This is the story of the birth of my amazing little boy Vincent and his adventures in the NICU. On the 27th of December 2011 at 29 weeks I felt the familiar dizzy headache I had associated with my high BP so I checked it and it was 170/120. Needless to say I called up the hospital and they told me to get to the hospital immediately. I took a bag I’d packed but didn't think I'd need it as my blood pressure would be back to normal and they would send me home that night. Well wasn't I wrong!

When I got to birthing suite my blood pressure hadn't changed and all of a sudden there were doctors and nurses hooking me up to drips, putting catheters in saying that if my BP didn't lower in the next 12 hours or so that I would be transferred to John Hunter Hospital because the NICU at Nepean Hospital didn't have a bed to accommodate for my baby at such a young gestation. I was given my first shot of steroids then and was so terrified. Luckily my blood pressure stabilized by the morning but was told that I wouldn't leave the hospital until my son was born. I spent a week in Nepean Antenatal while the doctors tried a cocktail of drugs to try and keep my blood pressure down until I got to 34 weeks when they were planning on delivering but alas that wasn't meant to be.

I was finally diagnosed with pre-eclampsia a day before I was transferred to Liverpool Hospital where they had a NICU bed available for my baby and I was given my second shot of steroids. 4 days into my stay at Liverpool my BP rose so high that I was rushed to delivery suite and told that I may be having my baby that night. I held out for another 2 nights before Vincent started to become distressed and the doctors didn't think it was safe to wait any longer rushing me into theatre for a c-section.

Vincent was born at 2:49pm on the 12th January 2012 and weighed a tiny 1344grams. He was so small that he could fit into the palm of your hands, not that I was allowed to even see him. While I was being stitched up the NICU nurses told me that he was having some trouble breathing and had to be put on oxygen but he was doing well for his size. After 6 miserable hours I got to see my son for the first time. He looked like a wrinkled little doll but he was the most beautiful, perfect baby in the entire world. I put my hand into the humidicrib that he was lying in and touched his tiny hand and felt him squeeze it. Then he opened his eyes and all I could do was smile.

By the morning he had been taken off the oxygen and was on the lowest level of c-pap that they could give him. He was even taking some breast milk through his feeding tube. When he was 4 days old his stomach was really swollen and he was transferred to Westmead Children’s Hospital for fear of NEC. After 4 x-rays we were told that it was probably just "c-pap belly" and that morning he was taken of the c-pap completely. At 2 weeks old he was then transferred back to Nepean NICU to gain weight.

On the 14th of February, after five long weeks we were finally told that Vincent could come home even though he weighed a tiny 2kg. He is now 3½ months old and still has a few problems with aneamia but apart from that he is a happy, healthy little baby and is growing out of his clothes faster than I can buy them for him. A huge thank-you to the doctors and nurses at Liverpool, Westmead Children’s and Nepean hospital for taking such good care of my little miracle and being a strong support for me and my partner. I don't know how we could have got through without you guys.

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