Sienna

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Miracle Mum, Cerys shares the story of falling pregnant and welcoming her darling baby girl into the world.

Our first pregnancy was a miracle in itself after my husband survived childhood cancer at the age of 15. It was the most exciting time of our lives. All our scans were positive and I had no complications during the pregnancy. All was going well until I went into the early stages of labour, dilated cervix, at just 30 weeks.

After a visit to Campbelltown Hospital on Anzac Day of 2016, I was quickly transferred to Liverpool Hospital and put on complete bed rest in an attempt to delay giving birth. I was given two steroid injections for the development of our baby’s lungs and put on hormone treatment (progesterone) to prevent the labour from progressing. The treatment was successful but only for a short period of time.

On Tuesday, 3 May, at 10:54am and precisely 32 weeks, our little miracle, Sienna Jade, entered the world. Weighing a tiny 1577g/3.47lbs and measuring just 41cm long, our little baby girl was beautiful! Sienna was immediately transferred to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and placed on CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). After only 6 hours Sienna was breathing on her own, our little fighter!

And so, the long days of NICU life began. Prior to Sienna’s birth, I hadn’t heard of the term NICU and I didn’t know what it stood for. But as the days passed, sitting by her humidicrib watching her every tiny move, I soon became very familiar with life in the NICU. On day 2, Sienna started caffeine treatment, to reduce the amount of apnea spells she was having. Caused by the immaturity in the area of the brain that controls breathing, Sienna would stop breathing for more than 20 seconds and her heart rate would decrease, known as bradycardia. We called her caffeine treatment her “baby chino”. It was a light-hearted moment in an otherwise serious situation.

At this time Sienna also started phototherapy for jaundice as she had high levels of bilirubin in her blood (by-product of the natural breakdown of blood cells). At 12 days old, Sienna’s apnea spells had ceased and her caffeine treatment stopped. At 15 days old, to our surprise, we arrived to find Sienna had been moved to a hot cot. This was both positive and negative at the same time. Sienna was growing so well and able to regulate her body temperature that she didn’t require the use of her humidicrib anymore, but negative as my husband and I both felt her humidicrib was her little protection bubble and to be out in the open air was scary.

As the days turned into weeks Sienna slowly met those crucial milestones which brought her closer to coming home. She started putting on weight and began to breast feed. Sienna went on to spend 19 days in Liverpool’s NICU and then on the 21 May was transferred to the SCN at Campbelltown Hospital. On the 6 June, Sienna was formally discharged, after having spent a total of 35 days in hospital. It was the happiest day of our lives, the day we got to bring our baby girl home for the first time.

I'd like to send a big thank you to Frances of Miracle Babies for her advise and support. And of course thank you to all the Dr's and Nurses of Liverpool and Campbelltown Hospitals who looked after our little miracle."

Sienna has now grown into a happy, smiley little girl who has recently celebrated her 3rd birthday!

Thank you Cerys for sharing your beautiful story and photos.

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