Lucy and ben’S STORY
June 2020 Lucy and Ben were expecting their first child during the pandemic. Lucy shares the 22 days she was able to spend with Ozzy, her new born son in the NICU.
Ben and I found out we were expecting our first baby in June 2020 and were so excited. It was during the covid lockdown so face to face midwife appointments were few and far between but I was deemed a ‘low risk’ pregnancy and other than some first trimester nausea the pregnancy was going smoothly.
At just under 24 weeks I phoned the maternity assessment unit about a symptom I was slightly worried about, little did I know I was about to be informed I was dilating and I was likely to deliver that evening. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put into words the fear I felt that day. Rushed to labour ward. Steroids (ouch!), magnesium drips, cannulas, antibiotics, consultants, examinations, visits from the NICU doctors. Total whirlwind.
“I was transferred to a (lonely!) side room at our local hospital where I spent the next two weeks before going into labour at just shy of 26 weeks“
I was transferred to a (lonely!) side room at our local hospital where I spent the next two weeks before going into labour at just shy of 26 weeks. Labour was a total blur. The doctors couldn’t tell me why this was happening but our darling Ozzy Jake Wall was born at 17:12 on 2nd January 2021. Our beautiful baby boy.
Ozzy was transferred straight to NICU, where we joined him a couple of hours later. An absolute little trooper. Ozzy was taken off the ventilator at 20 hours old, was quickly tolerating ‘full feeds’ and was doing amazingly well.
“Having a premature baby on NICU was terrifying, anxiety-provoking, exhausting and traumatic“
Having a premature baby on NICU was terrifying, anxiety-provoking, exhausting and traumatic. Each day was a rollercoaster and felt totally surreal however we powered on; as that’s exactly what Ozzy was doing. NICU was also the complete opposite of the words I have used above, as it was the place I got to spend precious time with my beautiful baby. The place where I got to cuddle him, feed him, change his nappy and do all those things I should be doing as his Mummy. NICU was the last, yet only, place I wanted to be.
When Ozzy was 22 days old, we received a phone call early one morning from NICU telling us Ozzy appeared poorly. We rushed straight in to be with him and he was diagnosed with a condition called necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) which completely overwhelmed him and tragically he passed away that same day. Heartbroken. Devastated. Confused. Numb. We stayed with Ozzy that evening, cuddled him endlessly and stared constantly at his perfect little face. I’m not sure I’ll ever fully be able to process the emotions attached to having and subsequently losing my first son to prematurity.
We are so utterly grateful for the work Borne are doing to find these vital answers so that babies and families do not have to endure such heartbreak. We have raised and shall continue to raise money in Ozzy’s memory to help Borne on their quest.
Thanks to the most wonderful consultant at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, Ben and I welcomed Ozzy’s little brother Raffi earlier this year. It makes me so sad that Raffi has been robbed of his older brother, however we are determined to do all we can to keep Ozzy’s memory alive.