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When we were in labour with our daughter Amber at 40 weeks, we had no idea that we were at the start of her very painful journey.

A shoulder dystocia meant that she was crushed and oxygen-deprived during birth; leaving her lifeless and extremely unwell. The expert medical team prepared us for the worst while they fought for her life. We watched them with our own eyes as they battled to save her multiple times.

She was put in an induced hypothermic coma to help her body and brain rest, to try to give her the best chance of surviving. We did not leave the hospital, we took shifts at her cot side, willing her to live, willing her to meet her family-especially her big brother-none of whom could see her because of covid restrictions.

The ten days I had to wait before I could hold my baby were the longest of my life, but we were patient and followed the teams advice while they expertly nursed Amber through her tough start. Slowly, Amber started to recover and we were allowed home just before Christmas. While we can’t be sure what the future holds, we know that the love and care we all received in the neonatal unit gave Amber the best chance.

As we look forward to her first birthday, we feel the darkest days are behind us and her light shines brighter every day.

We are eternally grateful to the staff in the unit; we know Amber would not be here otherwise. We love to see them and show off our little triumph!

It is important to us that we highlight the work of the Simpsons Special Care Baby Unit; not all babies are premature - some are just born very very unwell - but all are treated with the same world-class love, care and attention.



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