» Charity working to save lives of all ages CT Scanner Appeal
AMOTHER has described how she was afraid to cuddle her tiny premature baby. Joseph, born at 26 weeks, was so small he weighed less than a bag of sugar.
Jessica Buckland was only allowed to hold him for the first time ten days after the birth.
The 26 year old said: “He was so tiny I was worried I would hurt him,” said.
“When he was born he weighed just 1lb 6oz. After I had an emergency C-section, they brought him to my face and I cried.
“He was so delicate, absolutely miniscule.”
She continued: “At that time he was in the incubator and I wasn’t allowed to touch him.
“I struggled to believe he would get through it and at first it was difficult to bond as I wasn’t sure how long he was going to be here.”
The mother of one from Tuffley found out she was going to have Joseph early after falling ill at work.
She went to get checked at hospital as she could not feel any movement in the womb.
After tests, Jessica was told her blood pressure was high and there was protein in her urine.
Medics were concerned her son was not getting enough oxygen and nutrients through the placenta.
“I had another scan and they said I would have him in the next 24 hours,” she said. “I knew the prospects were not that good for a baby at his age.
“I was in shock. I didn’t know what to think or feel.
“I wasn’t sure whether my baby was going to live or die, it was a massive thing wondering that I may give birth to a child that may not survive.
“I did feel quite lonely.” Joseph entered the world at 12.26pm on October 2, 2015.
At first he had to be fed through a nasal tube and, after that, breast milk through a syringe.
By seven weeks, he was able to have formula milk.
He was in hospital for two and a half months and was home for baby’s first Christmas weighing five-and-a-half pounds.
Every year more than 95,000 babies are cared for in neonatal units in the UK because they have been born prematurely (before 37 weeks), or full term (after that time) but poorly.
“I went to see him every day in hospital,” said Jessica.
“At times when you are on a journey like that you often can’t see light at the end of the tunnel. It’s amazing that we came through the other side.
“It was lovely to have Joseph home for Christmas. He was on oxygen until he was five months old.
“He started to crawl properly on his first birthday and in February 2016, he started to walk.”
In April 2016, Jessica was baptised after her faith became stronger during what she went through with her son.
She never thought she would be able
to have children due to issues with her menstrual cycle and signs of endometriosis, a condition where the tissue that lines the womb is found outside it, such as in the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
When she discovered she was pregnant during a shopping trip in Bristol, she said she never thought it would be such a rollercoaster.
Now three, Joseph still fits into clothes for 12-18 months and was a little slower than other children to pick up speech, but his mum and her partner Chris are thrilled by his progress.
“He’s the light of my life,” said Jessica. “The only way you can describe him really is a little miracle.
“He’s brilliant, cheeky, very determined and very much like me.
“Considering I didn’t think he would make it out of hospital he is doing amazing.
“I look at him every day and I’m so grateful he’s here.”
» Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity has launched a CT Scanner Appeal.The £1.2m appeal has been launched to buy two new mobile digital X-ray machines and three new CT scanners for Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.Almost 80,000 people a yuear have a CT scan or mobile X-ray at the hospitals - a number which rises every year.This state-of-the-art technology will make a huge difference for people with a wide range of conditions, including those fighting cancer or heart disease, emergency patients and premature babies who need urgent medical treatment. Joseph Buckland when he was allowed to go home
Joseph Buckland after he was born and, right, aged three