Miracle Mum, Jessica shares Cooper's story.
"For years I had been wanting to have my own family but was told never to expect this to happen, due to severe endometriosis and PCOS. Then, one morning I took a pregnancy test and to my surprise it was positive! It was finally happening for us, and we were over the moon!
I had a few issues early on in the pregnancy, along with hyperemesis gravidarum that I had until I gave birth to our son. I also had many visits to the maternity unit as our son would stop moving for 24 hours at a time, which was scary.
On the 5th July whilst visiting my parents, it felt like he was punching my cervix constantly, little did I know I was actually contracting. When I got home it was still continuing so I went to the maternity unit. They did a bedside ultrasound and thought I had excess amniotic fluid, so I was sent for a formal scan. The scan showed my cervix dilating on the screen, so I was told to rush to the hospital as the sonographer said “he was not ready to deliver a baby today”.
The obstetrician checked and I was 3-4cm dilated with bulging membranes at 28+6 weeks; it felt very weird to be able to feel his head! It was discussed that I was to be flown to John Hunter Hospital that night. When I got there I was placed on bedrest until further notice. I had several bleeds, and my waters broke on the 16th July. I became quite unwell, and our son’s heart rate kept spiking. With the possibility of developing chorioamnionitis I was induced the following night.
On Saturday 18th July at 4:25am I delivered our tiny 1.585kg son Cooper, at 30+3 weeks. I was allowed to hold him for two minutes whilst they did delayed cord clamping, then he was rushed off to NICU. I did not get to see or hold him until 1.30pm.
He was able to breathe on his own for the first week due to having the steroids on board, however after that he struggled significantly and was placed on CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). He was taken off and on several times, before he could finally breathe on his own and spent a couple of times under phototherapy.
This is when the long days of NICU life began, counting each day as a blessing to be with him. Prior to the NICU journey I had never heard of Miracle Babies. I began to read their Nurture guide book as I laid in bed on the ward, doing research and reaching out to the team. I did not realise how much of an impact these people would have on our lives. We are still particularly good friends with them and contact them regularly.
Cooper had a few health issues from birth, leading to surgery this year in February. He still has some struggles, but he is defeating the odds. He has sleep apnoea/snoring and stops and starts breathing regularly throughout the night, which keeps us on edge.
When I got home from the hospital, I found the NurtureGroup Online for Miracle Babies, this is honestly something that I truly value. I made some great friends, and it was good to know there were many other people out there like us going through similar journeys.
I cannot thank the Miracle Babies Foundation, the NICU nurses and doctors, our families, and friends enough for all the support and care we were given for our little son."
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