THE MUM of a premature baby branded a ‘little miracle’ has told the Advertiser she didn’t think her daughter would survive when she was born 15 weeks early.
Battling Amy Elizabeth Caulton weighed only 1lb 7oz when she was born and mum Ruth Baker this week said she never imagined that seven months later she would be holding her little daughter in her arms at the family’s Dovedale Circle home in Cotmanhay.
But brave Amy continues to defy the odds and last week Ruth, 31, and dad, Phil Caulton, 29, were told her oxygen levels could be lowered for the first time since she left hospital in January following numerous operations.
Ruth said: “When I went into labour 15 weeks early I never thought she’d make it and then when I saw her for the first time I never imagined she’d survive.
“It sounds terrible but I’d even thought about what she’d wear if she had to be buried. People call her a little miracle and she really is.”
Amy was born on October 1 in 2010 but she was not due until January 14 this year.
Ruth, who is also mum to nine-year-old Rebecca and two-year-old Corey, said: “I remember not feeling right one night so I went to the doctors and he sent me to the hospital for a check up.
“Contractions started as we turned the corner to pull up at Nottingham City and I just remember thinking please no.
“When we got in and the doctor said I was in labour I just broke down in tears, I was terrified. I wanted them to stop it.”
Amy was born just three hours later.
Ruth said: “I heard her let out a little cry and I was so relieved. We had a glimpse of her but they took her away as soon as she was born to work on her.
“It was three hours before we knew how she was, it felt like a lifetime.”
Amy was put on the high dependency unit and hooked up to machines that were keeping her alive.
During her time on the ward she died and was brought back to life several times by dedicated hospital staff.
Amy also had to have several operations, including eye surgery.
Ruth said: “When I first saw her I was just amazed at how small she was, she was the size of my hand.
“She was even smaller than a doll, doll’s clothes wouldn’t fit her, they swamped her.
“I couldn’t bear to leave her and I longed to hold her.
“We could touch her but she was 33-days-old when we were first allowed to have a cuddle.
“I’d spend all day with her, nip home and make tea for the others and as soon as they were in bed drive back again. Sometimes I’d wake up in the middle of the night and just drive there.”
In January, Ruth and Phil took Amy, who was hooked up to her oxygen tank, home.
She was taken back into hospital a month later after falling ill with viruses and bronchitis but has since made a full recovery.
Ruth added: “We can’t really take her out much and especially not to crowded places but she’s home and we’re so pleased with how she’s doing.
“She still has to have her oxygen. She will be weaned off it over time but we’re in no rush.
“Everyone in town is always asking how she is. So many people have supported us and it’s really kept us going, I can’t thank them enough.
“We’re so grateful we have her, it’s thanks to the wonderful staff at the Neo Natal unit at Nottingham City Hospital, they were brilliant.
“Phil’s got golf days and is running a half marathon to raise money for the ward that did so much for Amy and us.
“Not all babies born so early make it, we’re so lucky Amy did.”