Me and my husband fell pregnant with our first baby in February 2018, and we were so excited! We kept the gender a surprise, and apart from having hyperemesis for 26 weeks, the pregnancy was relatively smooth. I was due November 23rd. In September, we left our house in Newcastle, NSW to go on our "babymoon" to Noosa and Coolum. Long story short, I developed severe epigastric pain which (being a nurse) I had convinced myself was just reflux and was probably nothing. I went to the Sunshine coast University hospital to get checked out. I went to emergency, they triaged me and sent me upstairs to the Maternity unit. It turned out that I had severe preeclampsia, which developed into HELLP syndrome. I was admitted on the Monday, loaded with steroids for her lungs, and on Wednesday September 28 Charlotte was born at 31 weeks and 5 days, and was just 1.5kg, via emergency caesarean due to my condition deteriorating. Having a baby that early, on holidays, and away from all our friends and family was the toughest thing we had to do. Charlotte needed CPAP for about 12 hours, and was then breathing independently. She developed food intolerance and her bowel swelled, so they had to put a central line into her heart to give her the nutrition she needed so her little bowel could rest, and allow the swelling to go down. We had a few hiccups along the way, many, many tears, but after 38 days in NICU, we were discharged home on November 5th. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital in Queensland on my own as my husband had to go back to work. It was tough, because I had no family or friends up there, but the nurses and other mums in NICU were amazing and so supportive. We were transferred back home to John Hunter hospital after a lot of discussions and negotiating between hospitals, after 4 and a half weeks there. I can’t thank the staff enough for everything they did for us, and making the tender possible. Charlotte is now almost 10 weeks old, and is 11 days corrected, and she is doing amazingly! We won’t be going on a "babymoon" if we have another one!

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