Miracle Mum, Shaakira shares Haitham's story.
"As I sit outside and wait for Haitham to come out of his hernia operation I take a moment to reflect on our journey into parenthood.
We were blessed with our first son Zayd four years ago; he arrived five weeks early at 1.7kgs and needed a six week stay at the special care nursery to feed and grow. It was quite the experience and I never thought we would end up with our second child being born even earlier.
Fast forward four years and Haitham, our second son, arrived at 29 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. I was rushed to hospital with extremely high blood pressure and monitored for four days, before he had to be delivered via an emergency c-section. Our little boy was 1030grams and needed respiratory support. We didn’t get to hold him until day six. It was so hard seeing him in the incubator, but I felt truly blessed that I was able to see him grow on the outside.
We had to take each day as it came. It was an amazing feeling when he progressed from being intubated to CPAP and then high flow. Of course with steps forward we had a few steps back, but that was all part of the journey. We decided on the name Haitham as it means eagle in Arabic and we want to see him soar to the highest.
As I try to recall what happened, I feel a wave of emotion - having a premature baby is one of the hardest, most challenging things, but if there is anything I have learnt, it’s taught me to be resilient, flexible and I found a strength I never knew I had. Premature babies are fighters and they have a strength like no other.
Haitham spent five weeks in the NICU in Randwick before we were transferred to St George hospital where he spent seven weeks in the special care nursery. The love, care and support we received from all the nurses, doctors and support staff was above and beyond. I truly believe we made it through the twelve weeks due to all the support we had from our family and friends and the staff at the hospital.
The first time Zayd got to meet Haitham was five weeks after he was born. It was one of the best days ever. Haitham is now 3.790 and doing well. We didn’t get the usual pregnancy or birth stories but we sure did get two amazing little boys."
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