Lochie

[image]lochie.jpg

You never expect that you will have trouble starting a family. It took us only 5 months to become pregnant, so we assumed that everything would be fine. Very sadly we lost that baby at almost 11 weeks. It was crushing. It took us another 2 years to conceive our second baby, by which time we had become increasingly upset and desperate. The second pregnancy progressed well until we were told that at 18 weeks our beautiful daughter had died. Our world stopped and even 5 years later the pain of losing her is still intense.

After that I was told that my uterus had some structural problems. I had what is called a uterine septum, which is a wedge of tissue that divided my uterus almost in half, in addition to one side of my uterus being smaller and underdeveloped. I had several operations to remove the septum and to try and correct things as much as they could. After several months of healing time we were allowed to try and conceive again.

After only 2 months we were successful, but again, we miscarried the baby at 7 weeks. After this third very sad loss, it was suggested we try IVF with PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis), which genetically tests the embryos for major genetic faults before they are transferred back to Mum. The aim of this was to try and prevent any more miscarriages. As with starting a family, we approached IVF with optimistic blissful ignorance. Unfortunately this soon faded as after 8 IVF cycles and another 2 miscarriages, including trying egg and sperm donors, we still had been unable to bring home a much longed for baby.

On our 9th IVF cycle we got one embryo to transfer and this time it 'stuck'. With sheer terror, we made our way through the hurdle of the first heartbeat scan. For the first time in years we could see a baby growing before our eyes. We had nervous weekly ultrasounds up until 20 weeks, when we were told that a section of my uterus was starting to thin, and there was the possibility that as the baby grew it could rupture. This would probably kill our baby and could also do the same to me. I could not believe that after all that we had been through to get this far, that we could lose this baby. The very next day I was put on bed rest at home, and at 24 weeks was put on bed rest in Liverpool hospital. I ended up being on bed rest there for 8 weeks.

Every day seemed like an eternity. Without constant visits from my wonderful husband Tony, family, friends and brilliant nurses, doctors and social workers, I know I would have gone completely mad with fear. I had regular ultrasounds to monitor the fragile section of my uterus, knowing that if it thinned further our baby would have to be born.

At 31 weeks + 5 days, it was decided that the risk of continuing was starting to outweigh the benefits of keeping the baby 'on board' for any longer.

On August 28th 2006 our son Lochie was born via C-section. We finally had a baby. It was a surreal experience. This tiny little boy for whom we had waited for so long, with thin arms and legs like a spider, covered in breathing tubes and monitor wires, a huge IV drip in his arm and naked except for a nappy and his UV light protection mask and who we could only briefly touch through holes in the incubator, meant the entire world to us. For a 31 weeker he was a good size - 1942 grams. He spent 3 days on CPAP in level 3 and then quickly graduated to breathing on his own and was moved to level 2. I sat by his incubator constantly, so very much wanting to cuddle him but not being able to..... or being too scared too. He looked so fragile and every monitor alarm would terrify me.  We were in NICU on Father's Day, and got to bath him for the first time as a special treat. He was so tiny, soft and slippery and I was sure I would drop him! After a week we were transferred to Campbelltown Hospital special care nursery (which was closer to home) where he spent the next 3 weeks being monitored and tube fed.

During his month long hospital stay, Lochie suffered constantly from jaundice and spent many days under lights. He was even still quite yellow when we took him home. At the equivalent of 36 weeks gestation, we were finally able to bring Lochie home, to a nursery that had been planned for almost 7 years.

Lochie is now 14 months old and a healthy, happy and delightful little boy. I still can't believe that we have a baby, let alone him being 14 months! I still look at him in wonder and will never forget the incredibly tough path we travelled to bring him safely into the world. We are incredibly lucky to have our little miracle baby Lochie.

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