Jensen's Story, 28 Weeks   

Miracle Mum, Rebecca describes the lucky moment her GP picked up her severe pre-eclampsia symptoms, which ended up saving her and her baby's life.

"Jensen was our firstborn and we were so excited to be having him! Up until 27 weeks everything went really well. No real morning sickness just some nausea and the usual tiredness. 

At 27 weeks things started to go pear shaped. I'd organised to go to high tea with friends and felt quite unwell. I thought it was just that I was hungry. As it turned out I wasn't able to eat anything the pain was so bad. Looking back it was a symptom of pre-eclampsia, severe abdominal cramping (the only symptom I noticed!). Turns out Jensen was feeling the effects of all the other things going on!

My husband took me to the hospital (Saturday) and I was sent home with Mylanta. I still didn't feel great in the days following that but I didn't think it was anything alarming.

Since I had thought it would be a healthy/straightforward pregnancy I chose to do shared care with my GP who was/is fantastic and the public hospital. I was still on monthly check ups. I was booked in to see my GP on the Wednesday and filled her in on everything. Amongst this and the fact that my blood pressure was quite high that day (the GP didn't tell me what it was) she told me not to go into work the next day and to go down to the hospital for tests. I had ABSOLUTELY no idea how serious things were! 

After all the testing on the Thursday we were told how grim things were looking and that they would need to deliver him within three days. To say it was a shock would be an understatement. I'd heard of babies being born early before but I didn't know much about it. And to have my son at 28 weeks, I wondered if I would even have him to take home. I'm so thankful that I had that appointment booked in with my GP or I hate to think what could have happened!

The next morning I had the high risk pregnancy doctor (along with several other trainee doctors) walk into my room and he said 'unfortunately my dear, when I walk into the room it's not good news'. I was then rushed in for an emergency caesarean and Jensen was out within the hour.

I was so scared I remember not wanting my husband out of my sight. We did hear Jensen cry a little and then he was rushed off to the NICU. I was taken to the ICU for 24 hours and saw Jensen the next day. I later found out that it was severe pre-eclampsia as my blood pressure was so high and my kidneys were failing. It had become critical for both of us. I was kept in hospital for a week.

At 28 weeks Jensen was more like a 23-weeker as he had stopped growing and wasn't getting enough oxygen or nutrients; the placenta was no longer supporting him. He was 810 grams at birth and had a lot going on!

During his NICU stay he had to endure countless blood transfusions, surgery for an inguinal hernia, an MRI, and a sleep study. After a very long five months in the NICU, Jensen came home with an NG tube, CPAP for sleeping, an apnea monitor and a wide range of medications. As other NICU families will know, it doesn't end there with ongoing appointments.

He is now about to turn 10 and I am so very proud of him! Whilst this was the most traumatic thing to ever go through it was all worth it for our beautiful boy. Jensen unfortunately has been left with some significant challenges as a follow on to all of this but he has such a great attitude and has the kindest heart, he's really sweet and loves his family.

He's a real miracle and we love him so much!! Through close family friends he's discovered a love of fishing and goes out regularly with his dad and loves doing anything outside with his hands. We have also been able to have a second child and gave him a sister (through very close monitoring!)."

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