Miracle Mum, Erlina knew something was terribly wrong when she started losing blood at 24 weeks. She shares the story of baby Elijah who has gone from strength to strength.
"Eli was born at 25+6 weeks gestation weighing 910 grams in 2013.
During my pregnancy I found out at the 20 weeks gestation check-up scan that my baby had a club foot. I had no idea what she was talking about. The scan took 30 minutes and they also confirmed I had a Placenta Previa (same thing - I had no clue what that meant). I got worried; as they said I would have to take it easy with no heavy lifting and if something happened I would have to call the ambulance. I asked them if I could still lift my 10kg baby up as my eldest was only 8 months old. They said that’s fine and I had to come back at 26 weeks gestation to see what level I was in the Previa.
I didn’t make it, because at 24 weeks I started losing blood in the bathroom. I was rushed via ambulance to the Gold Coast University Hospital (that had just opened and was brand new). Unfortunately, I was under 28 weeks gestation and after the scan to see what level I was in, which was 4, they sent me straight to the Emergency Department in Brisbane.
After steroids I was on bed rest in the hospital. Over one week I lost a lot of blood. Then, during the C-section I lost so much blood after birth I was in cardiac arrest and my heart stopped for 2 or 3 minutes. They doubled the donor blood transfusions and ended up putting a balloon in to see if it would work to stop the bleeding. Luckily, that saved my life.
Meanwhile, others were saving my boy in the NICU. I didn’t get to see and meet him until day 3 as I was in coma for nearly 3 days. Donor breastmilk was on low supply at the hospital too, so as soon as I woke up they took breast milk from me - just a couple of drops. I was still very weak but finally got to see him.
These NICU nurses are amazing. They had to hold their in tears in when I came in on my bed just to see my boy, who had no name at the time.
He was so fragile and in one week he got a brain bleed and was low on his haemoglobin level, so he also needed blood transfusions. He had a total of five.
At 28 weeks, after a brain scan, thankfully the brain bleed stopped. However, he then developed fluid buildup (hydrocephalus) and his head started to swell. They had to drain the fluid out immediately and they put a reservoir in to make it easier to drain while in the NICU. Everyone managed it so well - a big thank you to the doctors and nurses.
When we got his results back they told us the worst case scenario, which was he is a high risk of Cerebral Palsy once he grows into a toddler,aAnd he'd end up in a wheelchair and not be able to talk. We were warned boys also developed slower than girls. Oh man,it was definitely a roller coaster.
Eli was in hospital for nearly 4 months all together in both the NICU and Special Care. The last month he was transferred to the Gold Coast. He also had two hernias - one on his belly button and the other one was an inguinal in the groin. So, before he could go home he had to have that fixed back in Brisbane. After his recovery from the surgery he finally got to go home with oxygen because he still had Chronic Lung Disease.
He has just turned 6 and has mild/moderate CP. He is doing great, he's still far behind but progressing well with all the therapies and homework we do with him."
Thank you Erlina for sharing your story.
Important tags: club foot, Placenta Previa, cardiac arrest, coma, Donor breastmilk, blood transfusions, brain bleed, hydrocephalus, Cerebral Palsy, hernias, Chronic Lung Disease.
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