On Christmas day 2020, when I was 18 weeks pregnant, my amniotic sac ruptured and I had a partial placental abruption. I will never forget the look of sadness on the attending consultants face as he very gently informed us of the situation and our ‘options.’ To continue the pregnancy would be incredibly dangerous to my health and, should I make the choice to continue the pregnancy, it was likely the baby would not survive. If, by some miracle my baby did, we were told his quality of life would likely be seriously impaired.
I remember the tears and the feeling of absolute helplessness but, as the consultant scanned my tummy and ‘Fairy-tale of New York’ played out from the radio, I knew there was no question of giving up.
My baby’s heart was still beating, and if it was a miracle I needed, then I was going to give him the chance of having one.
In March 2021 against all the odds my beautiful little boy arrived into the world. I had managed to keep him safe for a further 11 weeks and 5 days. On arrival, he was very sick and required aggressive treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit. The first few weeks of his life were touch and go but our little warrior was not giving up. He was fighting.
I spent many weeks sitting by Noah’s bedside wrestling with my thoughts. Had I done the right thing? If Noah did survive, what repercussions would there be? What would his life look like?
As the weeks turned into months and my little baby grew stronger, he graduated from ITU to HDU and then finally to special care. When Noah got discharged from the NICU he was 4 months old.
I thought about my little girl and how different to her Noah was. I watched as he struggled to move because his breathing was so impaired, and I cried as his gaze struggled to fix upon my face.
“I don’t know how to help you, but I promise you I won’t stop until I can,” I whispered as he nestled in my arms one night.
The consultant appointments were endless in those first few months. I would ask if there was anything I could do to encourage and help Noah’s development, and one day a consultant asked the question, “Have you heard of Cerebral Palsy Cymru?”
No, I hadn’t. So, armed with my piece of paper with a website address scrawled on the back, I made my way home and promptly made a self-referral.
A couple of days passed, and the phone rang, a kind voice at the other end introduced herself as Glenys and at that moment everything changed.
Our first appointment at Cerebral Palsy Cymru was scheduled shortly after that first telephone conversation.
As I reeled off my concerns, I remember being overcome with emotion. They were listening. I had spent almost 8 months looking for help for Noah, and finally I had found it.
I cannot explain the relief I felt. Suddenly the lights had been turned on and everything looked brighter.
I left Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s children’s centre that day with something nobody had previously dared give me for my little boy. I left with hope.
Christmas this year is going to be an exciting time. Noah has now undergone a year of specialist therapy with Cerebral Palsy Cymru, and I can’t believe how much he has achieved. Last Christmas, Noah could not sit alone unaided at almost 9 months old, any sort of movement was so incredibly challenging for him, but now there is no stopping him!
When I think back to that moment on Christmas day 2020 when I gazed upon the face of my little boy on the screen, nobody would have predicted we would be here. “You need a miracle,” they said...well, I think we had one.
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Cerebral Palsy Cymru is a registered charity in England and Wales 1010183. A company limited by guarantee. Registered company in England and Wales 02691690. Registered address: Cerebral Palsy Cymru, 1 The Courtyard, 73 Ty Glas Avenue, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5DX.