Our Founder’s Story: Bliss UK
Every day, over 300 babies born in the UK are admitted into neonatal care. Bliss helps these families when they need it most. Here’s just one of these stories from Nessa’s Founder.
For every mother, pregnancy is an exciting time, but there’s always an underlying worry that something might go wrong. Most of the time this is just a mother’s natural caution, but occasionally we’re faced with scary circumstances that could compromise our babies’ health. When our Founder, Fiona went into labour at just 34 weeks pregnant, these concerns started to manifest.
In honour of World Prematurity Day, Fiona decided to share her story with the Nessa Army. This isn’t to scare mums to be, but to offer a slice of reality we don’t often see in picture-perfect social media feeds.
Before you get into Fiona’s journey, please know that this story has a happy ending. Fiona’s son is now five years old and the cheekiest of all her boys!
If you find this content triggering, please come back to it when you feel ready.
My son was born at 34 weeks, weighing just 4lbs, and with a number of complications. We’d both had a traumatic time during childbirth, and would need to spend the next five weeks in neonatal care.
This was probably the scariest time of my life. I’ve got some photos of me holding my son and smiling, but behind this smile is a lot of fear, anxiety and physical and emotional pain. This was the first time I held him, 30 hours after he was born. It took 10 minutes to get him out of his incubator with all the wires and machines attached, and into my arms for the first time.
The physical pain of not being able to hold your baby after you have given birth is next to none, and something I’ll never forget. Seeing your baby hooked up to wires and monitors is an experience you don’t prepare for as a mother.
Unlike some families in neonatal we got out in 5 weeks, and we are so grateful to all the doctors and nurses who worked night and day to get us there.
The motivation behind NESSA
Part of the reason I founded NESSA was to make sure mums get looked after post baby. Mums can often be forgotten about - I know I was during these 5 weeks. At the time, it was lot more important that my son got the best care, and I’m so grateful for everyone who got us out of the hospital in one piece, but I just want to give a little shout out to all the mums who put their physical and emotional pain to one side for their babes. They are true warriors.
The work of Bliss
When I founded Nessa, I felt strongly about giving back to a charity that had given me and my family so much support when we needed it most. Bliss is a UK charity supporting babies who are born prematurely or sick, and their families.
A neonatal unit can be a very scary place, with a steady chorus of beeps and flashes. Uncertainty looms over families, and not being able to stay close to your baby is one of the most heartbreaking experiences.
Many parents have to go home each day, with the worry that they may be called back if the worst happens. Alongside the anxiety, a prolonged hospital stay poses huge financial strain on parents who are unable to work during this difficult time.
Bliss offers family emotional and physical support, as well as the financial information they may need during this time. In addition, Bliss campaigns for better neonatal care and funds vital research to ensure that premature birth affects as few families as possible.
Bliss x NESSA
Bliss are doing an incredible job but they need so much more support to fund life-saving research for premature babies. A percentage of all Nessa sales is donated to Bliss. Please also consider donating directly to this charity that touched our hearts and changed our lives.
What advice would you give other families?
This World Prematurity Day, we’re asking families who have been through this daunting time to share their advice. What do you wish someone would have told you before entering the neonatal unit? Leave a comment below for other parents.
Wishing all the families who are currently in neonatal wards all our love and support.
Love, Nessa x