Riley’s Story

I had a “textbook” pregnancy, and on the 31st of October 2007, I started to go in to labour, right on time.

As many of you will know, having a baby can take time and after 15 hours we still hadn’t made much progress.  It was around this time that the midwife checked for my baby’s heartbeat and couldn’t find it. After a few minutes adjusting the heartbeat monitors, with the sister’s second opinion and finally the doctor’s calm words “emergency caesarean”, I was whisked away to the operating theatre where I was given a general anaesthetic.

30 minutes later Riley was born.  Riley had lost a quarter of his blood, his heart had stopped, and he had to be resuscitated.  I didn’t get to hold or even see my baby that night, but I did get given a photo of a very beautiful but very poorly little boy.

Riley was transferred to the intensive care ward in the neonatal unit where he was looked after by a wonderfully dedicated and skilled team of people. These people not only cared for my baby but also gave Gregor and I the emotional support that we needed to see us through what was the darkest time of our lives.

Whilst Riley was in the unit, he had a few ups and downs.  When he was 8 days old, he had to have a life saving operation on his intestine.  The doctors told us that they were unsure if he would survive. However, with his fighting spirit and with the nurses continued support, he pulled through.

On the 24th of November 2008, three long weeks later, we finally took Riley home.

Now, 4 years on Riley is doing really well.  Despite having Cerebral Palsy, Riley continues to progress.  He loves swimming, going on his bike, everything musical, and despite being told in the early days he may never walk, he is now walking really well with a little K- walker Frame, and is on his way to walking independently.

Riley now has a little brother and we are busy, happy family.  Our time at the neonatal unit is a distant memory but I will never forget the lovely team of nursing staff who looked after my baby my husband and myself.