Like most couples the news of your first pregnancy is such a precious and memorable time. I remember feeling so relaxed after my 20 week scan and really looked forward to worrying less and watching my belly grow! Little did I know that 3 weeks later, it was all about to change. We had decided to take a Christmas break in Terrigal with friends, I had been for a swim followed by a pregnancy massage, and was watching a DVD when I felt something, this 'something' turned out to be my waters breaking.

When we arrived in hospital the midwife confirmed our fears and before I knew it we were surrounded by doctors, advising that given the early gestation, that resuscitation was not recommended. For as long as I live I will remember the feeling from being asked whether we wanted to see and hold our baby until her final breaths as the likelihood of her surviving were very slim. Surely this wasn't really happening to us?? 90% of women go into labour within 48 hours of their waters breaking, I managed to keep our baby inside for a further 2 weeks without any fluid and on the 12 Jan 2011, our beautiful baby girl was born.

Tilly's first few weeks went fairly smoothly, she didn't require any oxygen and was on high flow by week 3, she had even moved out of intensive care and into level 2 by week 6. All the nurses and doctors would joke that Tilly was in denial about the fact that she was a 25 weeker! By week 7 I think the realisation kicked in and she was back into intensive care. Tilly had developed chronic lung disease and required high levels of CPAP and oxygen support, this continued for the following 2 months.

For 112 days my husband and I rode the emotional roller coaster that is life in the NICU. The highs and lows were and remain to this day difficult to explain. I remember feeling constantly on edge, cautious of any good news. Just in case it would all change the following hour. Today, Tilly is a beautiful happy little girl just like any other; she still requires oxygen support but hopefully not for long. If I knew then what I know now, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. We consider ourselves to be the luckiest parents alive and we feel thankful for her every single day.

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