Baby Joseph Price, who was born almost two months’ prematurely, is one of the first young patients to use Walsall Manor Hospital’s new Neonatal Unit.
The tot, who came into the world on Thursday 12 December weighing just two pounds and 11 ounces, has an infection in his lungs and new-born jaundice and is being cared for on the High Dependency Unit.
Mum Jenny, aged 30, suffered pre-eclampsia – a complication in pregnancy that results in high blood pressure and can damage organs.
“I had been OK until about 20 weeks and didn’t feel unwell but my blood pressure was so high plus my face became really swollen and I was told Joseph really needed to be delivered to avoid risking his health as well as mine,” explained Jenny, a personal travel agent.
“I thought I’d be panicking and worried but oddly enough I wasn’t when it came to having my caesarean and I think that’s because I had absolute faith in the staff here. They have been wonderful and continue to be so. They explain everything so well that I think I’ve become an expert myself!”
Jenny’s mum Karen Watkinson said: “I’m so proud of her because she has coped really well despite having pre-eclampsia and the worry of Joseph being in the unit.
“I’ve joked that she normally kicks up a fuss about having a splinter so to see her being so strong is fantastic.”
Jenny is expressing her milk so she can breast feed Joseph and has managed a cuddle with her son.
Husband Dean, a carpenter, is also juggling work with visiting the couple’s first child.
“I really wanted to be able to go home but it doesn’t feel right not having your baby with you,” said Jenny. “We’ve been told to take each day as it comes and to expect to possibly be here until Joseph’s due date of 24 February but it is a rollercoaster.
“This unit is such a pleasant environment – it doesn’t feel like a hospital – and as I’ve said the staff are brilliant from Mr Pepper and Mrs Mulay the Consultants to Laura who has helped me with breastfeeding. The neonatal doctors are amazing, as is Lisa Poston the ward manager here who does a fantastic job and is the leader every great team needs.
“I want to thank the neonatal nurses who are professional, knowledgeable and very committed to their work – who take the time to teach parents – and the midwives who took every precaution to ensure we were safe and offered an outstanding level of care. The support from all staff has been outstanding – Joseph is having the best care here.”