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WOMB FOR IMPROVEMENT: The plastic bags replicated the warmth of their mum's womb [PA ]

Freezer-bag babies: How a 20p Tesco bag saved both of my children

Laura Mitchell

Willow, now two-and-a-half, and Zach, now seven months, were both born dangerously premature.  But mum Emma Blakey has revealed how 20p freezer bags kept both of her beautiful babies alive. The tiny tots were placed in freezer bags to mimic the comfort of their mum’s womb. “Tesco saved both my babies,” said Emma. “I have a lot to thank them for.” Willow, who weighed just over 3lbs when she was born, had to spend six-and-a-half weeks in hospital.

She was born at 29 weeks on 19 November 2012 after a six-hour labour and was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit at, near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Emma said: “I had a rough ride with Willow, I was sick all the time. Then, when my waters broke at 28-weeks I was distraught. “My partner Graham was so good, trying to calm me down, but all I could think was that my baby was in danger.

“In hospital I was put on antibiotics to prevent infection. If I did get an infection, my baby could die. All I did for four days was cry, then I went into labour. “From then on everything was a blur. I was in labour for six hours, then Willow was rushed to intensive care straightaway. “I couldn’t even hold her, it was heartbreaking. “Later that day I went up to see her, she was attached to a machine to help her breathe, but she was absolutely perfect.”

“It was really stressful. I couldn’t believe it. “But I didn’t think it would happen again.” Emma and her partner Graham Watmough, 33, were told there was only a one in ten chance her second pregnancy would be premature.So when she fell pregnant two years later she was devastated when her waters broke at 27 weeks.After a 48-hour labour, Zach was born weighing just 2lb 15oz.

The tiny baby had to stay in hospital for 11 weeks after suffering from two grade-three brain bleeds and chronic lung disease. But Tesco came to the rescue again after he was slipped inside a plastic freezer bag to keep warm.Emma, from Newark, Nottinghamshire, said: “It’s one of those things that you never think will happen to you.”Both Willow and Zach were so tiny, at first I couldn’t see how they would possibly survive. They looked so fragile in their little freezer bags.

“When Willow was born, I just couldn’t believe it when I saw her all wrapped up like that. “A nurse told me that the freezer bag kept her warm and made her feel like she was back in the womb.”  Zach is now seven-months old, and his doting parents are still unsure whether he has been left with any disabilities.Emma said: “So far he’s been progressing just as his big sister did.

“Willow dotes on Zach, they play so happily together. I’m so proud of my freezer bag babies. “Having said that, after the all that drama, two is definitely enough.”

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