In 2014, I was pregnant with my second child. After being told I would not be able to conceive three years before, it was a miracle pregnancy. From an early stage I knew that it would not be a normal pregnancy, with frequent trips to hospital due to bleeding. At 27 weeks, I went into early labour. I was measuring 10 weeks ahead and after a scan they found out I had 4 times the amount of amniotic fluid. Once the doctors had drained one and a half litres of fluid, they found I had a placental chorioangioma, which had caused Polyhydramnios (excessive fluid).
After spending 10 days in hospital, I was discharged to monitor at home and make regular visits to the Fetal Medicine Unit at St Michaels in Bristol.
I was lucky that I knew I was going to go into labour early, but the question was how early? At 31 weeks gestation, I awoke to my waters breaking so we made a quick dash to St Michaels to check everything was ok. I thought I would be home within days knowing that as long as I was monitored I could try and cook my little bundle just a bit longer.
She had other ideas and at 5.59am on Sunday 22nd June 2014 our precious daughter Ava Jane was born weighing 3lb 9oz.
The neonatal team were on standby in the room and whisked her off once all checks had been done. The support of all the staff in intensive care, high dependency and special care rooms throughout Ava’s 4 week stay was incredible. I travelled up everyday and was given a breast pump to take home and use to get as much all important nourishment for my little one. Less than 4 weeks later we went home, Ava weighed 4lb and the doctors were pleased with her progress.
I knew as soon as I heard NICU foundation were supplying essential equipment to neonatal units across the area that I wanted to help in some way. As an avid theatre lover and ex professional singer and dancer, I helped put together 2 shows to raise money for the charity.
Once I was back teaching dance again, we held bucket collections at the end of our shows too. Ava is now a fit and healthy 6 year old and we are so lucky to have her in our lives.