Madeleine and Charlotte

[image]Website Family Stories- Madeline Grace.png

My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for about two years when, with a little help from modern medicine, we were delighted to find out we were finally pregnant and even more amazed to learn that it was twins.  I’m not going to lie; I was a little shocked, nervous and somewhat apprehensive at the prospect of twins, but it quickly became something that we cherished! Our girls were our little miracles and we were very excited we were going to be their parents.  

I had a completely unremarkable pregnancy; everything was going along exactly as it should be. The girls, which we had already named Madeleine and Charlotte, were the perfect size and developing beautifully. I had a scan at 22 weeks and everything was completely ok, I had no symptoms or signs of what was to come very soon.

It was a Tuesday morning, I was 23+1 weeks pregnant and I woke up feeling “off”. I just put it down to usual pregnancy pains so I went to work as normal but by 1pm I knew something wasn’t right and I was sure I was going into labour.  Sure enough, a trip to Royal North Shore Hospital confirmed I was 3cm dilated. I’ll never forget that moment; I knew 23+1 was too early and that our baby girls stood very little chance of survival and an even lower chance that they wouldn’t be plagued with a lifetime of challenges and health issues. Nothing prepares you for these moments.

 Within minutes we had a team of obstetricians and neonatologists giving us our (to be honest quite bleak) options. But we decided if the girls came out fighting, we would fight for them. They gave me pills to halt my labour and miraculously it worked, I was able to hold off for another 6 days and on the evening of Sunday 29th May 2016, we delivered our baby girls at 24+0 weeks. Our first born Charlotte was a tiny 430g and she devastatingly only survived an hour in our arms after she was born but her younger sister, Madeleine,  was a much healthier 609g and she was able to be ventilated and stabilised and sent to the NICU (a place I’d never heard of until that week).  

We spent 115 days in the NICU of RNSH surrounded by what can only be described as the most incredible group of Doctors and Nurses you will ever meet. It was the toughest thing we have ever gone through, we nearly lost Madeleine 3 times. She needed numerous rounds of pretty serious antibiotics, blood transfusions, countless cannulas, PICC lines and x-rays but we were lucky to escape without major surgery, intracranial bleeds or anything else too serious. We will forever be in debt to the amazing team that saved our daughter’s life many times over! 

One week after her due date, we took Madeleine home, on oxygen. 6 weeks later she was off oxygen all together, and with the exception of heart surgery to close her PDA , she went from strength to strength, meeting every milestone and kicking every goal they set her – She is another example (and there’s many of them) of a premmie miracle, and we are thankful and in awe of her every day!

We ache for Charlotte every day and we’ll never be the same as a result of our loss, but she’s with us all the time I know it and her little sister Madeleine, has a very special guardian angel indeed. 

I read somewhere that the “Premmie journey is so very tough, It’s sometimes unbearable. You’ll never know fear like it and it will change you, but it’s so very worth too”. And this was so true for our family!

Thank you to miracle parents Alyssa & Peter for sharing their journey. 
Madeleine Grace6.jpg  Madeleine Grace2.jpg




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