It is normal for first-time mothers to feel excited about their delivery, as they can finally meet their baby for the first time. That was how a woman in the United Kingdom felt until she realized that she was going for a C-section at 20 weeks into her pregnancy.
Briony and Mike Curwood, of Lincolnshire, England, were thrilled when they learned that they were expecting a baby girl, Ava, after almost two years of trying for a baby. Things were going smoothly until Briony had a fall at 29 weeks into her pregnancy.
Accompanied by her dad, Briony went to the Grimsby Hospital to check up on her baby’s movements, and that was when she was told that her baby had not been growing since 21 weeks.
Hearing this, Briony became excited that she would be able to finally meet her baby soon. “I was excited at first because I thought I was going to see my baby. I didn’t know anything about prematurity as we always had 10lb babies in my family,” she said.
After the news of the emergency C-section sank in, she became frightened. “But then I realized it was way too early and I got really scared,” she recalled.
Born on Dec. 19, 2016, Ava weighed 1 pound (approx. 454 grams) and had to be rushed to the Hull Women and Children’s Hospital from Grimsby when she was just 2 hours old.
When Briony was well enough to travel to Grimsby from Hull to meet Ava, she saw how tiny her premature baby looked.
“She didn’t look like a baby,” she said. “She looked just like a little doll. Her ears hasn’t [sic] come out of her head properly.”
“We’ve got a photograph of Mike and her entire body fits into the palm of his hand. I kept looking at how tiny she was, wondering how she would ever survive.”
But under all these circumstances, Ava still proved to be a fighter.
“I asked if she would survive and they told me to take it hour by hour. Then it was week by week,” Briony said. “But she was an absolute trooper and, to look at her now, you would never know all she had been through.”
Ava stayed in the neonatal unit for more than a month before she was discharged.
Then a year later, in 2017, the Curwoods brought a healthy-looking Ava to meet the hospital staff to thank them. “We can’t thank the staff in Hull enough,” Briony said.
“We are grateful to Ava’s mom and dad for taking the time this Christmas to thank us. We wish them a Merry Christmas and a healthy 2018,” Dr. Chris Wood, a pediatric clinical doctor at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said.
Ava’s story is one of hope. Even though her mom had taken a fall and Ava had stopped growing for about eight weeks before being born prematurely, she pulled through—and we couldn’t be happier for this family.
Now the little girl who has a bright personality and is close to 3 years old is a beautiful, happy child.