Labour MP Angela Rayner has described how her son ‘looked like a baby sparrow’ when he was born at just 23 weeks.
The shadow education secretary, 37, said doctors told her and husband Mark that their son Charlie, who weighed less than 1lbs when born, wouldn’t survive on three occasions.
Ms Rayner confessed there was a point when she believed ‘That’s it’, but her husband refused to give up.
Their baby son spent six months in a neonatal unit after being born, during which time he suffered a bleed to the brain.
Charlie, who is now nine, is registered blind and has special educational needs.
Labour MP Angela Rayner has described how her son Charlie (pictured with Ms Rayner) ‘looked like a baby sparrow’ when he was born at just 23 weeks
In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne explained how a doctor told her she had suffered a miscarriage when her waters broke at 23 weeks.
‘He said, “There’s nothing we can do, he won’t survive,”‘ the mother-of-three recalled.
In fact, she and her husband Mark were told three times that Charlie wouldn’t make it as he battled for survival.
‘One time in particular they said he wouldn’t survive, and it was not a good thing to carry on with it. I just curled up in ball and thought, “That’s it”‘, she said.
The shadow education secretary, 37, explained how doctors told her on three occasions that Charlie wouldn’t survive
Ms Rayner – who grew up on a council estate in Stockport – also described how she acted as a carer for her mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder, from a young age.
Speaking about her experience growing up, she explained: ‘I didn’t know cuddles and telling your children you love them are really important. It sounds awful, but we never got that growing up.’
During the interview with the Sunday Time Magazine, she also commented on how she believes Jeremy Corbyn will create the space for Labour to have the next female leader.
Ms Rayner became a grandmother at the age of just 37 when her son Ryan, 20, welcomed baby Lilith Mae into the world in November.
Ms Rayner became a grandmother at the age of 37 when her son Ryan, 20, welcomed baby Lilith Mae into the world in November
Announcing the news on Twitter, the MP said: ‘At just before 6am today after an eventful evening, I became a grandma.
‘Thank you to all the wonderful staff at NHS Tameside’, along with the hashtag ‘grangela’.
Ms Rayner gave birth to Ryan at the age of 16, and has previously spoken about how the ‘saved her’.
Speaking at a Labour fringe event last September, she said: ‘Because I had a little person that I had to look after and I wanted to prove to everybody I wasn’t the scumbag they thought I was going to be, and I could be a good mum, and that somebody was finally going to love me as much as I deserved to be loved.
‘And that’s what pregnancy was for me, it saved me.’