Olive

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"My daughter was born at 34weeks. There were many sliding door moments in my birth story. I was having what I thought was horrible heartburn. I couldn't get comfortable or sleep, it was awful, I was so distressed. Everything I'd done before wasn't working. During our prenatal classes the midwife said, 'we're always here, give us a call there is no stupid question' So I rang the hospital, the nurse I spoke said to come up and they'll check me out and maybe just give me some stronger antacids. This was our first sliding door moment. My husband was unimpressed at having to drive me 45mins to the hospital at 3am. When we got there another midwife hooked me up to  monitoring, I did a urine test which came back normal. And this was our second sliding doors moment, she felt like something just wasn't right, so she rang my OB and pushed it with him, he said to do a blood test.  8:30 in the morning my OB came in and explained to us what was going on. I had developed HELLP syndrome and the only way to fix it was to get the baby out. Then there was a flurry of activity, we meet with a neonatologist, I was given steroid shots, another blood test, and I prepared for a spinal. Then we met with the anesthesiologist who said my platelets had dropped too far and quickly, he wasn't going to risk doing a spinal and I was going to have a general.  Then there was this horrible waiting, I rang my dad, an OBGYN who lives in country Victoria, before id even finished telling him my blood results he said 'You've developed HELLP syndrome' and that he'd call me back. When he rang back he'd booked a flight from Melbourne and would be in Adelaide by 4pm. That's when I knew I was in trouble, my dad is usually a take a panadol and you'll be right kind of dr dad. My husband googled and the first word he saw was fatal! There was no more googling after that. We saw our doctor at 8:30 and our daughter was here by 11:30. 

I didn't meet her for 24hours as I was in the high dependency unit. When I did meet her it was because she was being transferred to the Women's and Children's Hospital via a MedStar Ambulance. When I got down to the nursery the ambulance was already there ready and waiting. I got my first cuddle and then she was taken away in her space ship. There was a long wait as I waited for a bed and an ambulance at the Women's and Children's. When we arrived at the hospital we were told that she has been given an overdose of antibiotics and that her hearing could be effected so there would need to be further testing to check the long term effects.  We had a week in the NICU at the women's and children's until we were transferred back to the special care nursery at Burnside. While we were in the special care nursery Olives heart rate was observed to be high and would periodically become dangerously high, thankfully this was determined to be just her (further diagnostic testing has also proved this). She came on in leaps and in bounds as premmies do and we were home before her due date." 

- Julian, mum to Olive

 

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