Costessey baby was born weighing little more than a bag of sugar
11:11 29 June 2012
Archant © 2012
Meet little Harry, born 12 weeks early weighing just 2lbs 11oz – little more than a bag of sugar – and now a thriving youngster, his parents’ pride and joy.
Angela and Gareth Everitt, from Queen’s Hills, Costessey, were expecting their first baby in mid-April and had the name Harry John all lined up for his special arrival.
But instead he arrived on January 30 after his mum suffered heavy bleeding – and had to spend the first seven weeks of his life in a specialist unit in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Mrs Everitt, 27, said: “After Harry was born I didn’t see him for six hours because he was taken away to be looked after in an incubator to help with his breathing.
“After that, for the first week, it was a real struggle to bond with him. I felt like a failure because he was happy and healthy when he was inside me, and then I thought ‘now he’s not either of these things and it’s my fault’.”
Now, five months on, Harry is developing well and Mr and Mrs Everitt were so pleased with the care he received in the N&N that they decided to fundraise for the intensive care unit – and have just donated more than 1,000 nappies in thanks for the help of both the staff and a parademic.
“There’s nothing else we can say other than thank you and try to repay them through fundraising and in turn helping more families,” said Mrs Everitt.
She said the staff in the specialist unit were “so supportive” throughout her trauma, adding: “The NICU did so much for us and we want to thank them and show other families the positive side of premature babies.
“I want people to realise that babies can be born early and survive without any complications.”
Mrs Everitt, a diary manager at the Norwich Jobs Centre, and husband Gareth, 30, a project manager, were certainly put through the mill at the time of Harry’s birth.
She suffered her first heavy bleed 13 weeks before Harry was due to be born. After a long wait for an ambulance she was taken to the hospital in the back of a paramedic’s car, and almost a week later she was in labour.
Mr Everitt contracted a sickness bug when his wife and new baby were in hospital and could not visit his new family for a week.
Mrs Everitt said: “It was so hard when Gareth couldn’t come to the hospital. But my family were so supportive and I was never on my own. I was always walking up to the room where Harry was, just trying to make the most of it.”
She added: “It’s made our marriage so much stronger. When you go through something like that, it does.
”Your first child is always supposed to be special.
“I feel we are so lucky to have Harry and to have made it through this like we did.”
Mrs Everitt’s mum, Jackie Hill from Catton, said she calls Harry “lucky number seven”.
She said: “He’s my seventh grandchild and we are just so gifted to have him. Gareth and Angela have been through so much, but Gareth has been amazing and so supportive.”
She added: “The whole family are so grateful for what we have got, it really makes you humbled.”
Have you got a story about a baby who has beaten the odds to survive? Call our reporters on 07501 481521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.