Baby Alistair James Beman gave his parents a surprise –when he arrived eight weeks early as they holidayed in Scotland.
First time parents Sally Senton and Nikki Beman thought they were having a relaxing break in a remote cottage before their little boy arrived.
But Sally’s waters suddenly broke – when she was just 32 weeks pregnant.
Alistair was born less than 48 hours later and is now back in Leeds after a week in hospital.
Sally, from South Milford, said: “It’s been quite surreal because everything was just a whirlwind. It’s happened so fast.”
The couple were staying in West Kilbride at a family cottage when she woke up in the early hours on April 26 just over a week ago and realised her waters had broken.
Sally’s pregnancy had gone smoothly but, as they were in a remote location, they called paramedics and were taken to University Hospital Crosshouse in Kilmarnock.
She started to go into labour that evening and Alistair was born at 10.43am the next morning after a normal delivery. Despite being eight weeks early, he weighed 4lbs 9oz.
“He was born healthy and he did cry immediately, which was a relief,” Sally, 36, said.
Because his lungs were not fully developed, Alistair was taken to the intensive care unit where he was put on a machine to help him breathe and a heat lamp because he was jaundiced.
Sally was kept in hospital for a few days and then the couple stayed at their cottage while their baby son was treated. After his stay in intensive care, he improved and was moved to the High Dependency Unit.
Four days after he was born, they were finally allowed to hold him for the first time.
“That’s when we got our first cuddles as a family which was amazing. It was overwhelming,” Sally said.
The couple were keen to register their son’s birth in Scotland and, even though they couldn’t agree on names during the pregnancy, were both in agreement that he should be called Alistair James.
After nearly a week in the Scottish hospital, during which the couple’s families came to visit, doctors decided he was well enough to be brought to Leeds.
Sheffield-based Embrace, which provides specialist transport for sick children and babies from Yorkshire, arranged for Alistair to be flown back to St James’s Hospital in Leeds by air ambulance plane. His parents followed by car as Sally was not well enough for the flight.
The couple, who both work for Unilever in Leeds, have been told that though Alistair is doing well, he is likely to be in hospital until his due date of May 18.
Before then they need to finish buying the baby gear they need, and they had already planned to move house later this month.
Sally and Nikki, 33, said they were incredibly grateful to the Scottish health service, the hospital, Embrace and staff at St James’s for the amazing care, support and guidance they have received.
“Every single person has treated us like royalty.
“We want to thank everybody as their support has meant so much to us. The care we have had from everyone has been heartwarming and exceptional.”
n To donate to Embrace, visit www.tchc.org.uk/about.