Madeline's Story, 26 Weeks   

Miracle Mum Wendy, shares how her baby Madeline has taught her gratitude and to appreciate the family they have in their lives.

"I had light bleeding throughout my second pregnancy, but every check was told that it was fine. One morning, I woke to a sudden gush of fluid. I had no idea what had happened. I went to the hospital and they confirmed I had a full preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM). All of a sudden, our happy pregnancy became a very scary place to be.

I was admitted and told bub's chances of survival, disability and other things one never thinks they’ll be discussing regarding their baby. I’ll never forget the fear of those couple of days in hospital, it was soul crushingly terrifying. I’d constantly ask “will my baby be okay?” and constantly be answered with “we really don’t know”.

My second night there, I was hoping for a miracle and bub to stay put for a few extra weeks. I had a strange feeling something was wrong. The amazing midwife trusted my instincts and began monitoring and within an hour I was wheeled down to birth suite with bub entering into severe distress. I was told she had to be born, I was only 26+4.

Maddie was born via a very traumatic emergency c-section where a lot of the anaesthetic didn’t work. “It’s a girl”, they announced. “Is she alive? Is she breathing?” was our response. She was whisked straight off to the NICU, I caught a glimpse of her as she was wheeled past and whispered to her to be strong for her mama and that I loved her with all my heart. This memory still brings tears to my eyes, I just hoped with every part of my heart she would be okay and I would get to hold her and tell her that properly.

I finally met my girl 15hrs later but couldn’t hold her yet. The next few months were traumatic and sad beyond words; it was by far the hardest experience of our lives. I can’t even imagine how hard it was for poor Maddie. She battled a blood transfusion, infection scares, rhetinopathy, too many tests and ultrasounds to count, a large PDA which resisted treatment and chronic lung disease. So many days we wondered how we could do this, how we could make it through, why our baby had to be in such an unfair and painful situation. Leaving her behind each day to go home broke my heart over and over and over again.

Maddie had a 93 day stay and finally came home at 3 months old, the day before her due date, on oxygen and has absolutely thrived ever since. She’s currently nearly 8 months old and a very chubby, happy, easy little angel who steals everyone’s heart with her huge gummy smiles and giggles! She’s currently being weaned off her oxygen and is meeting all her milestones. She’s got her big sister and parents completely smitten!

While I know the trauma, sadness and loss we experienced will always be there, Maddie has taught us gratitude and to appreciate the beauty we have in our lives and family each day."

Thank you Wendy for sharing your story.


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