Tiny Bishop's Stortford baby girl brings bright start to 2021
The new year started with a splash for a Bishop’s Stortford couple when their ‘little mermaid’ was born three-and-a-half weeks early.
David and Wendy Szelong-Cowell – who have another little girl together, three-year-old Niamh – live just off Stansted Road. They woke at 6am on New Year’s Day to a message from Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) telling them their baby could potentially be delivered three hours later.
The maternity team were concerned about Wendy, 35, as she had placenta previa. The organ was obstructing the birth canal, so a Caesarian section was arranged.
David hurriedly put together the baby furniture that was in their loft before zooming over to PAH.
There was a delay as an emergency delivery pushed Wendy’s operation back, but, at 3pm, they went through to theatre and, 45 minutes later, Sereia Luna was born, weighing 5lb 11oz.
The petite newborn, whose name means ‘mermaid’ in Portuguese, had a cuddle with her proud mum before being taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
“It was all a bit crazy but the midwives were incredible,” said David, 36. “It wasn’t scary – they briefed us so well and we were happy how they reacted.”
Wendy, who works as a team leader at St Elizabeth’s Centre in Perry Green, met David in 2009 while working in New Zealand.
The couple were not allowed to visit the NICU together because of Covid-19 restrictions. “The midwives were all very apologetic but it wasn’t their fault,” said David.
Happily, David and Wendy brought Sereia home on Monday (Jan 4). David, who manages a sports centre at the University of East London, is keeping Wendy fuelled up with bottomless cups of tea while she nurses little Sereia to strength.