Christmas miracle for Bradwell baby

TINY Harlen was determined to make Christmas Day his birthday – even though it meant he was an astonishing three months premature.

Parents Adam Coles and Kerry Yorke of Bradwell are still in shock after the birth of their first born baby, while their 2lb 12oz son is doing well in the special care unit at the James Paget University Hospital.

Harlen was born at 27 weeks and five days but his good weight meant he had a fighting chance, and he has already begun to put on the ounces. He was due on March 20.

Mum Kerry, 26, who works at the House of Fun nursery in Gorleston was planning for Christmas, not for a baby, at work on Wednesday last week.

She explained: “I went to work as usual but had a cramp type feeling and my back hurt, but didn’t think much about it. At night I went to have my hair cut and went home, still with the crampy feeling.

“I told Adam and we went straight to the JPH and the midwife thought I had a urine infection. The doctor took a look and said it could be a urine infection, something else or I could be going into labour. The next thing he said was I was in pre-term labour!”

A worried Kerry was admitted to hospital and put on 12-hourly steroids to help develop the baby’s lungs, as well as a drip to halt the contractions.

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It worked and Adam, 29, and Kerry got only snatches of sleep as they waited, calling family to let them know what was happening.

“Christmas Eve at 10.30am they took me off the drip and said let nature happen,” said Kerry, “and at 3.30pm labour proper started.”

Constant monitoring of both Kerry and the baby showed both were fit and healthy and in the early hours of Christmas morning it became clear little Harlen wasn’t waiting any more, arriving safe and sound at 8.22am.

“They had to put him straight into an incubator. I turned my head and all I could see was his tiny little head. Adam was with him and he was emotional and crying, and I was crying,” Kerry said.

“I went through every emotion you can have.”

The tot is being helped with his breathing, with oxygen into his nose. However, Kerry explained her little fighter was determined to make it on his own.

“They originally wanted to put a tube down his throat to help him breathe but he didn’t like it, he wanted to do it himself.”

Kerry added: “His room is decorated but there is no furniture or clothes, or a pram. We were going to get stuff after Christmas.”

Dad Adam, a service operator at a Norwich plastics company, is making plans for his son’s homecoming, but Harlen will spend the first three months of his life in the JPH until the date he was due to be born.

“We are just getting our heads around it,” a delighted Kerry told the Mercury. “My pregnancy was going okay until then. He just wanted to come early.”