Anaiah’s fight for life with PPROM.


Many of us have never heard of PPROM, I certainly hadn’t. So Im so incredibly thankful that Chantelle, Anaiahs Mummy, has chosen to share their story.
Her PPROM fight started on Friday 26th January 2018, 14 weeks 2 days into my pregnancy. I woke up in the morning and just felt strange, I went to get up and go to the toilet and felt a little gush of water. I stood up and looked on my bed and there was a wet patch on my bed sheet. I instantly knew it was waters. My husband and I phoned the Maternity Care Unit and was advised we needed to go up to delivery ward to be assessed as they suspected it was my waters. Hearing those words absolutely petrified us we just had our routine 12 week scan the week before when we were 13 weeks where we were told everything appeared normal. We arrived nervous, scared and worried for what we were about to hear. We were seen by 3 different midwifes and doctors who told us it wasn’t my waters that it could be urine or excess discharge.

We were sent away, my husband kept telling me the doctors new what they were talking about and if they weren’t concerned we shouldn’t be. Deep down I knew it was my waters and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I suggested to my husband we go somewhere privately.

We booked an appointment with Dr Penman at the Spire Bupa. He scanned me and said my water levels were low but it was so early on in my pregnancy and that was the reason. He also saw a tear in my placenta and a huge blood pocket and some blood clots along the uterus, He told me this was the fluid I had lost and expect more with some bleeding as its fluid from the tear, my bodies way of healing. He said it’s nothing to be concerned about. We didn’t batter an eye lid as he was the best in Kent he was even able to tell us the sex of our baby with a 94% success rate this early.


At 14 weeks 4 days we found out our little one was our second girl. We were so relieved and happy that she was still okay and growing perfectly.

I continued to have small amount of fluid loss with, and at times there was blood as Dr Penman told us about. At last we had some answers to what was happening to my body we relaxed and started to enjoy being pregnant again. We already had a private gender scan booked for the 7th February 2018 with window to the womb. We debated going as we had already been told the gender, my husband made the decision that we would still go and enjoy this scan and look forward to seeing our girl without the added worry about the fluid loss and bleeding like before.
I’m so glad he did.

Wednesday 7th February is the day our lives came crashing down. We arrived at window to the womb and were shown into the scanning room. We were so excited to see her and finally confirm that infact she was still a she. I lay on the bed and excitedly lifted up my top, the sonographer placed the jelly and probe on my growing bump and her face quickly turnt serious. My heart sank. I knew my fears were about to be confirmed. I looked up at the scan on the two big tv units on the wall. Where was my baby? I could just make out a slight flicker of her heart. The sonographer then said the following “I’m so sorry I cannot proceed with your scan I’m afraid there is no fluid surrounding your baby, your baby is in a kelp position and I cannot make out her body structure let alone her gender, I’m so sorry we need to refer you straight to hospital.”

My heart sunk, I felt sick, I couldn’t stop shaking and crying.  My husband drove us to Medway hospital where we had a scan with a consultant who confirmed there was no fluid surrounding our baby. I had suffered a thing called PPROM – Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes. He proceeded to tell us this was not good and the best option would be to terminate the pregnancy as there was absolutely nothing they could do and my body would naturally go into early labour in the next 24 to 48 hours. If it didn’t I was at serious risk of getting an infection called chorioamnionitis, an infection of the womb. This could turn sepsis extremely quickly and both our lives would be in danger.

They told that us her limbs could be deformed as she had no fluid to create room for her to grow, and if we made it past viability she had a 1% chance of survival as her lungs would not be formed as amniotic fluid is crucial in the development of baby’s lungs. He told us she would probably be a neonatal death as she would not survive labour. We told them there was no way I was terminating and I would fight for my baby till the end, whatever the outcome. We wanted to give her a chance of a life, if I went into labour before 24 weeks at least we knew we had done everything we could for her and if it was after 25 weeks we had done everything and I knew the doctors would do everything for her too.

We were sent home with a bleak outlook, told to come in every week for blood tests to check my infection levels if it was to start to rise then they would override my decision and induce me as it could be deadly for both of us. I also had to come in every 2 weeks to have a scan.  Every scan we had we had no measurable fluid around our daughter and every scan we were told the bleak outlooks and they kept suggesting a termination. But every scan our daughter continued to grow, our daughters heart continued to beat. She was fighting, so we would continue to fight with her.

I got home and broke down with my husband. Letting my family know what we had just found out was incredibly hard. They all supported my decision and that’s when I started my research into PPROM. I found several blogs and websites with information on some suggesting bed rest and drinking 5 litres of fluid a day to help replenish the fluid when it comes to PPROM.

While researching I found a support group on Facebook called – Little heartbeats – Making Pprom Awareness-. This group was our saviour. So much advice, so much experience, and so many stories. Once I joined this page they asked me for my address and I received a free support pack in the post, with valuable packs of information, flyers, wristband, relaxing adult colouring book with pencils, and the most beautiful teddy that we could record our daughters heartbeat and put it inside the teddy for a keepsake in case we lost her too soon.
Such a thoughtful gift. This helped prepare me for the fight ahead, I will always be grateful to Ciara who runs this group.
You can find more info on Little Heartbeats website.

On the 6th march, at 20 week I was admitted to hospital with a very heavy fluid loss and a big bleed. I felt extremely poorly, we thought this was it, time to say our goodbyes. Bloods and swabs were taken to check for infection and I was giving a course of antibiotics and monitored for 5 days until results came back. In those 5 days I’ve never prayed so much. I was angry why did my daughter have to suffer like this, even though the doctors told me it was nothing I had done that caused this I was blaming myself, blaming my body. It was a hard 5 days but the results came back clear, no infection and the bleeding had slowed down too. I was able to go home and continue fighting to reach 24 weeks.

The day we had been waiting for arrived and we felt such a huge relief. We finally reached 24 weeks, 10 weeks after my waters broke, we were finally at viability this felt so over whelming. We were booked in to have my steroid shots 2 injections 24 hour apart to help speed up lung development. By this week I started having strong Braxton hicks and I just started feel tired and drained, I new deep down it wouldn’t be long. We had our first meeting about delivery with our consultant it felt surreal.  He told us if we could get to 34 weeks her survival rate would be 0ver 98% and he would deliver her at 34 weeks no later. After 28 weeks 50/50 and below 26 weeks 1-5% chance of survival, He told us the safest way to deliver a baby this early without fluid is natural. He told me if he had to perform a csection before 28 weeks it was life threatening and I wouldn’t be able to have anymore children. This petrified me.

Sunday 15th April 2018, 25 weeks 4 days,


I started getting what I thought was strong Braxton hicks, but they became stronger and every 2-3 minutes. It was labour, it has started. We headed to the hospital and was hooked up to the monitor on delivery suite, I had to have this drug called magnesium sulphate which protects the brain in premature babies. Before I knew it I was Monday 16th April my labour was on off all night and at one point there was talk of sending me home. My contractions started up again and by 230pm I was 10cm dilated and emergency buzzers going off, an Oliver fisher team was in and out of my room with an incubator at the ready. I was told to start pushing, this is when it all started to hit me, I started panicking, this was really happening I was about to deliver my tiny 25 week old baby. This was when I would know the outcome of our little miracle. I pulled myself together with the help of my husband, my mum and my amazing midwife Helen.

At 3:02pm on Monday 16th April, our tiny little Anaiah Faith made her arrival into this world, kicking, screaming and crying.


She weighed a tiny 895grams, 1lb 15oz. The doctors couldn’t believe what they were seeing. I was uncontrollably sobbing as I couldn’t believe how small she was. Seeing our tiny baby laying on the bed as they cut her cord was overwhelming. All I can remember is the doctors telling us “she is a feisty one”

Anaiah was intubated at 14 minutes old after 3 attempts, they brought her over to me for a quick kiss on the head before they transferred her to Oliver Fisher Neonatal Unit where they put her on a ventilator and started IV antibiotics. She was wrapped up in a special plastic bag that would keep her warm.  We were told we had to wait while they settled her in the incubator. 5 hours later we where finally allowed in to see her. Things were not looking good her incubator was surrounded by doctors and nurses and her Machines where all flashing red and alarming constantly.

 She was on a machine called HFO High frequency oscillator, this made her whole body shake. It delivers breaths much faster than a standard ventilator. A standard ventilator can deliver 20-60 breathes per minute but a oscillator can deliver close to 1000.

Her consultant came over and explained to us that Anaiah had taken a turn for the worse and there was no more they could do for her. She had developed something called PPHN – Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Of the Newborn, Its failure of the normal circulatory transition that occurs after birth.


When a baby is born they take in a big deep breath or they cry and their lungs fill up with air instead of fluid, when the lungs are filled with air the Blood vessels which take blood from the heart to the lungs start to open up, and this means that oxygen can be carried from the lungs, back to the heart, and pumped to the brain and rest of the body. Anaiah’s lungs were so premature that her vessels didn’t open up properly so built up pressure, this stopped the oxygen getting to her brain and the rest of her body properly. This was life threatening.

Oxygen was just seeping through her lungs it wasn’t staying in them enough to expand the lungs. They told us if her oxygen level continued to drop this would cause her heart to be under extra pressure. If this was the case they would withdraw assisitance and let her pass away.

This broke our hearts. The last time we saw her she was pink, crying, wriggling, to now seeing her tiny body covered in so many wires, montitors, tubes, and laying there pale lifeless and her little body shaking no parent should ever see. We asked her consultant if they had used Nitric oxide on her yet (something I researched while pregnant in the support groups this is what saved most babies). He told us no and that he believed it wouldn’t work on a baby as young in gestation as Anaiah.

We pushed it to be used on her as we felt they hadn’t tried everything and we weren’t prepared to give up this fight yet. He agreed and they set up yet another machine, next to her incubator. We were offered the chance of getting her blessed by the hospital pastor and we agreed, we phoned our families and they came to support us and be present at the blessing. They then had to leave Intensive care and we were left there watching our daughter literally fight for her life, I broke down in my husband’s arms why her? Why did she have to go through this it wasn’t fair.

A touch and go hour passed and we noticed her sats started rising her oxygen levels were rising her heart rate was increasing.

We stayed with her all night and saw her slowly improve. Her consultant came over and said he was outstanded by her progress and the oscillator was doing its job on her tiny body.

Relief I broke down again with happiness.

From then on things only got better and better. Our daughter had so much fight in her. We told her every day she was loved and we wanted her at home with us and her sister. We read to her and spoke about our days and future plans. Day 4 the nitric oxide was stopped and she was put on a ventilator where she remained on it till day 11. Our little girl started breathing over the ventilator from day 5, it was causing the machines to constantly alarm and not read properly so they decided to take her of the ventilator on day 11.


This was the best day we finally got to hold our precious little girl. There is no other feeling in the world then having your baby skin to skin on your chest. I could finally feel her breathe, smell her, touch her without asking for permission.

She was put on a different type of breathing support from then on called Vapourtherm and she stayed on this for 33 days.

13th June At 1 month old we got the best news that she had been moved down to High dependency Unit. She was still on vapourtherm but plans were to put her onto nasula cannula oxygen while in HDU unit. We were so excited as it was a big step to going home she no longer needed intensive treatment and that was a big deal. We walked into HDU with 2 massive smiles on our faces the nurses new which baby was ours.It was so nice being in a relaxed environment there was soft colourful lights and quiet very quiet compared to ITU. Things were going so well, we were deep down expecting something to go wrong. I came in one day and her machine kept being and flashing red her heart rate kept going very high 231bpm at some points. The nurses called the doctor and the doctor took bloods to complete a sepsis screening, this came back clear they kept monitoring her over the next week her heart rate episodes continued and her doctor contact GOSH for advice and asked for her to be seen.

This felt like such a big blow, she was doing so well. A specialist from Great Ormond Street Hospital came a week later, observed her and undertook a 24 hour ecg, which showed some dips and rises which were due to her prematurity. Another little blow that was quickly resolved. We could carry on with staying in HDU.
On 27th may the doctors made the decision to wean Anaiah of her vapourtherm as her saturations were great. This last week was full of so many changes but we were so proud of how well she was doing.

1st June was our next milestone, our little Anaiah was finally moved from her incubator to a open cot in full vest, babygrow, and cardigan. She finally looked like a “normal” full term baby. It was the first day her sister and grandparents were able to hold her.

prom baby

1st of june was a special day.

5th June our extraordinary little girl was moved down to the final room before home. Special care, this was the room you dream about in intensive care.

Home stretch was finally in sight.


Special care was the room for feeding and growing and boy did Anaiah like her feeding. She thrived and thrived and started putting on weight. After she grasped the concept for feeding they started weaning her oxygen down to prepare for home. They started Anaiah on 00.8l of oxygen and quickly got down to 00.3l again baffling the nurses and doctors. They completed a Sat study to check she had the right amount of oxygen in her body which came back not good, she had to be increased again to 00.8l and have tests done to see why her body started struggling. The results were that she had a build-up of fluid in her body and this was compressing her lungs.

They started her on 2 week course of diuretics medication to help her pass the excess water. This started working and they planned to wean her .01 a day. She tolerated the wean until they got to 00.3 again she started showing signs of distress and they stopped weaning her. They bumped her up to 00.6 and started talking to us about home oxygen. This is when it finally hit us that we were finally going to be taking out miracle home.

The next few days were abit of a blur and happened quickly once the doctors okayed the home oxygen, it was arranged for 2 days time. They asked us to room in ( stay on Oliver fisher unit in one of their 3 rooms for parents)  to have time to adjust to our new baby and learn her colouring, sounds, grunts,  breathing and feeding patterns. We roomed in on Tuesday 10th July it felt incredible but it petrified us it was the first time she was off her monitors for her heart and oxygen levels.

I didn’t sleep that night I kept thinking something bad was going to happen. Everything was fine and it was Wednesday 4th July before I knew it. We had oxygen being installed at 11am so stayed for doctors round and then we were to shoot off to have training on that when it was installed ready for whenever she was ready to be discharged. Drs round started and to our surprise the doctors said that she could go home that day! We were shocked but so excited.

She had all her new-born checks, hearing tests and was finally being weighed for the last time on Oliver fisher, 5lb 3oz was her discharge weight. Walking back into Oliver fisher with her car seat was incredible. We were finally taking our baby girl home after 3 months. What made this day even more special is that it was mine and my husbands 3rd wedding anniversary. It was the best present in the world.

prom baby

These last 3 months have been a roller-coaster of emotions, the most difficult and testing time I think any person can go through, to see your child literally fight for life fight for each breath is singly the hardest thing any parent should witness. From then to where we are today is purely a miracle. At no age should you have to think about if you’re going to bury or cremate your child but us at 27 and 28 year old had to prepare for that possibility. Oliver fisher neonatal unit is the most amazing place I’ve ever been. The doctors and nurses are walking angels, and I couldn’t possibly thank them enough for everything they have done, not just for our girl but for every baby who has been wheeled through their doors.

Since being home 2 and half weeks, Anaiah has continued to thrive and is now currently 6lb 13oz at 3 months old. She does have chronic lung disease which can cause problems in the future and we are awaiting some appointments to check her kidneys as she was on diuretics medication and she needs another hearing test. She also needs regular checks of her Haemoglobin levels as she may need a blood transfusion in the near future but other than that our little miracle is thriving and is just where she should be. At home with her Mummy, Daddy and big sister!

PPROM is something Anaiah has, but she is such an incredible tiny fighter.


I for one had never heard of PPROM before. Thankyou so much for sharing your story and being so thorough, Chantalle. I felt every emotion I possibly could while reading and I know my readers will too.

I adore taking your Family portrait, you’re all so amazing!



Life After a Down Syndrome diagnosis

       Down syndrome
Down Syndrome awareness
down syndrome

Zephaniah is a cheeky 18 month old little boy who had a Down Syndrome Diagnosis during pregnancy. Here, his Mum Sarah shares their story.

Our journey really started at our 12 week scan. Up until it had been a fairly standard pregnancy. Nausea and exhaustion mixed with excitement and anticipation for our second baby. The scan went well and they asked us to hang around to wait for the results of nuchal screening test. I assumed there would be no concerns. They called us into a room and sat us down and told us that based on my blood tests and my age we had a 1:29 chance of our baby having Down syndrome.

It was quite a strange meeting as even at that point we were offered a termination because of the Down Syndrome diagnosis. We were also given the option to pay for the nipt (non invasive prenatal testing), have a cvs/amnio or continue as normal. They explained that the test they do for something called Papp-A was extremely low. We left the appointment feeling positive that the baby had looked good on the scan but confused about the 1:29 chance of Down Syndrome.

I instantly started googling Papp-A and discovered a link to zinc and since I was still breastfeeding my toddler I convinced myself I was deficient in zinc hence the low reading. I genuinely put Down Syndrome to the back of my mind and began taking a low dose aspirin prescribed by the consultant to help as much blood through to the baby as possible. There is a concern with low Papp-A that the baby can fail to grow in the second trimester so that was my main worry.

I started feeling Zephy move at 16 weeks and it was such a relief and a comfort. We went to our 20 week scan excited to see the baby and we had decided to find out whether he was a boy or girl. This was the day that changed everything. Then sonographer was lovely and made us feel at ease but at the end said she wanted her colleague to come and have a look.

She came in and told us that Zephy was very ill with something called Fetal Hydrops (something I’d never heard of).

*Hydrops fetalis (fetal hydrops) is a serious fetal condition defined as abnormal accumulation of fluid in two or more fetal compartments, including ascites, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, and skin edema. In some patients, it may also be associated with polyhydramnios and placental edema*

It’s a build up of fluid in more than two areas of the body. Zephys fluid was around his heart, lungs and brain. They told us he had a 0% chance of surviving the pregnancy and they recommended we have a termination. They said the fluid and the now increased nuchal measurement suggested a chromosomal condition so we had an amniocentesis there and then to get an accurate diagnosis. I went home and put myself on bed rest as I was terrified of miscarrying.

It was never really a question or decision for us, but for want of a better word we decided to continue the pregnancy until it came to a natural end whilst hoping and praying for a miracle.

We got the phone call a few days later that he had tested positive for Trisomy 21, more commonly know as Down Syndrome. After this we were booked in for extra scans looking at his heart and to check how the hydrops was progressing. After around 5 weeks we got the great news we had been hoping for and that the fluid had resolved itself to a normal level!

We were well looked after the rest of the pregnancy and whilst I developed gestational diabetes and obstetric cholestasis he went from strength to strength. He was born on Boxing Day after I was dramatically induced on Christmas Day due to the placenta beginning to fail.

                                                                                          down syndrome           down Syndrome           down syndrome

Zephy was in the nicu/scbu for two weeks as he was born at 36 weeks and was too sleepy to feed. During this time and for his first week at home he was tube fed whilst we tried to transition him to a bottle and then onto breastfeeding. We managed to be exclusively breastfeeding by the time he was a month old.

We have been very lucky in that Zephy doesn’t have any major health worries and hasn’t had to have any surgeries as many of his friends with Down syndrome have. He has hypotonia which is low muscle tone and this means it takes him longer to reach his gross motor milestones. We have physiotherapy very regularly to help with that. We also do lots of speech and language therapy plus occupational therapy to work on speaking, eating, fine motor skills etc.

They discovered when he was 12 months that he was aspirating when he drank water so we have to use a thickener for his drinks until he hopefully grows out of it. Zephy is now 18 months old and I’m so proud of him. He works so hard to accomplish things that come easier to other babies and he does it mostly with a smile on his face. 80% of pregnancies where the baby has a trisomy will sadly end in the first trimester so to overcome that and the hydrops is a true miracle.

In the Uk, 9 out of 10 prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome result in termination and you can terminate a baby with Down syndrome right up until 40 weeks/full term.

Down Syndrome

Well, I for one am honoured to meet Zephaniah and his incredible family.

Thankyou for coming, sharing your story and having your Family Portrait taken here at Dinky Days Photography in Essex.

MaternityNewbornFamilyCake Smash

Thankyou for reading, please feel free to contact me for your session and I’ll be right with you!

Preeclampsia – Dexters Story

Pre eclampsia
Dexter James Knight, born at 28 weeks and 3 days on the 28th March 2018 (due date was 17 June 2018).

Dexter is the first in my Awareness Project.
I want to bring awareness to the many battles that babies and children go through. Dexters Mum, Emma was kind enough to share their preeclampsia story.

Dexters preeeclampsia journey began on the 27th March 2018. This was the day of a normal growth scan, it wasn’t a routine scan, but a precautionary one as my 20 week scan showed that my uterine artery levels were a little high. An extra scan is advised to check the baby’s development as this can affect the growth towards the end of pregnancy. Little did I know that I wouldn’t be heading back home and off to work later that Tuesday afternoon. During the scan the sonographer spotted that my placenta wasn’t quite working properly and that his growth (although perfectly fine at that stage) was starting to slow. She then asked me if I had been suffering from any symptoms, I was; I had been suffering with swelling, upper back pain, headaches, and slight visual disturbances, all of which I thought were normal symptoms of pregnancy!

Little did I know that I had developed severe preeclampsia, so severe that HELLP syndrome also snuck into the equation. They booked me in for an emergency appointment with the professor of the foetal medicine department. I had to do a urine test, had my blood pressure taken, and was stabbed numerous times for bloods to be taken. All results came back with pretty bad results and my day then became very scary when he said “we will need to deliver your baby tomorrow”, my heart sank and I was terrified of the outcome because it was so early in my pregnancy.

By 5pm that day I had been admitted to the Delivery Suite where I was hooked up to a blood pressure machine which went off every 15 minutes, it was so high they were concerned I would suffer a seizure. I can’t even tell you many needles I was stabbed with because of the preeclampsia, I had to have steroid injections to help prepare his lungs for early delivery, a drip to help lower my BP and also help with his lungs, and so many blood tests to check my platelet levels, which were very low due to the HELLP.

There was no time for induction and I was scheduled in for an emergency C-Section the next morning. The nature of my section depended on my platelet levels, if they did raise to a satisfactory level I would I have had to put to sleep for the surgery. Luckily they rose to just about borderline, which meant I was able to remain awake and my partner could be with me.

At 10.32am on Wednesday 28th March, Dexter was born weighing a tiny 2lb 5oz. He was brought over to me for a quick kiss before he was whisked away to NICU. It was a long and painful 8 hours before I was able to go and see him. It was such a bitter sweet feeling when I saw him all wired up in his incubator. It felt amazing to see him and know that was ok, but heart wrenching at the same time, knowing that he was fighting so hard and the uncertainty of what might happen next.

He was very tiny but at this stage everything was looking promising, a valve in his heart was open as it didn’t have time to close naturally before birth, but this was fairly normal and he was put on the ‘Baby Oscar Trial’ and given medication to assist its healing to prevent the need for surgery. During his first night he suffered a pneumothorax, so the next morning when we saw him he had even more tubes, 1 either side to drain the fluid from his lungs, and also a ventilator to assist with his breathing. By this point we had learnt to cope with what was happening, and we knew he was ok and the tubes were all there to help him in one way or another.

From this stage onward he continued fighting and each day was an improvement on the last. By day 6 he no longer needed the ventilator and was put onto a nasal cannula for his oxygen supply (he was on Vapotherm supply), and by day 7 his drainage tubes had both been removed. It felt amazing seeing him that evening with less wires covering his tiny body.
During his first week or so he lost a little weight, but he gradually started gaining again shortly after.

Day 13 was when were able to hold him for the first time
I can’t express how amazing it felt to finally be able to do something most mothers do within seconds of giving birth. But as good as it felt it was also slightly scary, he was still so small and delicate. From that day on we had skin-to-skin at every visit, I am a strong believer that help his progression a lot, and was such a good way for us to bond with him. On day 22 we arrived and saw a whole new sight, he was finally wearing a baby grow, it utterly drowned him but he finally looked like a ‘normal’ baby.


At 3 weeks old he graduated from intensive care and was transferred into High Dependancy. We were one step closer to home but still had a long journey ahead of us. On 23 April his vapotherm flow was reduced, but he wasn’t quite ready and his sats were a little scatty, so it had to be increased again. It then had to be increased again on the 26th as overnight he started to struggle a little with his breathing. They carried out a chest x-ray to make sure there wasn’t anything else going on. Thankfully there wasn’t anything terrible occurring, but he did have a build up of fluid so he was put on diuretic medication to help him flush some of it out. Because of this medication he then required sodium and iron supplements.

On 5th May we arrived to see several nurses surrounding his incubator, this was a scary sight as we were so used to seeing daily improvements. His bloods were a little low so he required a blood transfusion, once we knew what was happening and were told how normal it was for pre-term babies to require this, we felt much better about it, but it still doesn’t make it any nicer to see, especially because we were unable to cuddle him and comfort him. But by the nest you would never had known he’d been through that (besides the massive cannula in his teeny hand).

Over the remainder of his stay in High Dependancy his incubator temperature and Vapotherm flow were slowly being reduced (vapotherm was much more gradual), and the improvements came in thick and fast and by the 12 May, after 3 attempts he was finally off vapotherm and put onto a regular flow of oxygen. And this time he remained off it! This meant I was finally able to try breast feeding him for the first time, it took a few weeks before we fully cracked it as he found it very tiring and a big learning curve for the both of us.

By the 18 May he had finally made it 4lb and starting to get some proper baby chub! Then on the 21st May we reached another huge milestone, he was able to come out of his incubator and put into a cot, which meant the next day he was moved in Special care, the final stage before home time.

Special care was a much more relaxed room, not so much beeping and generally less scary than the other 2 rooms. On his 8 week birthday came the dreaded immunisations, my poor little baby had been poked and prodded by so many needles already, he did not enjoy his injections one bit. By this stage, knowing we were so close to bringing him home, I was spending my full day with him in order to get him feeding.

By the 25th May he was on just 0.08L of oxygen, which is amazing considering it took several attempts to wean off the Vapotherm supply. He was put on a sats study for 24 hours to see how well he was coping, the results were amazing so they weaned him down to 0.05L. He remained on this for several days until the nurses felt comfortable in reducing it to just 0.01L, hardly anything at all! We were well and truly on the home run, but there was still something to contend with first.

During a nappy change overnight on the 25 May, his nurse noticed his testicles looked quite swollen, she believed this was a hydrocele which would have resolved on its own. Unfortunately upon further inspection the Drs diagnosed him with an Inguinal Hernia which would require surgery to repair. This was not a major set back, we were still able to continue as we were with hope of coming home very soon.

The best day of his journey so far was the 30th May. His oxygen flow was stopped completely. This was the most incredible news as just a couple of weeks before we were told there would be a possibility of him needing oxygen at home. Because his flow had stopped and they were pleased with his breathing his nasal tube was finally removed. His MG feeding tube was also removed as he was feeding well from both breast and bottle. This meant we were finally able to see out baby boy’s whole face with no tubes at all for the very first time.

From then on it was a waiting game, his operation for his Hernia would be at Kings College in London, so we had to wait for a bed, the staff and available transfer before he was able to go there. Everything was a little up in the air as nobody really knew how long it would take, so we carried on as normal. On the 1st June we were able to room in, which meant we spent a night in a room at the hospital with him. This felt amazing, we were finally a family. We spent the whole weekend with him until the early hours of the morning on Tuesday 5th May when he finally got transferred to Kings for his hernia operation.

We arrived at Kings at about 7.30am that morning, he was back in an incubator whilst being prepped for his surgery. Tt was so strange seeing him back in one, he looked so big in there compared to what he had done! The nurses explained everything to me, it was all pretty routine but I was warned he may need to be ventilated again because he had only recently come off of oxygen. By lunch time he was back from surgery and I was able to see him and even give him a big cuddle. I can’t even explain the relief I felt when I saw he didn’t need the ventilator, just a few standard wires for his sats and his MG feeding tube, not to mention the dreaded cannula.

It was extra hard to leave him behind that evening, but I was lucky enough to have a room at the Ronald McDonald house just round the corner, so I knew I was close to him and able to go back first thing the next morning. The next day he had been moved to Special Care where was doing amazingly well and a few hours into my visit his wires and tubes had all been removed again. They were so pleased with how well and quickly he had recovered from his surgery that all we had to do was wait for the transport team to take us back to The Oliver fisher unit in Medway.

They arrived at 4pm and by 6pm on the 5th we were back at Medway. On arrival, Dexter had to be put back into an incubator AGAIN (because of being transported from another hospital), and he was back in intensive care. Solely because it was the only room that a space for him, and believe it or not it was the exact same spot he had before! Because of his surgery the Drs wanted to monitor him for 48 hours, so were given a home date of Friday 8th June, not long to go! He was totally back him self that evening and I stayed with him until midnight so I could feed him and make sure he was settled before I left.

The next morning I was on my way to visit him when the hospital called to tell me the Drs had done the rounds and were so pleased with his recovery that they were happy for him to go home that day, I have never been so happy in my life. I continued to my visit as I wanted to wait for his Dad to finish work before we brought him home, so I stayed for several hours with him before coming home to get his car seat and bag ready to bring him home that evening.


Before we knew it we had a 10 week old, 4lb 13oz baby at home. 

The first few days were tough, he was very unsettled due to the change of environment. But once he settled, he was back to the cheeky little baby we knew.

Since being home he has gone from strength to strength and continued to gain weight and rapidly outgrow his clothes! He now weighs 7lb 15oz and is continuing to make us proud on a daily basis. The next stages of his journey are scans on his kidneys (to check a build up of calcium caused by the diuretic medication) and a hip ultrasound due to him being breech to make sure he doesn’t have hip dysplasia. If he does he will require a brace to wear for while. Other than those its just routine appointments with the paediatrician and general baby health checks.

So, here we are today. Our happy Family. Altogether, as it should be.

It has been an honour to meet little Dexter and his wonderful parents. They really are full of love and admiration for their miracle son.

Newborn Photographer Hornchurch
newborn photographer in Essex

Dinky Days Photography specialises in Newborn photography and is based in Elm Park, Hornchurch in Essex.

Hi! I’m Aimee-Jo and I’m here to create and produce bespoke newborn photographs for you to treasure.
I have quite a dreamy, timeless style to my photographs and I’d love to have you here to give you images that are all about your baby.

My photographs, although they contain props, are all about your baby. Baby photography in Essex that makes sure to make your baby the main focus of every single image.

I’ve been photographing newborns for 5 years and have taken time to work incredibly hard to learn and improve in every aspect of my work to give you, my clients, the best experience and printed memories to take away from your time here.

Trained in First Aid, newborn posing and newborn safety, I therefore make sure you can trust me with the most precious addition to your family. I have been trained many times over, and I plan to keep training to consistently bring you the best.

Close to Romford, and right next to Hornchurch, Elm Park is a lovely little place that Id never heard of prior to moving here so I understand when you haven’t either.

I work from my home studio. It’s perfect for me as I love to be close to my children. It’s also really handy as your children can also play in the garden while we are in the studio. All you have to do is simply move the blind the see them with Daddy/Mummy or another adult you chose to bring along with you.

My children are more than happy to share their toys and absolutely love meeting new little friends.

Here, you are part of the family when you walk through the door. As a Mum myself, I know how important it is to have your children comfortable and relaxed where they are.

While you are here for your Newborn Session, it is so important to have your Family  portrait taken. This, along with siblings photographed is included in your session as I believe its something all families should have.

Newborn photographer in essex

Photo credit –

This is the best job I have ever had and besides that, I do it because I love it. Because who wouldn’t love being part of such an important part of peoples lives.

It’s an honour to be chosen to be that person to capture these all important images for you.

Ready to book or have more questions? Simply click the Contact link and pop me over an email. I’ll be right with you.





Who is behind Dinky Days Photography?

Newborn photographer in Essex

Newborn photography is a very specialised subject.
It’s a type of photography that you just absolutely have to fall in love with, to make sure you give your all.

An I am just that, every ounce of me loves photographing newborns. I mean, look at all the beauty! I feel honoured to be the one you choose to document the first [ages of their life album. Some of the very first memories in print for this new part of your incredible family.

I am Aimee-Jo, and I have been photographing newborns for 5 years. I must admit, when I began, I was scared of them! They’re tiny, precious and the most important part of your world. I had barely held anyones children aside from my own two children (I now have three), so how would I even become a newborn specialist?
I overcame the fear when friends of mine had their babies and asked for me to photograph them.

The more newborns I photographed, the more I fell in love with the images. Photographing those tiny details, the hands, the dimples, dinky ears and my all time favourite… toots! There’s something about the fresh little feet that makes myself and many smile. They’re just so adorable, don’t you think?

Newborn photographer in essexPhoto by Frankie behind the scenes at a Dinky Days Photography session.

I’m a sucker for behind the scenes images. You are most welcome to take them, just as long as I am in them. Why, you ask? Well, I’m here to take those beautiful, professional photographs of your baby. Your snaps are simply a memory from your session here which I am more than relaxed about you taking. I only ask that you don’t come over and photograph baby in the pose without me in the image, or photograph super close as this can disturb any flow. I’m very happy for you to share these online, if you feel super giving, I’m always happy to be tagged 😉

Ok so, a little about me. I’m a wife of an epic Husband, plus Mum of three crazy, beautiful boys. That describes them quite well. You’d think ‘Ahhh three sons, I bet you always get to get them in the studio?’ How I wish that were the case. They’ve a severe case of ‘Photographers child’. The moment a camera comes out, I promise they are gone faster than a pigeon on chips.

However, I have lots of beautiful, wonderful clients always here to proudly stand in front of my camera which is great. My only problem is the jaw ache! The constant smiling from seeing you all in front of me. Their cheeky faces, huge characters and the funniest things that they say or do.

My Dad was a photographer, and so I’ve grown up around knowing the importance of photographs. For us while growing up, these were the most precious things we had. I can still go to my parents and my Dad will have a million and one prints in his cabinets to pull out, the memories of those times just come flooding back.

I’ve been trained in newborn posing and safety many times over, and I’m due my next set mid July. I cannot wait to learn more. I like to be like a sponge, but a fresh one. Always soaking up ways to improve my work, and give my clients a better experience here.

Photo by Frankie behind the scenes at a Dinky Days Photography session.

Photography is something I live and breathe. From the moment I correspond with you about your session, I’m planning. Whether you book a MaternityNewbornSittersCake smash, First year portraits, or Family portrait session, I am immediately aiming to produce those images to last you a lifetime and beyond. My favourite part is know I’ve been a part of your Families journey. That you will see my work on your wall of your Family gives me such a happy feeling, I’m very grateful!

Right, that’s all for now. It’s time to catch some of that rarity they call sleep. Anyone heard of it…. no?

Oh to be a parent! But isn’t it the greatest!