Hello everyone, I'm Beatriz Thomas and I'm originally from Spain. I'm Leo's mama who is now is a very happy little six month old baby. My due date was 10th of March 2020 but someone was desperate to come out! On the night of the 18th of January 2020 I was in bed when I thought I needed the toilet, as soon as I got up from bed I realised something wasn't right. I felt like I had peed on myself but it was too much liquid, I went to the toilet but I couldn't stop "peeing". I spent about 20 minutes on the toilet trying to stop until I suddenly realised my waters had broken.
I woke my boyfriend up and called the hospital; they believed I was right and that it would be better if we went to get myself checked. I spent that night and the next day in hospital under supervision.
They decided to send me home as Leo and I were fine and we shouldn't have any problems. It was time to call my mum (in Spain) to let her know what was happening and she started sorting her stuff out to come to England the following Tuesday. My boyfriend and I went home unsure of what was going on and spent the rest of the weekend just chilling at home. On Monday morning I had one of my best friends (she was also pregnant and due before me) coming for breakfast to check on me and have a little catch up. She noticed I was having some repetitive pain in my lower abdomen and said: "Are you having contractions?". It's funny that sometimes you don't realise what is happening until someone else tells you.
We called the hospital again and due to me not having much water left they asked us to go back in. We got there on Monday afternoon, spent whole evening and night having check ups and on Tuesday afternoon the contractions started getting serious. My mum arrived at around 3am on Wednesday morning and by 2:18pm Leo was already with us. Prior to this a few staff members from the NICU came to introduce themselves to us and explain that once Leo was born they will have to take him away from us, so he could be checked out and put into an incubator.
Leo Albert Daniel Thomas Soria was born 33 weeks and 1 day old on the 22nd of January 2020. After Leo was born, staff from the NICU very quickly checked him and allowed us to have a quick hug and a picture before they took him away. My boyfriend left shortly after to spend some time with him, as you can imagine I was absolutely exhausted so it took me a bit longer to be able to go and see him.
At about 6pm I went to see him for first time. As soon as I got there one of the nurses took me straight to him, I burst into tears (of happiness) as soon as I saw him. A lovely nurse came to check on me and explained that he was absolutely perfect just a little smaller than a new born, which was why he needed to be in an incubator. Leo spent 3 weeks in the NICU and moved across four different rooms as he was progressing.
The nurses and doctors were absolutely amazing, they treated Leo, my boyfriend, my family, and friends and I very nicely. Even though my mum came all the way from Spain to be with us she (or anyone else for that matter) wasn't allowed to hold him. My boyfriend and I were allowed and happy but sad at the same time as everyone else was dying to give him a hug.
I had a lot of support from doctors and breastfeeding experts with breastfeeding Leo which I did for a while, but had to top up with formula which it was a bit frustrating for myself. We spent three weeks making trips to hospital just grabbing quick food from the cafeteria. We were feeding Leo through a tube during two of those weeks and I remember crying just seeing doctors taking blood out of Leo to make sure he was fine.
I stayed in a special parent's room during Leo's last week in hospital, so I could breastfeed and spend night times with him. The NICU staff had now removed his feeding tube from his little nose, and some nights I couldn't spend time with him as his temperature wasn't quite right. It was definitely a very hard time, sometimes I even thought I was depressed but then I would see his face and everything was absolutely perfect. We wanted Leo to spend as much time as he needed in NICU to make sure he was healthy. We did have an important date coming and we really hoped he could be present.
We had our wedding date booked for the 14th of February and even had a maternity wedding dress ready for it! Leo was still very tiny but strong enough to leave the NICU so on Wednesday 12th February when he was three weeks old, Leo left the hospital and on Friday we got married and had our little miracle with us, we couldn't be happier.
Leo is now six months old and even though it hasn't been an easy ride; reflux, constipation problems, constant taking of vitamins; he is now a very big strong boy and recently started taking solids - he is really enjoying them. We are very thankful for everything the NICU did for us, especially for Leo. The NICU will always be a special place for us.
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