My gorgeous little baby girl is 18 years old today. I can't believe where the time has gone and am always so aware of how lucky I am to have her. 18 years ago yesterday I was rushed into hospital with pre-eclampsia, my kidneys had failed, I was going into shock and was given 3 hours for us both to live. The choices were stark. Have an emergancy ceasarian section which could kill my unborn baby or we would both be dead within hours. After an incredibly scary time in the operating theatre my little girl was born at 28 weeks weighing 2lb 1 oz.
Her lungs were not yet functioning and she was kept alive by an injection of an artificial lung fluid, which opened the lungs up enabling her to breath. I too was seriously ill and didn't actually get to see my baby for 4 whole days, when she was wheeled in to my room in an incubator on her way to another hospital without me. The following few days were a nightmare, with me fighting constantly with the hospital authority to let me join my daughter. Eventually they agreed and I moved with her to the Special Care Baby Unit at Fazakerley Hospital in Liverpool. My poor baby had tubes everywhere. I remember the first time I was allowed to hold her that was all I could actually feel!
Looking at this photo still makes me want to cry.
You can see in this photo just how small she was compared to her dad's hand. Note her little prem baby hats in each of these photos made by some wonderfully caring, unknown knitter.
After 9 whole weeks in hospital she was finally allowed home weighing just under 5 lbs. 18 years ago it was very difficult to buy prem baby clothes or to get knitting patterns for them either, so my little love came home in Tiny Tears clothes bought in Toys 'r' us...
I still have many of her tiny clothes and they are so small its unbelievable. Please ignore the worn out woman on the right. I hadn't slept very well for a few weeks!
Forgive me if I've told this story before but I am so, so proud of my Charlie and so grateful to have her in my life. She really is the best daughter any mum could ask for. And look at her now, so beautiful! (and short!)
We are off now for a family meal and tomorrow evening I am out on the town with my little girl and her friends!
but for now,