[image]Oliver RS.jpg

Miracle Mum Cerys had already had one premature birth and feared the same for her second pregnancy. She shares how medical issues consumed her pregnancy before she welcomed baby Oliver into the world at 34 weeks.

"After giving birth to our premature baby girl Sienna at just 32 weeks, we thought it would be wise to book with a private obstetrician second time around. To have an OB closely monitoring me and the pregnancy made us feel much more comfortable.

We’d heard so many times that “every pregnancy is different”, and this pregnancy was to be no exception. At 5 weeks gestation I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. Believed to be pregnancy related I started treatment, as an underactive thyroid during pregnancy can cause birth defects or even miscarriage.

At 7 weeks gestation, I had spotting. Something I hadn’t had during my first pregnancy. At 14 weeks, my OB found that I had contracted a virus (discovered by accident through a routine blood test) which I had passed onto my baby. From there I was referred to the FMU (Feto- Maternal Unit) of Liverpool Hospital. By absolute coincidence, my OB was a specialised doctor of this unit, so my scans, conducted twice a week for the next 12 weeks were done by him. The scan consisted of an ultrasound of my baby’s brain where my OB would measure the PSV (peak systolic velocity) by looking at the MCA (middle cerebral artery). This measurement, in centimetres, would indicate the amount of blood flowing through the heart and the risk of fetal anemia developing. They use the MCA as it can be quickly found on ultrasound and measured very easily. In other words, this measurement would show how hard the heart was working to pump blood around the body. Our first measurement was 25cm and considered moderate, however, 5 days later it had more that doubled and was now 54cm. This was now considered severe, however, too early to start treatment at only 15 weeks (treatment consisting of a blood transfusion through the umbilical cord). Although the measurement was high, there were no signs of fetal heart failure.

On top of all this, my cervix had already started to shorten which led to the pre-term delivery with our first baby. So the stress levels for the next 12 weeks were high. Would my baby’s body be able to heal itself and continue to make an adequate number of quality red blood cells? Would I go into pre-term labour again and would it be prior to 32 weeks?

Thankfully, after 10 weeks, there were no more signs of fetal anemia. I soon made it past the vital 28 weeks and then past 32 weeks, yippee!! I really thought this time I would go full-term.

On Saturday, 9 June 2018 Oliver Joseph was born at 34 weeks at Liverpool Hospital. He was a big one, arriving 6 weeks early, weighing 2637g/5.81lbs and measuring 49cm long. Placed on CPAP and spending the first few precious hours of life in the hospital’s NICU, he was quickly moved to the nearby private hospital’s SCN after he started breathing on his own. He remained there for a brief period of routine monitoring and to ensure he was feeding well and gaining weight.

After spending 23 days in hospital, we were able to bring a precious new baby boy home. Oliver is now 11 months old, 9.5 corrected and is a healthy little boy. I really am so proud of my Miracle Babies.

We received our NICU survival pack shortly after Sienna’s birth and found the Nurture book fantastic. There was so much we learned about being a NICU parent. Reading all that I could about the NICU, plus reading other parents’ experiences was so reassuring.

Spending my first Mother’s Day in hospital was made all the more special when I received a Mother’s Day gift from Miracle Babies. It made us cry knowing that someone had gone the extra mile to organise that gift for us. It was so special. In my first NICU survival pack I received a note book with stickers and Miracle Babies cards which I used for Sienna’s journal. When Oliver arrived, I didn’t get a chance to see one of the Miracle representatives but contacted Shayne as I wanted the same cards to use in Oliver’s journal. To our absolute surprise, we arrived home to find a personally delivered NICU survival pack. I was so grateful that Miracle Babies had again gone that extra mile.

Without the ongoing help and support provided by Miracle Babies during our NICU days, life would have been very hard. To have support staff there to talk to was fantastic and tremendously reassuring during those very difficult moments. We can’t thank Miracle Babies enough for everything they have done for us and hope that they are able to continue their good work in the future by providing support to those parents and families with their own little ‘Miracle Babies’."

Thank you Miracle Mum, Cerys for sharing your story.


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