Isla's Story, 34 Weeks

Miracle Mum Eden had a very normal pregnancy and was planning to work up until 38 weeks, but at 34 weeks she was caught by surprise when her OB told her she'd be having her baby that week.

"Isla Joy was born on 2/11/19 at 34 weeks, she spent 17 nights in the Special Care Nursery before coming home with us.
I had a great pregnancy from the second trimester. I’d been awfully sick for the first 20 weeks, but after that felt great. I had even applied to change my maternity leave start date, intending to work until 38 weeks.
My blood pressure had been great at every check up. One night I experienced cramps that lasted all evening, by the next morning part of me felt there was something not quite right, but I felt a bit silly going to the hospital – I was just constipated I thought!

That morning I lost the mucus plug and knew we needed to call the hospital. It was over an hour drive and while I felt excited that we might see our baby sooner, I really hoped it was just a false alarm.
After taking my blood pressure, blood and urine test I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I was also 2cm dilated. The obstetrician told us “you’ll be having this baby this week, but due to your blood results its not safe for it to continue, you will be induced tomorrow morning to speed it up”. We were given the worst-case-scenario run down of what might happen – that our baby would be tiny, she might not be breathing, she may need to be transferred to a different hospital. The unknowns were terrifying. I was treated by a midwife who had her son at 35 weeks, she described them being in the isolette as a “see through stomach” and that we would get extra time with our baby.

The next morning I had my waters broken, the epidural in place and a syntocinon drip. Isla didn’t tolerate the drip at all, every time I had a contraction her heart rate would slow or stop. It was so scary hearing the beeping stop. They continued to lower the dose and check my progress, I will never forget a midwife racing in “the doctor wants the baby out now”. We were raced down to theatre for an emergency caesarean... however with the help of forceps and an episiotomy, Isla was born. I believe our obstetrician knew we lived far from the hospital, with a caesarean I wouldn’t have been able to drive to visit Isla!

Isla was crying and therefore breathing when she was born and I was relieved of my biggest fear. She weighed a tiny 2.09 kilos but was just perfect in every way. After a quick cuddle she was off to the Special Care Nursery.
I didn’t get to see Isla until later that evening, she was snuggled up in her isolette and looked so small and lonely. The next day we had cuddles, and by the third day she was in an open crib. Isla required no treatment other than her feeding tube. It was hard not knowing when we would take her home, but I was able to stay at the hospital as a border for her entire stay.

A few weeks after we got home Isla became very distressed and sick, after some more hospital trips we discovered she had a cows milk protein allergy. This was definitely a testing time – we felt that we had used up our emotional bank of coping in the SCN, it was hard facing stays at two more hospitals and being hours from home. We were extremely fortunate to have supportive friends who helped keep our house in order - it’s amazing the washing, cleaning (not to mention pet feeding!) that still needs to happen.

Isla is now almost 4 months old, just over 5kg and absolutely thriving. She really is our joy, she is a happy, playful beautiful baby!"

Thank you Eden for sharing your story.

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