May we heard those magic words, “you can take your baby home” even though she was only 3lb. Molly is truly our miracle.
Six months on…
We are enjoying our beautiful grand-daughter who is always on the move, trying to run before she can walk is an expression that comes to mind. She is very healthy and happy, always smiling and cooing. She eats three meals a day and drinks her milk with gusto, sleeps well and now weighs a healthy 9lb 8ozs.
Special thanks to Molly's Grandad, Brian Dixon for sharing Molly's story with us.
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