A mum has told how her premature baby survived after 99 days in neo-natal intensive care – having thought she had trapped wind when she went into labour.
Beckie Frost, from Hull, is now planning a big celebration for Elsie-May’s first birthday after being warned she may not survive.
She was born 25 weeks and four days into the pregnancy with doctors telling Beckie and partner Joey Bilton that there was a risk of Elsie-May not making it.
But thanks to the care of neo-natal doctors and nurses at Hull Royal Infirmary, Elsie-May is now fit and healthy after almost 100 days in intensive care.
Beckie, a dental nurse, said how she was shocked to find she was in labour.
“I had a really normal pregnancy, just sickness, that’s all. There was no indication that anything would go wrong,” she said.
“I absolutely didn’t think it was the start of labour. I thought it was trapped wind, it was just all in my back and it was coming and going.
“I had a bath while Joey was making my tea. But then when I went to the toilet there was a small amount of blood, so I rang the hospital.”
When Beckie arrived at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital she was examined, and told she was already in labour.
Worse was to come when doctors told her in the delivery suite that as the baby was so premature it was possible she might not survive.
“They said there was a chance she might not make it, and she could also pass away before I delivered her, from the stress of the delivery,” said Beckie.
“They asked if I wanted them to keep monitoring her heartbeat, which I did, so they checked every few minutes.
“I was terrified, but also I don’t think I was really taking it all in, it was like a dream. It didn’t really hit me until I called my mum to tell her.
“Joey kept taking himself off into the bathroom to compose himself.”
Elsie May was born weighing just 1lb 13 ounces and was immediately incubated and did well for several days until she had a problem with her intestines.
“She wasn’t tolerating her feeds and an X-ray showed she had a perforation in her intestines. The doctors showed the X-ray results to the surgeons and they wanted to operate immediately,” said Beckie.
Fortunately the three-hour operation was a success.
She also suffered from a patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, a congenital heart defect common in premature babies where a vessel connecting the pulmonary artery to the descending aorta fails to close.
But it remedied itself and closed naturally without intervention.
Finally Elsie-May was allowed to go home on September 14, last year, a day before her original due date.
“It was so surreal. We were nervous as she was only teeny tiny, but once we got her home and settled, it was as if she’d always been there,” she said.
“It was weird taking her out though, people would comment and day ‘oh she’s a new one’ and I’d have to tell them that she was actually four months old.”