Arlo’s first birthday fundraiser for The EBA
Published 21st February 2020
We’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting gorgeous Arlo who has just turned one, and his lovely parents Toby and Ellie. Arlo was born prematurely at 29 weeks and treated in the Trevor Mann Baby Unit. They decided to do a fundraiser for us as part of Arlo’s first birthday celebrations with collection tins, wristbands, and details of our JustGiving Page at his party. An incredible £310 was raised which helps make such a difference in the work we do to support the families and babies on the units. A huge thank you to Toby, Ellie and Arlo and their families and friends who generously donated.
Toby and Ellie have kindly shared Arlo’s story with us and their reasons for fundraising in their own words below.
“Our son Arlo was born at 29+4 on January 31st 2019. We recently celebrated his first birthday and chose to raise money for the Early Birth Association.
I thought nothing of it when at 29 weeks pregnant I woke up having back and stomach ache. Early labour was the last thing on my mind as I casually called the midwives to ask if it was normal. Much to my surprise I was 3cm dilated and contracting 4 times every 10 minutes. Despite all the medication to slow or try to stop labour, our little boy was determined to make an early entrance to the world.
The following morning on at 6.33am our son was born at The Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton. Despite the circumstances we had a fairly straightforward delivery that I look back on fondly.
The moment after Arlo was born was a whirlwind of emotion, we were both high on adrenaline and over the moon that we had come through the labour and our son was here, alive and breathing on his own. However it was tainted with anxiety, worry and feeling completely out of depth with what we were now going to have to deal with.
Two hours after Arlo was born we went upstairs to the Trevor Mann Unit to see Arlo properly for the first time. Seeing your child in an incubator, surrounded by beeping machines and not being able to hold him is an overwhelming and terrifying feeling, however the nurse looking after him was so reassuring, informative, professional and warm.
Arlo spent 3 weeks in the Trevor Mann Unit, where he received an unbelievably high level of care and we are forever grateful to all the staff. We soon felt more comfortable in the unique environment of the neonatal intensive care unit, which is all down to the nurses and the set up for parents, aided by the Early Birth Association, including the much needed tea, coffee and biscuits!
Having multiple breast pumps available, all supplied by the EBA, allowed me to express next to Arlo or use one of the quiet areas and meet other Mum’s going through the same thing which was reassuring and comforting.
Although it was hard leaving Arlo everyday, I felt totally assured he was in the best hands and was receiving world class care. After three weeks Arlo was transferred back to our local SCBU, where he spent another month before being allowed home. This was a huge worry for us, but the nurses and doctors reassured us and enabled us to see the longer term picture of our baby improving and moving on towards discharge.
We will never forget the journey we have all been on. Although at times it is still painful to think back on, we also think fondly of the staff that cared for Arlo and the charity working behind the scenes. He is such a happy, inquisitive loving little boy and we are more amazed and proud of him everyday.”
The Early Birth Association are registered on Virgin Money Giving,
where you are able to make a donation directly to us and set up your
own fundraising page for any events that you do.
For further advice and support please also see the useful links and information at the bottom of the website.