Josh and Hollie Wright have opened up about the birth of their son who was born 12 weeks early and was "whisked away after 30 seconds" to receive urgent care.

The brother of TOWIE star Mark Wright, Josh, 34, has two children, Josh Jr, 20 months, and Dustin, 9 months with his wife Hollie. Their youngest son was born 28 weeks prematurely which meant he had to spend eight weeks in the NICU unit at their local hospital in Essex before he could go home.

For World Prematurity Day on Friday 17 November, the proud parents spoke exclusively to OK! about their son's premature birth which they said felt like a "film scene" and was "very traumatic". Josh and Hollie welcomed their first child Josh Jr on 22 February 2022 and almost a year later welcomed their second son, Dustin who was born 12 weeks prematurely, at just 28 weeks on February 11, 2023.

The doting father explained that it all started when they went for a walk on Monday and Hollie was getting a "mild discomfort" but still had "no idea" about what was happening, assuming it was Braxton Hicks – these can be known as 'false labour pains'. Two days later, Hollie woke up in "so much pain" which is when they thought "This could be it".

They went to hospital on Wednesday when Hollie was 27 weeks pregnant and found out she was five centimetres dilated, "it was a big panic, a worry and a crazy time that's out of your control, we had no idea that was would happen."

Josh continued: "I'm obviously there as a father trying to protect Hollie because she's in so much pain and discomfort, but the hospital warned me that it's so important and vital that we get Hollie to try and hang out until 28 weeks before giving birth". This is important for a variety of reasons and to help the baby's development.

Hollie added: "It was very scary and very traumatic, it was the unknown of what to expect and we were just scared, hoping Dustin would make it."

Hollie remained in hospital and gave birth to their son 12 weeks prematurely at around 6am on Saturday morning, he weighed just 2lb 4oz. Josh explained: "It was a worrying time" referring to having to wait it out until the baby was 28 weeks old he added: "We had to do what we had to do, Hollie more so, I was just there to protect and support."

Reflecting on the birth of Dustin, Josh explained: "This sounds mad but he didn't even look like a baby, in the nicest possible way, it took me back a bit.

"It was scary and daunting, they had to be so quick in getting the oxygen onto him". Hollie continued: "I think I only saw him for 30 seconds, he was straight out for care and into the incubator".

"It was a surreal experience and a very worrying one but also relief, every emotion possible", Josh said. Before the mum added: "Josh was so supportive of me but he was lost for words for once which shocked me, we were just scared and didn't know what to expect".

Hollie remained in recovery until around 4pm on the day she gave birth and because their son was receiving so much care on his first day they were told it was best to "go home and come back tomorrow." From there the parents went back to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow every day for the next eight weeks until their baby boy could finally come home.

Josh, who is a footballer for Ebbsfleet United, said: "I remember moments I had to go late in the evenings and early in the morning so I could see him", adding "It was difficult, you lost track of things".

The 34 year old said they are both "very fortunate and thankful" that they have two big families on either side that supported them during this time. "My mum made us dinner for example, sometimes we ate in M&S or Costa for dinner.

"It was all crazy, we were so lucky to have such a big support system." Josh also added that all the staff and hospital community "became our family, they were so welcoming, reassuring, it really was like one big family, the support from them is incredible."

On the day Dustin could leave hospital the proud parents said "We couldn't believe it, it felt weird that we were taking him away from where his home was if you like and it was a little bit nerve-wracking."

Josh added: "We didn’t want to take him home until he could breathe on his own, without oxygen." On the day Dustin came home, the footballer said: "I remember our grins were crazy and coming in the house with Dustin was a relief and happiness – a feeling I don't think you can explain unless you're in that scenario.

"It was a really happy day."

Both their sons are doing really well, sharing that Dustin is "very healthy, very strong and he seems to have a strong immune system". The doting parents absolutely love watching them grow but added they will be having joint birthdays in February as the celebrations are just 11 days apart.

Josh and Hollie are now Pampers ambassadors sharing the importance of premature nappies for babies to help them get the crucial sleep they need to develop. Hollie said: "The nappies made sure Dustin was comfortable, sleep is vital, so he could get stronger." Josh continued: "It's about making these Preemie nappies more popular."

"We want to make people aware that you can get them online, straight to your front door", the mum added.

Pampers has launched a new online platform that delivers specially designed premature nappies to parents' homes for absolutely free. You can find more information here.

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