British mom Terri Quigley is sharing the story of her son, who was born at premature 26 weeks, in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month.
Quigley told the Liverpool Echo that she went into the hospital with stomach pains when she was 26 weeks into her pregnancy. The doctors didn’t realize at first that her stomach pains were actual contractions, chalking up the pain to kidney stones instead.
“They thought it was sickness, to do with my pelvis because I wasn’t having any contractions but I had that for four days before I went to A&E at the Liverpool Women’s,” she said. “They scanned me and everything was fine with the baby so they put me on a ward and treated me for kidney stones but five hours later the pain was getting worse. They then realized I was 10cm dilated with no warning, and the staff just sprang into action.”
Despite efforts to keep the baby inside for as long as possible, Quigley’s son, Ethan Chadwick-Quigley, was born premature within hours.
“He weighed just two pounds 10oz and was born in his sac, like a veil. It was called a silent birth because the baby is too small they can’t cry, they haven’t got the capacity to cry,” she explained. “He was wrapped up and sent straight to the intensive care unit and I couldn’t see him until he was eight hours old, it was all so overwhelming seeing a baby that small in a huge incubator, connected to a lot of wires.”
Due to his premature age, Ethan faced a lot of medical challenges during his early life. “He was quite poorly for a while, he had chronic lung disease and one time he turned blue and was rushed to hospital,” said Quigley. “A nurse saved his life that day and I will forever be grateful for her recognizing how poorly he was.”
Thankfully, due to excellent medical care, Ethan made it through, and is now a healthy 12-year-old.
Quigley said that she shares her story every year during prematurity awareness month in the hopes of providing comfort and support to other parents who are going through the same thing. “It’s also to say thank you to the other neonatal mums for their support who had been there before me. I want to share my story to offer light to those going through it now, to give that reassurance,” she said.
“One of the biggest things for me is sharing your experience. For me, it gives me the power over my own narrative and turns it into something positive. I will continue to raise awareness of premature journeys and forever say a massive thank you to all the staff that were and still are involved.”
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