Mum of twins Emily, from Bristol, had her babies unexpectedly early but that was just the start of a nerve-wracking journey when one twin, Isobel, developed meningitis
“In July ‘22 I gave birth unexpectedly at 30 weeks to my twin girls. They were on NICU for two months. It was so hard leaving both babies and for me to go home without them, but I knew it was the best place for them.
“One twin was doing really well and was ready for discharge, but this story is about my other girl, Isobel. Isobel developed meningitis and sepsis at just two weeks old.
“I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. The thought of only coming home with one baby broke me.
“Isobel had been off her milk and she had a high temperature. There were a few times she stopped breathing on me and her dad. All we heard was the monitors beeping and kept wondering what was going on.
“The nurses mentioned that she hadn’t been herself that day and that they were keeping a close eye on her. Later that night a nurse rang to let us know that Isobel needed to have a few tests done to see if she had an infection.
“On the way to the hospital the next day, I remember we had our ‘NICU song’ playing (“We’re going to be ok”). My phone rang and my heart sank.
“I didn’t like it when the nurses called as I automatically thought something was wrong. They told me that Isobel needed a lumbar puncture.
“Then it was confirmed that she had meningitis and sepsis. 94% of her body was infected.
“Isobel was on four different antibiotics, a ventilator for a week and she didn’t drink any milk for a while. I had to dab milk on her mouth for her to drink.
“I thought, “How could my baby be OK one minute and so poorly the next?”
“I remember seeing her for the first time after it was confirmed she had meningitis. She was floppy, she didn’t grip on to my finger and I couldn’t give her a cuddle because she was so poorly.
“I remember all of questions I asked the doctors. I was praying every single day that she would be ok.
“Even now Isobel has recovered, I fear for the future with after-effects. I’m constantly worrying all the time about her getting so poorly again.
“Isobel is now nine months old. She is a very strong girl, who has gained more and more strength every day. We are very proud of how far she has come. She can now nearly crawl and is thriving.
“The day we went home I just cried, I was so thankful and felt so blessed to be able to take both of my babies home, together.