During 2011-2013 Laura and her Husband had four miscarriages and were forced to say goodbye to a much wanted pregnancy. After failing five times to get a child they so desperately wanted they said they couldn’t do it anymore and resigned to a life without a child. A couple of years later they realised they wasn’t ready to give up yet and wanted to try one more time. They visited a place called Newby Hall. In the gift shop they found the toy Elephant.
On the 23rd February 2019 I photographed a lovely wedding. Whilst at the wedding I met the lovely Laura (the sister of the bride), who I photographed on the day with her husband, Stewart. Little did I know that she was carrying a super special gift. Here is Ava's story...
Ava was born on Sunday the 14th July 2019. She arrived at 2:11am and weighed 3lbs and 9ozs. Ava was only 31 weeks gestation, making her 9 weeks premature. After suffering a grade 4 IVH bleed on the brain, she was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus.
At 3 weeks old Ava had her first surgery to fit an access device which sadly didn't work. A week later Ava was given another surgery to fit a shunt in to her head that will drain the fluid and prevent it from building up and putting pressure on her brain and skull. She will have this shunt for the rest of her life. As Ava grows, it will become more evident as to how her IVH bleed and the Hydocephalus has affected her; we have been told to expect anything from developmental struggles to potential disabilities of varying degrees.
Whilst this has been a heart breaking time for Laura and Stewart, they have chosen to remain positive as they face an unknown future for Ava. After previously suffering multiple miscarriages, Ava is a long awaited miracle for Laura and Stewart and have vowed to show Ava the world, the same way they always would have; knowing more than ever just what a gift Ava is.
On the 15th September Ava was allowed to go home!!
"Ava came home on her original due date, on the 15th September and has come on leaps and bounds. It's difficult to live with the unknown and the fear of her Hydrocephalus always being in the background, but Ava's continued achievements help Ava us to feel more relaxed in the knowledge that she is happy, growing and loved beyond compare by everyone around her. As we prepare to spend Ava's First Christmas together, we are all too aware that they never thought this would happen. We are so thankful that Ava is here and is doing well." Laura (Ava's Mummy)
She is now a very happy thriving little girl...
Thank you Laura and Stewart for sharing Ava's story.
Read more and follow Ava's amazing journey here...
Ava's blog: https://www.adoringava.co.uk/