By Lucy Notarantonio
A baby who was born three months early has finally met his grandparents as the lock-down restrictions ease.
Theodore Taylor was born at 27 weeks in February and spent an additional 10 weeks in hospital before he was allowed home with first time parents Ebonie Wilkinson, 21 and Mason, 23.
The proud parents from Grimsby, Lincs, were delighted to finally bring their newborn home but admit it has been ‘strange’ without their parents to have a snuggle with their grandson.
His grandparents were able to finally see Theodore in the flesh on June 1.
Ebonie, who is a childcare practitioner, said: “We were so excited to finally bring Theodore home on April 11 and couldn’t wait to chill out on the sofa with him and get him into a routine without people coming in and out.
“But after a couple of weeks it became more difficult as we are an active couple and very close to our family so it was hard being locked indoors without seeing anyone from the outside world.
“We were shielding for the safety of Theodore but we have missed out on so much such as a new born photo shoot and cuddles with his nanna Trudy Taylor, 51, granddad Nick, 56, and uncle Jordan, 21.
“They were over the moon to finally meet their first grandson – it was a very precious moment.”
They met up in Trudy’s backgarden for an afternoon of bonding – Trudy was in shock with how much her grandson has grew since she first saw a photo of him weighing just 2lb 12oz.
Trudy said: “It was heartbreaking knowing I couldn’t touch, smell or hold my grandson.
“I struggled without the contact and began to have more bad days than good so it means the world to me now that I can see him in the garden.
“It was the best day and lifted my mood immensely – I am in love with him, I call him my little chipmunk and I can’t wait to watch him grow stronger.”
Ebonie admits it has been a ‘struggle’ but has remained positive throughout.
She praises the NICU staff at Princess of Wales hospital in Grimsby for going ‘above and beyond’ – they even purchased them new clothing during lock-down and fought for two parents to be able to see their new born at one time.
Ebonie said: “Obviously Theodore won’t be able to remember the lock-down or the pandemic but it is sad that he won’t have photos with family members from a newborn.
“We weren’t able to have a new born shoot either which is very upsetting.
“It was bad enough that they weren’t able to meet him for the first 10 weeks of his life as he was in hospital.
“Mason and I never thought our experience of becoming parents would be like this.
“I was in total shock when I discovered I was in labour after a day of excruciating stomach cramps on February 5 – I thought it was growing pains but I went to the hospital as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“It turns out I was already 4cm dilated and I gave birth on February 8.
“We were terrified that he had come so early but thankfully there weren’t any major complications. He was tiny and his hands were the same size as a 50p coin.
“We went to see him every day and couldn’t wait to take him home – it was tough as the coronavirus got more and more serious as we more obstacles were put in the way.
“We were unable to go out of the hospital accommodation and to the shops in case we picked it up so the nurses surprised us new clothes and they fought for dad’s rights.
“They were amazing and went above and beyond for us and all the family’s on the ward by talking to us and making us feel safe and reassuring that everything was going to be fine
“We couldn’t wait to show him off to family at home but by April that wasn’t possible but the main objective was keeping Theodore safe and healthy so we just had to grin and bear it.”