Sharing this special little neonatal video that our Josie and her actor/film maker buddy Josh Gould made last year.

Christmas in a Neonatal Unit is surreal. The world is going on like normal outside of the hospital, people want to see you, check you’re OK and celebrate Christmas with you. All I wanted was my baby boy home but that didn’t happen for almost another month. It was an incredibly tough, heart aching time mixed with lots of special first moments… celebration and sadness. You don’t ever relax, you don’t leave everything at the hospital when you go home for the day – you take it all with you – thoughts of your baby, other babies, other parents, the doctors and nurses, cares, feeding, medicine, diagnosis, concerns, worries, hopes, fears…

when will it be our turn for the car seat of dreams…?

The nurses did so much to make Christmas Eve (my husbands birthday) and Christmas Day special and encouraged us to have some time away from the hospital but even with their incredible support it wasn’t easy.

It’s hard to describe and everyone is different but I know I’m not the only one who has felt like this. 10 years this year and Christmas can still be a bit of a strange old emotional time for me (as I’m sure it is for many).

I hope this little video brings those who have had a neonatal journey some comfort this December.

Remember you’re never alone, please talk to someone if you are feeling low xx

**Thanks to parents from Warrington Neonatal Unit those who shared some of their beautiful photos and helped to make this video possible**

Josie (our Dad Matters Coordinator for Warrington and Cheshire) and her husband Mark are parents to 2 boys who were born prematurely 2 years apart at 26+5 and 28+3 gestation.

Dad Mark says – “This was not the way I expected to become a Dad, I felt so helpless, I couldn’t afford to think about myself and all my energy went into supporting Josie, our new baby, and keeping family and friends updated. I returned to work far too quickly to keep the money coming in. The pressure was unbelievable, and I’d often get devastating phone calls in work breaking bad news to me and worse case scenarios, so I buried it all. Our eldest was due on 17th January but born in mid October. By December we had transferred from Liverpool Women’s back to Warrington Neonatal Unit and everything had changed. All of the familiar faces and routine at the Women’s had gone and we had to learn a new routine in a new hospital. Josie had gone home for the first time in 7 weeks and was struggling. The nurses did there best but Christmas was a really tough time for us. I am so proud of her for writing this poem and making this little video. I even had a starring role (that’s me delivering the tea haha) and our eldest is the little boy putting the decoration on the tree. The neonatal journey often doesn’t end when you leave the hospital, and we hope this part of our story can help bring comfort to other people going through their own journey.”