I had my baby at 24 weeks, he was 1lb 8oz and so small I thought he was a bit of placenta when I first saw him
CHILDBIRTH can be one of the most memorable experiences a mother can go through.
Expectant mum Gemma Richards, from Constantine, Cornwall, had been getting ready for work when she experienced some bleeding.
Within the hour the mum-of-four found herself in unbelievable pian which caused her husband Gareth, 33, to call for an ambulance.
Gemma was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, in Truro, for what she believed would be a routine check-up.
She had initially dismissed the bleeding after experiencing it with her previous three pregnancies.
The mum woke up hours after being admitted to hospital, with doctors telling her she had to give birth.
Her son, Casper, arrived on 4th May 2021 at just 24 weeks and was given just a 30% chance of survival — having just tipped the scale at just 1lb 8oz.
Gemma said: “It's all a bit of a blur to be honest.
"I remember a bit of bleeding in the morning but I didn't think anything of it.”
Casper was so tiny Gemma had even mistook him for her placenta.
She said: “It wasn't until he was turned around that I realised I was looking at my baby boy.”
Casper was then transferred to St Michael's Hospital, Bristol, where he has remained in the ICU unit for over a month.
Since the pandemic restrictions are still in place, Casper remains 200 miles away from home – and is still yet to meet his siblings.
The mum said: “We were told we needed to stay in hospital but then at the beginning I wanted the kids to stay with their dad as it was so emotional and I didn't want them to be around me when I was so upset.”
Gemma is now desperately trying to fund accommodation so husband Gareth and Casper's siblings Lizzie, 7, Tyler, 5, and Oscar, 2, can travel from Cornwall to be there with them.
She described the birth as one of the scariest moments of her life and that the pandemic has made it harder whilst the family are apart.
Last month doctors had to perform emergency surgery on Casper, which saw part of his bowel removed and a stoma fitted, extending their both stay in hospital.
The family are taking it day by day but are hopeful that they will be reunited soon.
She said: “We're going to find out more in the time to come but right now we just take it day by day.
"We really do just want to thank anyone who has helped us so far with this, we are just so grateful and we really want to be together."
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