Your stories – Lex & Ramsay

We would like to share with you, a story from Lex, who says the children’s centres are invaluable.

Hiya,

My name’s Lex and my 10-week old son Ramsay has already used our local Surestart Centre extensively.

My local Children’s Centre (Thorpe, Heartsease and Dussindale Centre, situated on Wolfe Road) has been an invaluable support to me and without it, I can honestly say that I believe I would be struggling with post-natal depression.

I found out that I was pregnant when I was over 24-weeks pregnant, due to a mis-diagnosis so had little time to prepare.

My Health Visitor recommended that I attend my local Children’s Centre with Ramsay, and we went along before he was 2 weeks old. Despite having a very small baby who did nothing but sleep and eat at the time, I desperately needed their help. The staff gave me ante-natal classes on a 1:1 basis (you can’t take a baby with you to these classes with groups, so they ran through everything with me after he’d arrived), introduced me to other NICU and preemie parents for mutual emotional support, encouraged me to hire the specialist sensory room to help Ramsay open his eyes and begin to be reactive, let me have him weighed and checked over by Health Visitors at their in-centre clinic, and gave me developmental sessions to attend with him twice a week. All of this was entirely free.For Ramsay and I, the Children’s Centre has been a lifeline and one without which I don’t think I could have coped. Their care and attention has been – and continues to be – second-to-none, and to see it disappear would be devastating.
I gave birth 5 weeks early at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital to baby Ramsay, meaning that I knew I was pregnant for less than 11 weeks before my baby arrived. This left me without critical midwife and consultant appointments, no practical ante-natal classes and little comprehension of what it would mean to be a mother! Ramsay was treated in NICU and in Transitional Care at the NNUH before being discharged with regular home visits from midwives, NICU nurses and Health Visitors.

I live just a couple of streets away from our Children’s Centre and it is thankfully close enough for me to walk to with a baby in a pram; even when I couldn’t walk very far at all (and Ramsay was far too small for a carrier for a couple of months!). Had I had to attend the Children’s Centre on the other side of the city, I would have had to rely on two buses (which isn’t cheap when on statutory maternity leave and already having to fork out for special tiny nappies, clothes and bottle teats) and to be honest would not have been well enough to do so. I’m being re-admitted to the N&N for further procedures in November and this will again leave me unable to walk far – which if the Children’s Centre wasn’t so local, would cut me off from all services.

 

Our Children’s Centre has given both Ramsay and I the best possible start at our journey together, and for that I’m really grateful.

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