We found out when we least expected it we were having a little baby, and at 15 weeks (GA) we heard those words "it’s a girl". My pregnancy wasn't that complicated, some bleeding at 14 weeks (GA), some pains and throbs but none the less the Dr assured me everything was fine. He told us my due date was the 21st November 2013, but would chuckle his money was on the 17th, as she was my second bubba and growing strongly in the womb. After my last tough labour and delivery with my now 5yr old son, I for the first time felt reassured and confident and relaxed. I couldn't wait to meet my little girl and neither could her daddy or brother.

The morning of the 17th November 2013 just like my doctor had said, 1.30am, I went into labour. There was no holding her in, so off to the hospital my husband and my support crew toddled with me. By 6am the midwives had checked me, confirmed my labour and placed me on intravenous antibiotics to treat GBS. Little did I know at 1.59pm that day my world would feel like it came crashing down around myself and my husband.

Harper-Rose Lovett was born at 1.59pm on the 17th November 2013, 4 days early yet she was so tiny and looked like she was much younger than her (GA). Weighing 6pds 8ozs, n measuring 48cms the doctor wrapped her and brought her to me, before taking her away to check her out. Her Apgar score was 8 and she checked out fine initially, but ten minutes later and many midwives checking her (later) and she was taken with my husband to the hospital’s neonatal ward for attention.

I was left to shower and get ready to be taken to my bed. But where was my baby and where was my husband?

As I was wheeled to my ward, still dazed from the gas, I’ll never forget the words the doctor said to me as she came around the corner. "Ashlee, there was a problem with Harper-Roses lungs" The happiness suddenly faded and my world began to spin I felt like I couldn't breathe and like I was going to be sick. "Where's my baby" is all I could say before I felt a lump in my throat and suddenly I was having trouble breathing. After a few minutes my husband came around the corner and assured me she was okay but an x-ray showed her lungs were not working properly, and that she had swallowed meconium during birth, requiring antibiotics and to be taken to PMH SCU Nursery.

At 8.10pm that night the SC Team from KEMH SCU came and retrieved my daughter, placed her tiny helpless body on the CPAP machine and into a humidcrib, and wheeled her away leaving me alone in hospital. I discharged myself that night and went home to my bed and cried for hours. I felt like a failure, like it was my fault it was happening to my baby.

Harper-Rose stayed in KEMH SCU for 3 days before been taken back to RH neonatal unit for a further day - we got to take our baby home on the day she was scheduled as her due date.

I'm so lucky to have my husband who supported me through it all and stayed by our baby’s side even when he was utterly exhausted from no sleep.

Harper-Rose is now a healthy chubby 10week old bubba and all of that heartache seems like a distant memory. I don’t know who was watching over my little girl in those early days but I know I'm grateful.



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