The story of Rebecca

I was 27 weeks pregnant with a complicated pregnancy where my body fought against my baby and that meant my baby requiring intrauterine transfusions. After the last transfusion I noticed my baby was hardly moving. Cutting story short when I was checked they realised that they had to deliver the baby right away. Charlotte was born via c section at 27 weeks and in the first few days other than the normal things ie ventilation feeding jaundice lights etc she was doing remarkably well. All that changed on day 7 when during each tube feed there was green bile coming into the tube. The doctors said they would monitor this overnight and see how she went. When we arrived at hospital the next morning which was Christmas Eve we were immediately met by the consultant who explained Charlotte had deteriorated and that and X-Ray had shown gases in her stomach. She was extremely swollen also and wasn’t doing well at all. We were taken to a room where two surgeons came and explained how poorly our baby was and that she was going to need an operation to give her a chance. It was such a scary conversation as we were told that this was a complex surgery and she may not make it but if she didn’t have the surgery she would definitely die. We had no choice but to sign the consent forms and watch as our tiny 2 pound 4oz baby was prepped and taken away for surgery. She had developed NEC and they did not know to what extent. I cried and prayed all day and kept imagining how awful each Christmas would be after this if our little girl did not pull through. It was a harrowing and scary 7 hours before the surgeon came back to see us. He explained that it had all gone ok and although there were a few minor complications on the whole it had been a success. They had removed a few centimetres of her bowel but thankfully she had avoided needing a stoma and they had managed to remove all the dead parts meaning that she should start to recover alongside being on various different intravenous medicines and antibiotics to clear this horrible disease. She was taken back onto the intensive care unit in the neonatal and we were allowed through to see her. She already looked a million times better and I can’t explain the relief I felt in that moment. As I sat with her into Christmas Day I just sat and spoke to her and told her how amazing every Christmas would be after this one and that she really was our Christmas miracle. Charlotte suffers still from severe constipation and gets a swollen stomach a lot but thankfully that is the only lasting effects of the disease and looking at our now 6 year old you would never know what she had endured and went through all before she should even have been born. I had never heard of NEC before this even with my eldest being premature also and now I’m shocked just how many babies do end up with this terrible disease. I am so thankful for all the research that is done and can’t thank the doctors and nurses enough for saving our baby. I wouldn’t wish the scariness or uncertainty of this disease on anyone and think often of all the babies that sadly lose their lives from Necrotising enterocolitis.