26 Weeks

[image]Braelyn Madison

Braelyn Madison

My daughter Braelyn was born August 15, 2012. I was 26 weeks pregnant but she had stopped growing at 22 weeks and 5 days due to the placenta not doing its job and blood was back flowing from the baby back into the umbilical cord keeping her from getting the proper nutrition.

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My daughter Ella was born at 26+6 weeks on the 10/5/06. Weighing in at 682grams. It all began when I was asleep one night and woke up with an extremely bad headache and I was in tears.

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[image]Imogen Ann

Imogen Ann

Early on in my pregnancy I had experienced quite a lot of bleeding and had, again and again, seen my doctor and obstetrician only to be assured that everything was fine and the pregnancy was progressing normally.

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When I awoke at 22 weeks and 2 days pregnant in November 2009 I was shocked to see I was bleeding. Within an hour we arrived at KEMH and not long after that our world fell apart……

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[image]Patrick and Phillip

Patrick and Phillip

After four years of trying different methods to conceive, I finally fell pregnant on our third attempt at IVF. The pregnancy was difficult, constant "morning” sickness, bleeding on and off. We found out that we were expecting twins at 7 weeks gestation - double the joy

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Our Miracle. In May of 2010 I found out I was pregnant, after 9 years of trying I finally had a positive "you're pregnant”.

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[image]Colt Ryder

Colt Ryder

I had the perfect pregnancy. Typical nausea but not over the top. A couple of food items that the baby didn’t like that found their way back up. Peeing constantly throughout the night waking up in the morning dog tired. But otherwise, perfect. I loved being pregnant.

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[image]Vincent and Victor

Vincent and Victor

Not many people will know that we struggled to conceive for a long time. It was already a very emotional road for us as a couple.  Countless scans and tests, appointments with specialist doctors. Years have passed and we started to lose all our hope that we will ever become parents. Then a miracle happened. After years of trying we are being rewarded with not just one baby, but two! We were expecting twin boys.

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[image]Cadence and Tori

Cadence and Tori

Kangaroo Care also helped me with keeping up with the supply of breast milk my tiny babies needed so much. I believe so strongly in the benefits of Kangaroo Care. Not only for the babies but for Mums and Dads too!

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Our first question to the doctor was, ‘Will the baby be ok?’ Our doctor advised us that babies could indeed survive at this gestation and could live healthy, normal lives. He told us the longer we could hold out the better the outcomes for the baby. I was placed on strict bedrest.

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On my day of discharge, Lyra was five days old. This was also the first day I got to hold her. That hold meant everything. She belonged to me and I to her. I knew from that moment on I would spend every day by her side until she was finally home with me.

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How can the worst day, also be the best day of our lives? Only weighing 642grams, we were told to expect the worst. 

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At 7.22 pm bub arrived, just in time for the nurse to come running into the birthing suite with a team of NICU doctors. He weighed 1220 grams. We were shocked and all we could do was cry. 

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On day 3 of his life, he had a routine head-scan and the doctors found a grade 4 bilateral Brain bleed. We were advised that he would face a lifetime of disabilities. It was heartbreaking and we had a big decision to make. We had to think about the quality of life he would have if we continued with life support.

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It was 72 days of what felt like non stop expressing. 72 days of kangaroo cuddles, reading and singing. It was 72 days that felt like one long day. 72 days of reminding myself to be kind to me for doing the best I could. Don't get me wrong, some days were tough. For me, guilt was my biggest enemy. But I learnt quickly to focus on the present and do my best for that day.

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[image]Emily and Leah

Emily and Leah

My 1 year old son had just been diagnosed with Autism when I had my twins Emily and Leah at 26 weeks due to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia was silently killing us and I was not aware. So scary. If I knew then what I know now!

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Zeppelin was a big surprise, after already having 6 kids. The two babies before Zeppelin were born at 28 and 29 weeks - so we had done the NICU journey already. We had high hopes that Zeppelin would stay in until term but at 24 weeks I started to get some funny pains.

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Baby Diana finally arrived at 26 weeks and was in the NICU for almost 3 months. Everyday was full of stress. We would be waiting for bad news, getting tests - head ultrasounds, breathing, ROP and many things that I really don’t want to remember.

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During the whole pregnancy we had problems, ranging from hardly any amniotic fluid, her being so tiny, and blood flow through the umbilical cord. It was all a very traumatic but an amazing experience.

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