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'James Was The First Person To hold Dylan': Meet The Dad Who Helped His Wife Bond With Their Premature Baby

Andrea Nugent, 29, from Cheshire, and mum to Dylan, 22 weeks, nominated her husband James to win the Fantastic Father trophy at Mother&Baby's Big Heart Awards. Here, she explains why she and Dylan are so lucky to have him...

‘Our son was born last year when I was 31 weeks pregnant. I suffered a near fatal seizure after developing eclampsia, and James was by my side when I came out of the coma and then when I had an emergency Caesarean – Dylan was born weighing just 2lb 7oz.

I was too ill to leave the special care unit, so James was the first person to hold Dylan, change his nappy and feed him through his nose tube. He held his tiny hand while bloods were taken and medications given.

When I saw my baby two days later I couldn’t bear to look at him – I was depressed and blamed myself for his prematurity. James spoke to the nurses, asking one of them to write a letter from Dylan to me with a photo when I wouldn’t see him. James was the one who supported me to hold Dylan for the first time.

James with Andrea and Dylan

He only had three days paternity leave because of a new job, but would be by our side at all hours, arriving at 3am to go back to work at 6am. Helping me recover from my Caesarean, he made food, did the housework, helped me shower and even did my hair.

Over the six weeks this took place, no one ever asked how he was doing, just us. I’m so proud and eternally grateful to have him.’

Understand what to expect when caring for your premature baby at home, as well as how to work through postnatal depression. And find out more about our inspiring Big Heart winners including Against All Odds Baby Noah Wall.

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