Born at just 25 weeks baby Wil­liam fought for life

Fam­ily looks for­ward to Christ­mas joy with baby Wil­liam af­ter he was born nearly four months early and for such a lit­tle baby had to fight a big bat­tle for sur­vival. His mum tells Joel Lamy her up­lift­ing story.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Behind The Headlines -

He weighed less than a bag of sugar, and watch­ing her son strug­gle to live placed a heavy bur­den on Amy Boul­ton

my, of Hemp­sted, gave birth af­ter only 25 weeks of preg­nancy to tiny Wil­liam who weighed just one pound, but be­fore she even had the chance to hold her new­born son he was be­ing whisked away as it was clear his life was in dan­ger.

Amy said: “As soon as he ar­rived there were prob­lems. Wil­liam was taken to the other side of the room– I didn’t even get to hold him.

“I was try­ing to see what they were do­ing to him but couldn’t quite make it out. They told me he was be­ing ven­ti­lated and were tak­ing him to the Neona­tal In­ten­sive Care Unit straight away.

“That wasn’t all though. Wil­liam needed even more help and we were told he had to be trans­ferred to a spe­cial­ist neona­tal hos­pi­tal in Cam­bridge called The Rosie. He would be taken by am­bu­lance in just a few hours. I didn’t know what to think. Each minute felt like for­ever un­til the time came for him to go.

“Be­fore he went, we man­aged to squeeze in a visit and I just bawled my eyes out. There were so many tubes, wires and mon­i­tors cov­er­ing my tiny baby and I felt a mix­ture of ab­so­lute love filled with fear.”

Since giv­ing birth at Pe­ter­bor­ough City Hos­pi­tal in Jan­uary to their only child it has been a real strug­gle for Amy (31) and hus­band James(33) as they longed to hold their son, but feared for his life.

Amy said: “When we saw Wil­liam at The Rosie we were shocked. His tiny body just wasn’t ready to do all the jobs it needed to. He was com­pletely ma­chine-de­pen­dent.

“I just wanted to hold him, show him how much I loved him and tell him ev­ery­thing would be okay. But I couldn’t and it was heart­break­ing not be­ing able to com­fort my son.

“Over the next 10 days there were lots of ups and downs, lots of ex­am­i­na­tions, monitoring, and lots of wait­ing. But at 10-days-old Wil­liam and I had our first cud­dle.

“I felt so lucky. It was such a good feel­ing to hold my baby. He needed to be kept warm so I popped him un­der my top and held him on my chest.

“Smelling him, touch­ing him was eu­phoric. I’d waited all this time for this mo­ment and it was per­fect.”

The next few weeks pro­vided many ups and downs for the cou­ple with Wil­liam twice be­ing treated for NEC where tis­sues in the in­tes­tine be­come in­flamed and start to die.

He also had a lum­bar punc­ture- a med­i­cal pro­ce­dure where a nee­dle is in­serted into the lower part of the spine to test for con­di­tions af­fect­ing the brain, spinal cord or other parts of the ner­vous sys­tem.

This was be­cause doc­tors thought Wil­liam had blood poi­son­ing, and he ended up hav­ing three blood trans­fu­sions.

Be­cause of his pre ma­tu­rity, Wil­liams’s lungs were sig­nif­i­cantly un­der-de­vel­oped and he was di­ag­nosed with chronic lung dis­ease. And he used to just stop breath­ing, with one oc­ca­sion see­ing him taken from Amy and put on oxy­gen.

Amy said: “We had had a few cud­dles up to then, but af­ter that it made it very hard for me to hold him. I was too scared. What if it hap­pened again?

“As t he weeks passed though, Wil­liam be­gan to im­prove. We spent seven weeks at The Rosie and in the last week he be­came big­ger and stronger and was taken off the ven­ti­la­tor.”

Wil­liam was fi­nally fit enough to trans­fer back to Pe­ter­bor­ough, then strong enough to be taken home 10 days af­ter what was his due date in May. For­tu­nately, he has no last­ing health prob­lems other than he is more prone to de­vel­op­ing al­ler­gies or asthma.

Amy added: “We are now look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing Wil­liam’s first Christ­mas and first birth­day in Jan­uary. We can’t wait as we ab­so­lutely love Christ­mas, and we know Wil­liam will too. He de­serves a very spe­cial one as he is a very spe­cial boy who has pulled through some of the most hor­ren­dous ill­nesses .”

James and Amy Boul­ton with tiny Wil­liam at the NICU in The Rosie Hos­pi­tal.

Wil­liam just af­ter he was born

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