Miracle Mum, Zoe experienced a huge mix of emotions when baby Edith arrived. There was a sense of relief to meet her baby after 3 years of IVF, but also a feeling of anxiety for what having a premature baby meant.
"My waters broke during my baby shower and four days later my daughter Edith arrived nine weeks ahead of her due date. My scan at 30 weeks was all positive, so on the day of my baby shower I had no idea that the bladder leakage I was experiencing was in fact my waters breaking (later confirmed to be due to an unknown infection in my uterus).
That evening I was admitted to the Mater Mothers Hospital and after four days of monitoring, Edith arrived via Emergency Caesarean. Before she was delivered, I really didn’t get time to wrap my head around the fact that she would be nine weeks premature or what this would mean for her, or for me.
Edith was tiny (1570grams) but otherwise ‘healthy’ for 31 weeks. I spent much of the next two months in hospital feeling lost, overwhelmed, and anxious. I finally had the baby I’d wanted so much after three years of IVF, but her arrival was not the celebratory experience I thought it would be. I was so overjoyed with her being here but terrified by what it meant to have a premature baby. I experienced massive swings of emotions from her birth right up until we were settled at home - excitement and joy for her arrival, fear and anxiety for her health, heavy bouts of grief for the loss of a ‘normal’ pregnancy/birth experience, guilt for having a comparatively healthy premature baby when other babies around us were so unwell.
It was an exhausting and heart wrenching time. The physical and emotional toll of the hospital experience was immense. The constant state of hyper-vigilance, hoping for the best each day for your baby but also expecting something to go wrong at any time, the exhaustion, the grief and worry, the tube feeding and constant pumping, the isolation and loneliness of it all. It was like an endurance race with no clear finish line. I really didn’t know how I would get through it, but somehow, like many other parents, I did.
I was totally overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of so many people during this time. The exceptional Midwives and Nurses who comforted me and cared for my baby around the clock. The other mothers in the NICU ward who shared tips on how to get through the long days and nights in hospital and made me laugh while we tube fed our babies late in the night. My family and friends who did my washing, brought me Tim Tams and fresh fruit, and took me out for short trips away from the hospital for fresh air and sanity!
After seven weeks in hospital, I finally was able to take Edith home at 38 weeks. She’s now four months old and is so far hitting the developmental milestones for her corrected age. We’ve finally made it to the beach for her first dip in the ocean and her big gummy smile brightens up every day."
Thank you, Zoe for sharing your story.
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