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Premature baby Harper goes home to Fife to meet her sisters after emergency dash to hospital

Baby Harper was born at 27 weeks.
Baby Harper was born at 27 weeks.

Premature baby Harper Kirk has made the journey home to Fife after her dramatic entrance into the world just three weeks ago.

The tiny girl was delivered at just 27 weeks after mum Sophie faced an emergency dash from Kirkcaldy to Glasgow’s Princess Royal Maternity Hospital.

Because it was the only intensive care cot available in Scotland, the family found themselves miles apart.

But Sophie revealed her “fighter” is now in Victoria Hospital’s Special Baby Unit after being transferred by ambulance.

Baby Harper in Glasgow after being delivered at 27 weeks.
Baby Harper in Glasgow after being delivered at 27 weeks.

Sophie says it’s a relief to have Harper closer while also being there to take care of her other daughters, Mia, 2, and Louisa, who is 1 next month.

“It’s great being able to go home after being with Harper and spend time with the girls and to be there for bath time and bedtime.

Harper has a sleep on her dad.
Harper has a sleep on her dad.

“It was so hard. You don’t want to have to leave your premature baby miles from your home.

“I feel so much more relaxed now she’s back in Fife.”

Harper’s progress

But Sophie reveals it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Harper, often the case for a premature baby.

“She took a bit of a dip before they transferred her and the consultant said they were worried she had a gut infection.

“They stopped her milk and put her on antibiotics for a couple of days because she’s so little.

Harper had to have antibiotics.
Harper had to have antibiotics.

“But then, luckily, after a few days she was able to come off them and they re-introduced her feeds.

“It meant they basically had to start over again, gradually introducing the amount she had starting at one and a half millilitres an hour.”

Meeting her sisters

Since then, though, she’s continued to progress and is already up to eight millilitres of milk.

Consultants at Glasgow liaised with Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital to arrange the transfer by ambulance for Harper and her mum.

Sophie says: “She’s doing really well. She is feeding more and gaining weight and the doctors are really happy with her. She now weighs 1350 grams so when she reaches 1400 she can come out of her incubator.

“The transfer team were absolutely lovely after they got us back they took us up to the unit, introduced us and helped us get her settled.”

Harper was brought back to Fife by ambulance.
Harper was brought back to Fife by ambulance.

And one of the highlights for the whole family is Harper getting to meet her big sisters at last.

Sophie adds: “Andrew and I brought the two girls in to meet Harper last Saturday. That was the first time they’d met her.

“They both love her but Mia especially is absolutely besotted with her.

Harper is getting bigger.
Harper is getting bigger.
Harper meets big sister Mia, 2.
Harper meets big sister Mia, 2.
Big sister Louisa makes sure Harper is safe.
Big sister Louisa makes sure Harper is safe.

“Harper isn’t on the CPAP machine now. (Used to deliver constant air pressure into a baby’s nose, helping the sacs in their lungs stay open and to prevent apnea.)

“It is another step closer for her to coming out of the incubator.

“Everyone says, when they see new pictures of her, they can see the difference in how she’s come on, it really is amazing.

“She is getting stronger everyday.”

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