Parents Names: Mark & Julia
How many premmie babies do you have? Ronan born at 27 weeks & Tristan born at 36 weeks
How long were they hospitalised for? Ronan spent 110 days in hospital & Tristan spent 5 days
Is there any prematurity in your families history? There is no history of extreme prematurity. The earliest to arrive in either family before Ronan was 34 weeks.
How did you cope with the world of prematurity when your children were born? It was something that we thought we would never face, more never thought about it. After Ronan was born we both went back to work for 3 months and visited him every night after dinner. We wanted to keep things as “normal” as possible because we knew we had a long road ahead of us. When we had Tristan we were ready for anything but thankfully we didn’t have to go down that long road again.
How did you feel when you first saw your children after they were born? We were unable to see Ronan until 6hrs post birth. We never got to hold him or really see him as they needed to work on him straight away. When we first saw him it certainly took our breath away BUT with the many complications that he had throughout his time in hospital we were very positive of the outcome each time. When Tristan was taken to the SCN after birth we actually didn’t find it hard at all seeing the nursery again. It was a surreal experience being there again but we had a baby with such better odds that we never worried for a minute. The experience with Tristan was just so different as i was able to hold him straight after birth for over an hour.
Did you find it hard deciding to have another baby after Ronan’s early arrival? We always wanted to have 2 children so the thought of having another was never far from our mind. It took us 2 years to finally decide the time was right. I personally had to “prepare” myself mentally for the prospect that we could have had another early premature baby but with the care i received going through the high risk clinic at Monash thankfully history did not repeat itself.
Have there been any lasting complications due to either child’s prematurity? if so how have you dealt with it? Ronan has had complications since leaving the hospital. He has always been delayed in every aspect and around 6 months ago he was diagnosed with “Sensory Intergration Problems”. Each week we attend early intervention to help Ronan with this problem. He is improving each day but we have a long road ahead of us. He is still behind with many milestones even at almost 3 years old but we are doing what we can to get him ready for school in a few years time. Tristan does not seem to have any issues to date as he is only 2 months old but only time will tell. We are very optomistic and will do everything we can if he shows any issues later on.
How do you feel now about prematurity and how do you help others be aware of how serious it is for babies? We tell our story to as many people as possible. If people comment that Ronan seems “slow” in his milestones we explain to people why. People should realise that prematurity is occuring to 1000s of families each year and the more aware people are about our babies being born early the easier it will be to support those families who face their baby being too early. I always thought a premature baby was one born 6 weeks early. I had NO idea how early babies can be born and still survive until Ronan was born. About a year after Ronan was born i created L’il Aussie Prems which was my way of supporting families through these hard times. The site has brought many families together and it also gives families a chance to gain support in an area that is close to many hearts.
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