World Prematurity Day – Ashleigh’s Story


This is Ashleigh Susana, she came into this world at 30 weeks on the 17th July 2015. I was suffering with pre-eclampsia and at 28 weeks was admitted to hospital to try and get the condition under control, our little baby hung on in there despite my rising blood pressure. I was on a grand concoction of medicines to keep my blood pressure down. I was given steroids and we were told to prepare as this baby would be delivered early.

Thanks to a wonderful Dr and great nurses, I was given regular scans as she was quite small on the scans and not really growing and I looked after very well. I cannot complain about my treatment of the NHS they were all wonderful! on the 16th of July 2015 our consultant carried out a detailed scan and it was revealed that there was reverse blood flow through the placenta and our tiny baby was starting to suffer. The consultant told us we would deliver by cesarean the next morning.

I don’t think neither of slept that evening. I spent the night in maternity intensive care on a drip of magnesium sulphate to help prevent seizures (A scary thought!) with a blood pressure of 220/110!


The next Morning we were the first scheduled c-section.

We are pleased to say that Ashleigh came out silent but after a few puffs of air by the neo natal team she was crying and most importantly breathing on her own! weighing in at a tiny 2lb 9oz

The NICU were great and very optimistic as she was breathing on her own. This was the news I wanted to hear! Although we were told to expect her to have a dip in the fist 48 hours (She didn’t though :))

I was slightly upset that my husband got to see her first and hold her delicate little hand whilst I was in recovery and stuck on monitors in the maternity ICU but the next day I was allowed to be wheeled around to see her in a wheelchair. I was so excited!


Nothing prepares you for when you hold your baby for the first time. Even though she was my 2nd,

My heart melted and I did not want to let her go. I looked at her in awe, this little miracle! our little fighter!

As soon as  was on my feet you could not get me away, I would ask the nurse to go after my monitoring (high blood pressure still!) and she would say it was fine until my next set of obs. So off I went to see my beautiful baby girl.

Our girls loved seeing her for the first time. They would hold her hand through the incubator and draw her pictures to decorate it with.

The NICU team were delighted with her and told us they were what they called a ‘feeder and a grower’. She never needed any breathing help or had any complications she just needed to put on some more weight and get a little bigger before we could take her home!


Another milestone reached! We were so excited to go in one day and have the nurse tell us we could now start dressing her 🙂 She looked adorable even if even the teeniest baby clothes still looked huge on her!

We knew this was another step closer to coming home!



The day the feeding tube was removed was a joyous day! she took to her bottle quite well and her feeds increased gradually but surely. She was coming home soon!


After 29 days in hospital Ashleigh was finally allowed home. Weighing 3lb 12oz! She was a trooper during her time in hospital. She looked super tiny in her car seat. Her sisters were so proud to bring her home! Don’t they all look adorable.

From then on she continued to grow and thrive! Now 29 months she is thriving and even attending a small pre-school in our town who have helped her speech come along even more! She is blossoming into a little beauty with just the right amount of attitude 🙂

If you are going through something similar, get in touch, we would love to hear from you. Sometimes talking to someone who has been there is so helpful in a time which feels so lonely.

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