After having Angus at 28 weeks and 2 days in 2006 due to severe IUGR, it took years for me to get pregnant again. After several miscarriages and a loss at 19 weeks, (my baby angel Hamish) I conceived once again. My high risk OB held my hand the whole way. I want on a multitude of supplements and injections to see if they helped. To be honest, I would have stood on my head if it had helped. At 12 weeks I had a BT and ultrasound to check for Down Syndrome amongst other disorders. A few days later I got a call from a geneticist who told me that I had come back at a very high risk for a syndrome that was not compatible with life. It was decided that I would have an ammnio in 2 weeks time. Eventually the day arrived and when I went in there was very little fluid around the baby and they were not sure if they would be able to do the procedure. Fortunately a more senior doctor decided that he could do it. I would have the results in 24 hours. I finally got the call and the baby was cleared of any genetic problems, but we found out that there was a problem with the placenta. Things weren’t improving. The baby was now small and had very little fluid around it. At 17 weeks we were in a dire situation. My obstetrician was about to start a trial that may be of benefit to me, but he wasn’t yet ready to commence. It was based on an antioxidant so he suggested that I try something similar available from the chemist. He wasn’t sure if it would work, but it certainly wasn’t going to do any harm. I was already rattling when I walked, what difference would another one make.

At 19 weeks my OB delivered the bad news. The baby wasn’t doing well. I wasn’t going to get far enough along that they could deliver. It was decided that I would come in every week for an ultrasound to see if the baby was still alive. That is what I did. Every Thursday I would turn up for an appointment to see if my baby was dead or alive. I was already mourning the death of this baby and it hadn’t even happened. At 23 weeks I went in as usual and it was decided that this baby wasn’t doing what everyone had expected and that we had better have a closer look. I was booked in for a detailed scan. Though the baby was small and there was next to no fluid, the baby was doing ok and may just hang on a bit long. The sonographer commented that she had never seen a baby as sick as mine turn around like this. I couldn’t allow myself to get excited, but it was the most positive news I had had for a long time. I continued my regime of drugs and supplements. At 24 weeks my waters broke, another challenge. I was admitted to hospital and prepared for an imminent arrival of this bub. Day after day and nothing happened. I ended up staying for 4 weeks. Every day and sometimes twice a day I would have a scan. At the first sign of any change, they would get the baby out. I was desperate for this baby to be delivered, as I felt so weighed done by the job of carrying it. I wanted the medical staff to take over that job. However I kept being told that while it was still ok inside they wouldn’t deliver. 28 weeks and 3 days, I couldn’t believe I had got this far. Little did I know that it wouldn’t be for much longer. I had a bleed and was rushed to a birth suite. I held on for another night but emotionally I was a mess. I knew something wasn’t right and I expressed this to my obstetrician. He knew me so well and had held my hand for so long, he did another scan. The baby wasn’t coping. As there was only one NICU bed available in all of Victoria, it was decided that I would go straight for a c section. Saxon John came out crying, weighed 846 grams, 35 cm long and looked like a little possum. He was immediately ventilated and taken to the unit. My NICU ride was starting all over again. He followed a very similar path to Angus. Ventilated, CPAP. Feeding issues, infections, expressing. I was more relaxed about it all. I juggled time at the hospital with the demands of being a mum to a 5 year old. After a long 16 weeks Saxon was eventually discharged, with oxygen. Angus started school on the same day. It was very emotional and one of the proudest days I have had as a mum.

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