Sarra Hoy, wife of Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris, has described the emotional roller-coaster the couple faced as their son Callum, born at 29 weeks weighing just 2 pounds 2 ounces, fought to thrive.
The lawyer, who lives with her husband near Manchester, had to have an emergency caesarian section after her baby stopped growing in her womb.
She recalled the terrifying moment a doctor told her: “Oh this is not good, not good at all. This baby has to come out.”
After she was able to bring her son home after 140 days of care in hospital, Mrs Hoy wrote: “We are so fortunate that our little miraculous bundle managed his ICU journey relatively uneventfully and with little fuss. He quietly made his way through the Neonatal unit, graduating 2 months later, when he was discharged and allowed home. What an incredible little human we have been gifted.
Writing in the Smallest Things blog, set up by mum Catriona Ogilvy whose two sons were also premature, Mrs Hoy says: “Everyday I relive some of those 140 days, through vivid flashbacks and intrusive memories.
“I am also reminded how lucky we are. There are also miraculous little fighters who didn’t manage to come home and whose journey began and ended in the NICU. I think of those wonderful babies whenever I see mine.”
Despite now belonging to the “premmie club” and admitting to wanting to share her experiences with everyone, Mrs Hoy says that she doesn’t want her son to be defined by his premature birth.
She says: “I don’t want him hearing adults discussing him or his early arrival. I don’t want him to hear all the reasons why he might not be as big as the other boys; why he might not be able to grasp things as quickly or why he struggles with some everyday tasks. My boy is a fighter and can accomplish amazing things. We know this because he’s done it already.
“Whilst I might be a member of the premmie club, which brought me grief, sadness, worry and miracles in equal measure, these are all chapters of my story; I’m determined they won’t be part of his. He’s not a member of this club. He’s a strong, determined, ingenious little boy who held his mum’s hand and led the way, guiding me through a nightmare of a journey. This is what will define my little boy.”