MOST parents get to prepare for the birth of their first child and even then, the experience can be overwhelming.
But those parents who have to contend with unexpected arrivals often find themselves needing a little extra support.
Archie Samuel Doran was born nine weeks premature.
His parents, Rebecca and Sam, phoned the labour ward at St Richard’s Hospital early in the morning on Saturday, May 18, after Rebecca experienced some complications.
Speaking about the experience, Rebecca said: “It was really scary.
“We were supposed to be at a car boot sale and then we were in and out of hospital for a few days and then they said ‘You are going to have a caesarean – now.’ It was all very bizarre. Everyone was a bit confused.
“I didn’t actually go into labour.
“We weren’t prepared, but we had done the nursery after doing our house up. Luckily my husband is so laid-back he is practically lying down, so he was quite relaxed. I have always been a drama queen!”
Rebecca said she had a midwife called Grace who was ‘just fantastic’.
“Being only 29 weeks pregnant with their first child, they thought perhaps they were worrying unduly,” said Rebecca’s mother, Rachel Brooks.
Within an hour of arriving at the hospital, Rebecca was rushed to Queen Alexandra in Portsmouth where she stayed for five nights before returning to Chichester.
“Their son, and our most precious first grandchild, Archie, was born at 31 weeks on Wednesday, May 29, weighing 3lb 2oz,” said Rachel.
Archie spent 29 days on the neonatal ward and was allowed home to Bognor Regis when he weighed 4lbs. His family praised the work of neonatal nurses at St Richard’s Hospital for their ‘tremendous care, support and understanding’.