[image]Zander r.jpg

Following a traumatic emergency C-section, Miracle Mum, Lauren knows what it's like to cry with relief, excitement and joy all at the same time when meeting her tiny baby for the first time. She shares her story of Zander's arrival.

"Miracle Zander was the result of many years of trying and our 6th precious embryo from IVF. We were ecstatic to finally be pregnant and our pregnancy progressed fairly normally. Although, I had morning sickness throughout and would vomit most days. I have a unicornuate uterus and knew I'd likely not go full term, but the expectation was around 36 or so weeks. 

At 33 weeks I woke up with a small bleed and on and off contractions. I was admitted into the hospital on bed rest and given medication to try and stop labour from progressing. My contractions would intensify at night but settle during the day, so I was monitored and given steroids to speed up lung function in case baby came sooner rather than later. 

After a week in hospital, my obstetrician suggested that I could probably go home and be on bed rest there and get some proper sleep. I was home less than 24 hours when contractions began becoming closer together, but I assumed the medication would settle them and I went to bed.

An hour after what felt like the most amazing sleep, I awoke in a giant puddle - my waters had broken. Back to hospital we went and labour was in full swing this time. It was about midnight when we got there, everything progressed well and the OB was called around 7am for the final stages. I had been pushing for a while, when baby’s heart rate slowed down. From there everything went pear shaped. 

Suddenly, we went from forceps to being rushed to surgery following a gush of blood. Baby was distressed and the epidural was wearing off, but the urgency of getting him out meant there wasn’t time to top it up. It was an excruciating cesarean but finally baby arrived safely and they announced it was a boy. It seemed like an eternity waiting for that first cry.

I got to see him briefly and gave him a kiss before he went to the special care nursery with my husband and the team of amazing doctors that would take care of him for the next 33 days.

I remember crying with relief, excitement and joy all at the same time, and vomited once more as they stitched me back together. The wonderful team held my hand and reassured me he would be ok. It was nearly two hours before my husband came back to meet me in recovery and tell me he really was ok. I knew he was safe and where he needed to be - but every fibre of my body felt that being without my tiny baby that had lived and grown inside me his entire life was completely wrong.

We were fortunate to have had time for the steroids to work. Zander never had breathing issues, he was just born too soon and unable to feed. I expressed and he was gavage fed till about 37 weeks when he finally had the strength to suck. 

Learning to breastfeed a premmie was so incredibly frustrating but the amazing midwives were there to reassure and teach us and he eventually became a champion feeder.  The daily track back and forth to the hospital was exhausting, and being away from our baby at night was difficult but we were so grateful that he received such incredible care in our absence.

Zander spent 33 days in special care and came home 10 days before his due date at just over 38 weeks. He was smaller than his peers for the first two years and I still can’t believe how tiny he was at 4pound 9oz. Full term babies seem like giants to me now.

He started school this year and is one of the tallest in his class. We cannot thank the amazing doctors, nurses and midwives enough for helping us find our feet in a scary and overwhelming world we never expected to be part of. They truly are everyday heroes."

Thank you Lauren for sharing your story.

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