A MUM has told the Isle of Wight County Press of her experience of having her baby go into neonatal intensive care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Abbie Pearson, of Newport, had baby Mia at St Mary's Hospital on May 22, 2020 — during the first lockdown.

Mia weighed 7lb 11oz and was the first baby for Abbie and partner Callum Hatch.

Abbie said: "Having a baby during this time of global pandemic was made even harder.

"I gave birth to my baby girl knowing my partner wasn’t going to be able to stay long.

"I had expectations of just being able to pack my bags up and leave with him a few hours later, taking a photo of my partner holding the car seat out of the ward. But I know having a baby never goes as planned."

Isle of Wight County Press: Southampton

She said: "Mia was born at 5.31am but when she finally arrived there was no cry. She needed help with her breathing so she was rushed away at first, and we had to stay overnight.

"I was alone, with this newborn next to me. She screamed for ages. I cried while trying to sooth her but the screams got louder as I got more tired.

"Finally settling, she laid in her cot, and I noticed her breathing was fast, although at first I thought this was normal for a newborn, but it wasn’t."

The midwife took Mia and put her in an incubator for further monitoring.

Abbie said: "My little baby was on her tummy looking so vulnerable, covered in wires. A midwife gave Mia and me a comforter each, to swap over so we could smell each other.

"She took a photo of Mia and gave me prints of them so I could have them while I went back to my bed, but it wasn’t the same.

"I wanted my partner to hug but I couldn’t. All I had was a corridor to go down to, to visit my baby, only being able to put my hand in and touch her softly while I cried and sobbed uncontrollably."

The couple were told Mia would have to be transferred to Southampton.

Due to Covid, Abbie went home that night, devastated she had left hospital without her baby.

Isle of Wight County Press: Baby Mia, in a recent photo.Baby Mia, in a recent photo.

The couple were unable to both stay overnight when visiting Southampton, so they visited Mia every other day.

Abbie said: "It was hard. The boats had limited times, I was scared to touch anything, we had to get taxis to the hospital, face covered.

"I was terrified I was going to catch something and bring it back to my little one.

"We had to visit Mia on our own, separately, while one of us waited in a family room with nothing but our own minds to drown in.

"Every day leaving her and going back, I felt nothing but guilt while I knew she was there with people she didn’t know, without her mummy and daddy.

"No family, no friends, to hug us or visit us while we were going through this. I prayed every night for Mia to pull through.

"Thankfully every day there was a small, good, update.

"The first day I got to hold Mia was overwhelming.

"The day we got told she was coming back to the Island to St Mary’s, I should have been happy, but I wasn’t, because I was in shock. I fainted as we waited for the boat back.

"We spent two nights together as she established breastfeeding and came of her oxygen, then finally she came home with us.

"All our dreams of things we wanted to do with her, were shattered not only by her being poorly but by Covid.W

Isle of Wight County Press: Park

Abbie said: "She got through it — she showed us even though she’s little, she’s strong! She is now nine months old and thriving.

"She has had a few hospital trips and scares since, but we are so lucky to have her.

"I have so much respect for our NHS and everyone who helped care for our little girl."