Harry & Charlie were born at 36+6, Harry Twin One weighed 5lb6 & Charlie Twin Two 5lb1. Both boys were born healthy although we did know from our 20 weeks scan that Charlie’s stomach was on the opposite side to normal, no concerns were raised throughout the pregnancy and I had to have weekly scans to monitor his progress. Post birth there were no concerns with both of the boy’s health and we were all discharged from the hospital after three days.
Just short of five weeks old Charlie developed Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) & our lives were completely torn apart.
On the Evening of 27th February 2016
Little did we know that our little boy Charlie was suffering with such a serious illness that was destroying his small bowel rapidly as we all lay there feeling happy and content as a family of four.
Looking back now I remember Charlie had been unsettled and extremely gassy all day however due to being a new mummy I put this down to perhaps it’s me not winding him properly. He had no other warning signs that day.
As we laid the boys to bed that night, I noticed Charlie had opened his bowels so a placed him down on to the changing table ready to change his nappy. That’s when I first noticed it was much darker than usual a tint of red/brown, while discussing this with his dad Robert he had opened his bowels once more and this time it appeared to be more serious. It was bright red and mushy not stool like but something more serious I just knew something wasn’t right! I remember taking a photo and sending it my mum saying this doesn’t look right.
‘’Just thinking about this image gives me anxiety it brings all the emotions flooding back’’
We decided to call the 111 service for advice and they recommended we go to A&E 24hr care as a precaution. My self, Robert and both boys arrived at 24hr care, feeling all nervous and a total wreck I remember thinking this has got to be related to his condition ‘His stomach being on the opposite side’. I also remember thinking to myself at the time, how can this be possible for an organ to be opposite side and have no complications… Something doesn’t feel right!
Finally, we were called in, Charlie was reviewed over and the doctor diagnosed him with Sickness and Diarrhoea. I asked multiple times are you sure this isn’t related to his condition with his stomach being on the opposite side. The doctor dismissed my concerns leaving me feeling like an over the top first-time mother. His advice was to go home administer paracetamol and if we had any further concerns to call 111.
“I remember walking out that room feeling dreadful that something wasn’t right with Charlie and nobody was listening to me”
Robert whispered to me come on let’s go home the doctors has said its nothing to worry about. I remember my reply… “I know I’m not over acting and I’m telling you now something isn’t right with Charlie” We arrive home and tucked the boys into their moses baskets and me and Robert returned to bed. By this point it was 1am in the morning and we were all exhausted. I remember giving the boys a bottle before bed and Charlie drank his faster than I had ever seen a baby drink before. Little did I know this too was a warning sign that Charlie wasn’t receiving all of the milk he was taking and while he lay there in his basket over night the content of his Stomach was traveling down in to his Small intestines and leaking through a perforated section of damaged bowel in to his abdomen. We all went back to sleep that night until 6am that morning.
‘My biggest regret is not making a seen at the hospital, that my son was more serious than they were saying. I now live with the guilt of taking him home every day’.