Our little Rafferty came into the world at 32 weeks after I developed severe preeclampsia. My blood pressure started gradually increasing from 20 weeks and I was hospitalised at 28 weeks to stabilise me before delivering 4 weeks later. I had an obstetrician appointment and my Dr let me leave and go to work to pack up before getting to the hospital which was such a surreal experience.
He was born via c-section and there were no cuddles; but a touch of fingers before he was whisked off. Rafferty had unfortunately stopped growing we believe around 28 weeks, so he was considered quite small for a 32-weeker. Although I was quite unwell, his birth was the most beautiful day of my life. He stayed in the SCN for 5.5 weeks to help him grow and feed and we did what we could to surrender to the ups and downs of this experience. All the staff were amazing at the SAN, especially my obstetrician and his midwife. The SCN nurses had the radio always playing smooth FM next to him. Having to leave the hospital without him was so incredibly hard, as was not being able to parent him in the way I'd always dreamed of in those early days. We would turn on smooth FM whenever we weren't with him, knowing that’s what he could hear which was so helpful.
Bringing him home to meet his siblings and our family was so special. No one had been able to meet him due to covid restrictions which were so difficult, especially for his siblings. When he came home, he was full of beans and unlike the quiet and sleepy baby in SCN. It was like he was reborn and making up for all the time he slept in the hospital. He's had a few little additional needs that may or may not have related to his early start including reflux, CMPI and hip dysplasia but overall, he has done so incredibly well. He is a mischievous, active, funny, messy, loud and adventurous 1 year old now who is loved to bits.
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