How many premature babies do you have? Abbie & Olivia
Gestation Born? Abbie was born at 35w1d after waters broke at 34w6d I was induced after infection set in & Olivia born at 25w1d after waters broke at 24w2d once again induced after infection had set in.
How long were they hospitalised for? Abbie was in hospital for 5 days & with Olivia we were in hospital for 81 days (57 in ICU & 24 in SCN).
Is there any prematurity in your families history? The earliest anyone had a bub in our family was 37 weeks
How did you cope with the world of prematurity when your child/children were born? With Abbie since she was born needing resus she was whisked away. So apart from the start to life she was pretty right & we were just in SCN to be monitored.
With Livvy though that was a whole different ball game. I was having to live at the Ronald McDonald house 4.5hrs away from my family & support network. So to cope I was trying to do anything & everything I could: from cares to feeds & pumping every 3hrs to make sure I had enough of a supply for my tiny girl. I also had a good set of books to read while I was sitting up at the hospital with her. I also found poem writing & keeping a journal helped keep me sane.
How did you feel when you first saw your child/children after they were born? The first time I saw Abbie I was a tad scared seeing her in the isolete. Not knowing what was in store. Thankfully she was out & into an open cot that night.
With Livvy I was petrified. We had lost our son 11 months earlier during his pregnancy & I had all those emotions running through my head again. Dr’s weren’t sure how she’d go over night & I was scared of having to bury another child. Seeing her attached to all the drips & monitors & not being able to hold her was the hardest for me.
Did you find it hard deciding to have another baby or have you decided no more? I have always wanted 4 children but my hubby only wanted to 2 so our compromise was 3. As much as I would love another bub we have decided to not have anymore. I wouldn’t like to put the kids through me being away again for 11 weeks if it were to happen again.
Have there been any lasting complications due to your child/children’s prematurity? if so how have you dealt with it? Abbie is now a healthy 2.5year old who had some problems with her ears & recurrent ear infections so has required grommits but apart from that she is great.
Olivia is now 5 months old (6.5weeks corrected) & has Chronic Lung disease so is currently on oxygen via sub nasal prongs 24 hrs a day. We will need constant review every 3 – 4 months with the Resp team at the Mater in Brissy.
How do you feel now about prematurity and how do you help others be aware of how serious it is for babies? Another mum I met at the Royal in Brisbane & I are in the process of starting up some fundraising & awareness for the unit. I think it is important for other people to realise what can happen with prematurity. How much of a fighter these kids are & how much the doctors & nurses do for these special little people in our lives. Without them & the modern cons of medicine we wouldn’t have our tiny girl today.
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