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Miracle Mum, Ashlie reflects on the tough journey she went through with baby Abi and the amazing friendships she formed in the process.

"Our daughter was born at 30 weeks with Bacterial Meningitis. She was tiny and struggled in her first few weeks of life to merely live.

The NICU at Westmead Hospital was her home for the first three months of her life and the reality is that it was our home as well. She struggled to gain weight and breathe and do all the functions normal babies and parents take for granted.

Learning to feed was a process not easily forgotten. Holding her for the first time when she was nearly three weeks old was pure joy but simultaneously heart-breaking. The reality is though she struggled, but she survived.

Though she still has issues, she can function as a normal toddler. While all the medical issues of that time fade, the relationships born do not. The friendships formed in pumping rooms and late-night coffee trips have proved to be some of our dearest."

Ashlie is one of the first Miracle Mum’s to take part in the new NurtureGroup Online for regional and rural families. She shares some of the struggles she faces living in regional NSW and the reason why a service like this is so important.

“We’re now living in a rural and remote location with our former Premature infant and it is quite challenging. This is primarily found in the lack of access to services. All our specialists and hospital trips require us to travel to Sydney. While we can plan ahead and organise all of the visits for the one trip this is not always possible.

Access to paediatricians is limited as the few present in nearby towns are overworked and often have no spaces available for months at a time.

There is also a lack of access to support groups and fellow parents. While in Sydney there is plentiful access to these groups finding parents with similar stories or any understanding of the trauma can be difficult here.

We have also faced issues with day care and preschool being unable to cope with additional needs children and a host of other problems. This is not to say that it is impossible but rather it places yet more stress upon a very stressful situation.”

Thank you Ashlie for sharing your story.

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We welcome every Miracle family story, no matter what stage of the journey you're at. We encourage those wishing to share their story to submit it HERE.


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