A mum who was told she would never have kids has spoken out about how she fought to save the life of her miracle baby after he was born prematurely.
Abbey Davison, 27, from Chester-le-Street, near Newcastle, was shocked to discover that she was pregnant after her first round of IVF treatment last year.
However, her joy turned to fear when she had to deliver her son, Oliver Wright, 23 weeks into her pregnancy, Chronicle Live reports.
Abbey had wanted to be a mother from a young age, but her diagnosis with severe endometriosis - a condition causing tissue from the womb to grow in other parts of the reproductive system - meant she knew she struggled to naturally
She and partner Daniel had tried for years to have a baby, and Abbey had to fight for a diagnosis before doctors revealed the devastating news.
When the fertility treatment worked
With drugs to slow her
"It was the most petrifying time of my life," she said.
"He spent four months in hospital fighting for his life. He was on life support, he had heart operations, everything.
"When you've been told you can't have kids and then you do fall pregnant you think I'm getting a second chance, my life will be perfect now. But then you get kicked in the heart by life again.
"Giving birth to him was obviously scary - he was taken away straight away, I never got a cuddle, it was a long time before I could hold him. He was so so small to look at when he was born - even now, he still looks like a newborn."
For four months, Abbey and partner Daniel Wright watched their tiny son grow surrounded by tubes and machines at the RVI's Special Care Baby Unit. The couple spent Christmas in hospital, staying there full time while scaffolder Daniel had to travel across the North East to keep working.
"It was really hard. But the hospital staff were absolutely amazing," Abbey said.
"The Tiny Lives charity on the ward supported us so much, they helped with accommodation for us, they had all the support there to help parents stay with their babies and feel safe with them.
"My son probably wouldn't be here without all their help and support."
By March Daniel was strong enough to go home, though he's still small for his age and relies on some breathing support.
Now settling in at home with his family, little Oliver is starting to grow into his own little personality - and his mum and dad couldn't be happier to have him with them.
"He's a very bubbly little character, he's starting to become himself and he's lovely," Abbey said.
"There's still some hard work, we are still visiting the hospital, but hopefully now it's just a question of his lungs getting bigger and stronger so he can get off his oxygen - hopefully long-term he will grow into a healthy little boy.
"We've been through a lot but I wouldn't change a thing - he's wonderful to be with."
Determined to show their gratitude for the ward which saved their baby's life, Daniel and Abbey have thrown themselves into fundraising for the Tiny Lives Trust, taking part in a
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