Madden's Story, 28 Weeks

Miracle Mum, Brodie shares Madden's story

"When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I was in shock and worried as it was a huge surprise to fall pregnant when my daughter was just six months old.

Just like my first pregnancy, morning sickness hit me hard and fast. Violently ill, 24/7 for about five weeks. I had borderline hyperemesis with my first pregnancy, another worry with a baby already at home. I'd had an emergency caesarean with my daughter also, which took some time to heal.

As baby number 2 grew steadily and healthy, I felt much bigger and uncomfortable earlier than expected. Everything had been ok (apart from being exhausted) until 27 weeks. I began experiencing mild pulling/cramping discomfort in my right side. Nothing to be concerned about, I thought. I had some mild clear/white discharge throughout that week, which quickly became too much to ignore, and discomfort had increased in my side.

It was a Thursday evening, and I thought about calling my OB in the morning as I didn’t think this is normal. I had also only just decided that I would opt for a scheduled c-section to avoid the potential risk of having a pretty fresh caesarean scar.

A few hours later, during the night, I woke at 3 am to use the toilet. Instantly when I lay back in bed, intense cramps began. A wave of worry came over me - this could not be contractions!? After waiting it out silently for an hour, I woke my partner and told him I needed to call the private hospital where I was supposed to deliver bub. They told me to come in straight away.

My partner, myself and my daughter, who had just turned 1, waited in the birthing suite for a few hours to see if meds would slow my contractions. They took a swab and the results were 38% that I would most likely deliver my baby in the next seven days.

“'Seems quite a high chance?” I said to my stand-in OB - as of course, my OB was on holidays at the time. She agreed it was a high result. Based on this, I was transferred to John Hunter Hospital as the private hospital could not deliver my baby unless I were 34+ weeks pregnant.

The nurses monitored me all day, I was given more meds to help keep me comfortable and I was all set to stay in hospital for a few days. My partner went home to tend to our daughter and update the family at around 4 pm. Around this time, I had an internal ultrasound to ensure everything with bub was going ok, and it was.

The moment I returned to my room in the ward at around 6 pm, sharp, strong contractions began. I pressed the button for assistance and the nurse came in instantly. I could hardly breathe through the pain and told her the pressure was so great I felt the urge to push. She called for more help and demanded I hop on the bed as we were going to the birthing suite.

As the two nurses raced up the corridors, wheeling my bed, my waters broke. In the birthing suite, I was instructed not to push - it was so hard not to. They had to inject magnesium sulphate into my body for the baby. It felt like forever waiting for it to happen. It made me so incredibly hot; I felt like I was hyperventilating and made it difficult to breathe through contractions.

I couldn't open my eyes because of the pain, and when told to push, I could hardly focus. Once the OB ordered me to push “you have to get baby out NOW!”, I managed to focus enough for a final push and awaited a little cry. About 30 seconds later, I heard a cry, and I was so relieved. I still couldn't open my eyes. I could hear them assessing the baby and I kept saying “what is it?”

It seemed like a long time before I overheard one of the NICU nurses say “he” to her colleague. “Is it a boy?” I asked my partner, and the OB confirmed it was. It was 8 pm. Moments later, they held him up for me to see briefly and immediately took our little boy to the NICU with my partner in tow.

I had a lot of bleeding and had torn a lot. So I had to remain in the birthing suite until all had settled and midwives happy for me to be moved. I finally met my son at 12.30 am. I was wheeled in and watched my little guy for a half-hour or so, and I couldn't believe how small he was. The nurses kept saying “thanks for growing such a big, strong boy for us” - as he was 1.4kg. Well above the average size for his gestational age.

We named him Madden, meaning little hound, which was appropriate as the first time I saw him, he sounded like a little puppy.

Thankfully he was doing everything for himself. He was on and off CPAP for two weeks, had many checks, tests, kangaroo cuddles and continued to grow like a little champion. He was in NICU for five weeks. He was transferred to special care for a further four weeks

The continuous cycle of hospital visits, expressing and transporting my breast milk, the emotional rollercoaster and the heartbreak of having to leave him in hospital each night was torture. But well and truly worth it as Madden came home on his Dad's birthday - 3 weeks before his due date.

We had physiotherapy for Madden every few weeks since he came home to assist with mild low muscle tone. Other than that, no issue. He is a solid little guy, and it takes some convincing for people to believe he came into this world 12 weeks early. He has always been a tough little boy.

We're so incredibly lucky to have this now two year old thriving and keeping us on our toes."


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