BABY Emily Cressey is hoping to celebrate her month milestone with the best gift of all – a cuddle from mummy.
The tot is making good progress since she was born at 24 weeks, weighing just 1lb 3oz.
Doctors have told mum-of-four Claire this could be the weekend where she holds “little miracle” Emily for the first time, if her condition keeps improving.
She has gone up to 1.7lb, and is currently off the ventilator – breathing with the help of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
It will also be emotionally charged for dad Alan Coultas – who will see his daughter today for the first time in ten days because of work commitments.
Claire, 34, said: “We’re certainly hoping we can hold her – it would be amazing. It all depends on what the consultant says at the weekend. She has to maintain how she’s doing right now.
“It’s going to be a huge day for Alan getting to see her again whatever happens. He’ll notice a huge difference in her. Her skin is not so transparent, her movements are much stronger, she’s staying awake for longer and can manage five or ten minutes now.
“It is really difficult for him because he’s trying to do his best by everybody. Hopefully he’ll be able to spend as much time with her as possible over the weekend.
“I take pictures for him, but it’s not the same as being near her or seeing her.”
Claire said the public had rallied since we first told Emily’s story with offers of lifts, child minding and donations towards Emily’s Family Fuel Fund. It has enabled her and daughters Caitlin, eight, Millie, four, and Brooke, 15 months, to visit their baby sister this week.
She said it had also helped to hear stories and see pictures from families in the same situation and made them realise they are far from alone.
She reached the landmark of one month old yesterday and is continuing to show positive signs like suckling for the first time when a nurse adjusted her feeding tube.
But while the family is quietly hopeful, they are very aware she is not out of danger yet as extremely premature babies’ lungs and hearts can get tired around the five-to-six week mark, and require more medical assistance.
Claire added: Things can change so quickly. We still live hour-by-hour, day-by-day and are still in the same position as when she was born – but a month on.
“We’re still no wiser and still no better off but she is still with us so if I can say that again this time next month, that would be something really special.”