Nervously looking around the room I wondered if the news would be good or bad…
My heart fluttered with worry.
‘I think you’ll need to lose a bit of weight before we can start proceedings…’ the IVF specialist said.
‘OK, we’ll do anything we can,’ I said, grateful for something practical that I could do to help.
My partner, Jonathan and I, had been trying for a baby for six years but with no luck.
After tests it was revealed that I had PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and might not be able to conceive naturally.
Desperate to get pregnant I threw myself into healthy eating and over the next six months managed to lose 2st 7lbs – finally making me eligible for IVF treatment.
But just days before our first appointment, in June 2019, I found that I had fallen pregnant naturally.
‘It’s a miracle!’ I sobbed onto Jonathan’s shoulder, overcome with joy.
At first my pregnancy was a dream.
I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to finally be carrying our much longed for baby.
But at 19 weeks I began to bleed very heavily.
We rushed to St James Hospital, Leeds, and medics had to give me a blood transfusion after I Iost over 2.5 litres of blood.
‘It looks like a miscarriage, I’m really sorry,’ one of the A&E medics told me before I was sent for tests.
I felt like I’d been slapped around the face.
‘How can this be happening?’ I thought.
But amazingly they managed to find a heartbeat and after a few hours we were allowed back to our home in Ormondthorpe, Leeds.
I began to hope that the trip to hospital was just a small blip.
But at 23 weeks I began to bleed again and was rushed to the delivery ward at St James’ Hospital, Leeds.
‘We believe that your weak uterus is causing the bleeding, I’m sorry to tell you that you’re highly likely to go into premature labour,’ the consultant explained.
I felt hopeless.
I just wanted to meet my little boy and be his mum.
After being monitored for a week I was finally given permission to be discharged, but just as we were packing up to head home my waters broke.
‘They’re going to try and delay my labour so that he isn’t born too prematurely,’ I explained to Jonathan.
‘You’ll be OK, you’re in the best hands,’ he reassured me.
But over the next few days I began to feel like I had the flu and got really and dizzy.
Doctors diagnosed me with sepsis and broke the news that I would have to be induced after all.
After giving me lots of injections to help strengthen the baby’s organs and lungs I was rushed into emergency surgery.
Baby Vinnie was born at 11.44am on 6th December 2019 weighing just 1lb 10oz.
‘He’s so beautiful,’ I cried just before he was whisked off to be looked after.
Doctors had warned us that he had just a 50/50 chance of surviving.
‘I’m so scared, I can’t lose him after everything we’ve been through,’ I cried later that night.
Due to complications with my placenta I wasn’t able to see him until two days later.
He looked so tiny, his skin was transparent, it was terrifying.
I was scared to love him, or to bond with him at first, in case we lost him.
‘Vinnie had a hole in his heart and also appears to have a few bleeds on his brain,’ a nurse told us.
She said that they might fix themselves but we were also offered to place Vinnie on a medical trial which might help heal his heart.
‘I think we should try it, it might save his life,’ Jonathan said.
And I agreed.
Vinnie continued to make good progress and after two weeks in the specialist premature baby ward we were finally allowed to hold him.
We even took some pictures of him next to Jonathan’s watch so we could send the photos to our family to show just how small he was.
‘Ooh let’s do one with a 50p too on his foot!’ I said, enjoying finally getting to spend some time with him.
Eventually we were able to spend skin-on-skin time with our little boy and after 10 weeks in hospital he was finally weaned off the ventilators and oxygen and was able to breathe on his own.
Tests revealed that the bleeds on his brain had even disappeared.
‘You’re a little hero, you’re getting stronger everyday!’ I cooed to him early one morning.
Before being discharged the amazing nurses taught us how to care for him and explained any complications we might encounter.
On 4th March 2020 – after 14 weeks in hospital – we were finally able to take him home.
It’s amazing how far he’s come, we never really thought we’d get to this point.
It’s been so lovely to be home with him.
We’ve got so much time to talk to him and be with him all day everyday and just be his parents.
Even just being able to put a little outfit on him feels so special.
His feet are no longer 50p size either and he’s much bigger than his dad’s watch now.
He’s getting chunkier by the day and now weighs 7lbs.
We’re so proud of how far he’s come, he’s a hero in our eyes.