Claire Cressey started the Facebook page Emily’s Journey to help tell the story of her miracle baby, and help other mothers of premature
Below are extracts from Claire’s online diary.
Feeling so lucky to have Emily while counting down the days to her due date (June 16) so that she can come home. I’m seeing lots of posts in other groups from parents who are just starting their journey with their new prem babies. My heart sinks for them. Such a long road ahead for us all, fighting very different journeys but amounting to the same thing - the battle for survival.
Happy 11-week birthday Emily! Little lady is on a roll now, there’s no stopping her. She was weighed last night and shes 4lb 8oz. The nurses are going to start weaning her off the caffeine from today so fingers crossed. They have also fixed her oxygen at 0.5 and taken away the machine. It’s a great step forward but very scary. I’m lost without watching her oxygen levels but I’ll get used to it. Every other feed I give her by bottle. So here we go lets watch and wait. It’s all very exciting and it goes without saying how incredibly proud and in love with her we are.
This morning I was asked if I would consider writing an article to highlight the importance of milk banks and donor. I sat and thought for a moment and it came flooding back to me how vital this service is. It brought me to tears remembering the desperation of how we were going to feed Emily after her birth, because of her prematurity my own body simply wasn’t able to supply on demand the same way a full term mother could.
At 24 weeks weighing 1lb 3oz there was absolutely no way Emily could have digested formula. Then to our rescue along came the milk bank, of course unable to exist without the wonderful women who take the time to live good healthy life styles so they can supply the best quality breast milk possible to help babies like Emily. If you think for a moment what an amazing commitment these ladies make it really is something special, often these mothers have had sick children themselves which brought them into the world of milk donation.
I was often asked if it felt strange giving our daughter another woman’s breast milk. My answer was always the same - NO.
Nothing odd about it, the donor milk was simply another form of vital medicine Emily needed to survive.
Milk banks are often overlooked, not even known about, an undervalued but critical service. I would like to thank everyone who works with this service, the mums themselves, the organizers and delivery people, you do an amazing job.
Our family are proud to say we have used the Scottish milk bank service and wholeheartedly support the amazing work they all do, keep going guys, we really are so grateful .