Special birthday for ‘miracle’ 3lb Bradwell baby
SHE had been getting ready for Christmas when she was rushed to hospital with stomach cramps and back pain, three months before her baby was due to be born.
Nurses at the James Paget University Hospital carried out an examination then told Kerry Yorke, of Bradwell, that she had gone into pre-term labour.
And when her son Harlen was born on Christmas Day 2010 he weighed just 2lb 12oz. She did not know if he was going to pull through, and it was a nerve-racking time for her and her partner Adam Coles.
Harlen spent nine weeks in the hospital's special care unit, and when his parents brought him home at the end of February this year he was still just 4lb 6oz.
But against the odds Harlen has put on more than a stone since his birth, and the healthy happy baby is getting ready for his first Christmas.
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Mum Kerry, 27, said: 'Lots of people have said it's miraculous - he's done really well and he eats all the food.
'I was thinking 'will he, won't he' all the time as soon as he was born.
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'It was quite scary when we brought him home and he looked like a doll in his little car seat, but now he's bigger. We've been really lucky.'
Harlen now weighs more than 17lb 11oz, but that was hard to imagine when he was born at 27 weeks and five days.
He was initially helped to breathe by a tube, but Kerry says he was a fighter from the beginning and was determined to make it on his own.
The infant has to have jabs in the winter to protect him from chest infections, but his first teeth are beginning to come through and he is able to stand with the help of his walker.
'He likes playing with the remote control for the TV and doing everything a normal baby does,' said Kerry, who works as a nursery nurse in Gorleston.
'We've got all his Christmas presents sorted and he's going to be spoilt.
'We were meant to go to Adam's mum's last year so we're doing that this year and as it's Harlen's birthday too we're doing something tomorrow.
'Everyone wants to see him.'
Her partner Adam, 30, who works as a trainee machine setter in Norwich, said: 'It's going to be a happy Christmas this year. It was all stress last year and it will bring it all back, but we will be busy opening presents for about six hours.'
Everybody is beginning to talk about Harlen's birth at the House of Fun nursery, where Kerry works, as the time of year brings memories of the day she was taken to hospital flooding back.
And Kerry says that the Christmas season will never be the same for her and Adam, as it will always take them back to the night Harlen decided to come into the world.
'It was a shock for everyone but it's something I'm never going to forget,' she said.