Spanish holiday birth 'emotional' for Birmingham parents

Written by on August 13, 2019

Two new parents have spoken of their “rollercoaster” of emotions after their holiday in Spain was brought to a halt by the shock birth of their daughter.

Shannon Holbrook, from Birmingham, was just 26 weeks pregnant when she suddenly went into labour on 13 July.

Scarlett-Rose, born in Alicante weighing just 2lbs, is not expected to be able to fly home until September.

Family have launched a crowdfunding page to pay for Ms Holbrook and partner Matthew Beach’s living expenses.

Ms Holbrook, 25, told the BBC: “I just felt scared. We’ve had good and bad days, but we’re getting through it.”

She said it was hard being away from England and coping with the language barrier.

Explaining the birth, Ms Holbrook said she had what she thought was period pains and wanted to go to a walk-in centre.

She went into a toilet, but could not get up before her waters broke and she started giving birth.

Scarlett-Rose initially had breathing difficulties, and Mr Beach, 27, said the couple had only recently been able to hold her.

“It all didn’t seem real. It was like ‘What are we going to do?’ There’s just so much to sort out,” he said.

“She came earlier than expected. We thought we had three months and now it’s a big rush.

“We’re taking one day at a time. Scarlett is improving – that’s the main thing really.

“Each day that passes is another day closer to coming home,” he said.

Their daughter is now four weeks old, but still weighs just 2lbs 5oz and is expected to stay in an incubator for another four weeks.

The NHS says babies born before 37 weeks are considered vulnerable to problems associated with being premature and need specialist care in hospital.

Medical bills for the couple are covered by their insurance, but their hotel is an hour from their daughter’s hospital.

A Gofundme page, set up by Ms Holbrook’s twin sister, has has raised more than £1,300 towards the couple’s living costs.

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