A Leeds mum whose three babies were all born severely premature is getting a sponsored tattoo on Mothers’ Day with the logo of the charity that supported her through her trauma.
Mel Metcalfe 35, of Newall Carr Lane has three daughters who were all born prematurely. Her youngest daughter Alice Mary is now a happy two year old but was born at 28 weeks weighing just 1lb 12oz.
Now, Mel is celebrating Mothers’ Day by being tattooed with the Bliss logo at Megandu Tatu in Otley to raise awareness and money for the charity.
Mel said: “When you’re there and going through it your friends and family can’t really understand, Bliss helped us with so many things. And that’s why I want to thank them and make sure everyone knows about the amazing work they do.”
Alice Mary was in Leeds General Infirmary for 3 months before being allowed home and it’s thanks to the family unit Bliss have set up that Mel could stay overnight with her hospital.
Mel said: “No one expects to be in labour 12 weeks early, and to go through early labour three times was unbelievable, the work Bliss do with parents going through it is incredible, I don’t know how we would have managed”.
Bliss charity help parents with everything from simplifying medical jargon to bringing tiny clothes to fit the babies when they’re in hospital.
Mel said: “When Alice was in intensive care I made a deal with her that if she survived I would spoil her rotten, and she kept her side of the bargain! I even appreciate the paddies, because at one point we weren’t going to get those.”
Mel’s three children Stacey Rose, 13, Bethany Mae, 11, and Alice Mary, 2 have all had health problems. Alice was born so early she had bleeds on her brain and now suffers from seizures, febrile fits, immune issues and a heart condition.
Mel said: “With my middle child Bethany for her first Christmas she had whooping cough and pneumonia. On Christmas Eve we were told to call the family to say our goodbyes because she wasn’t going to make it. It’s the most terrifying thing for any parent to have to cope with.”
Mel is now dedicating her life to raising money for children’s charities.
Leeds Bliss volunteer Helen Jackson talks about the issues parents of premature baby’s face: