Zachary's Story, 33 Weeks

Miracle Mum, Sunni says the NICU experience is one of the hardest challenges they have faced as a family. Especially, not feeling like he was their baby because he was under such a strict routine in the hospital.

"I was pregnant with my second child and the pregnancy was going relatively smoothly until I went to bed one night with really itchy feet. I had previously had itchy palms but hadn't thought anything of it. I decided to type it into google just to make sure everything was ok - when a pregnancy condition came up called cholestasis.

I booked an appointment with my obstetrician on Wednesday and went for blood tests Friday. The Monday the itch was unbearable so I booked another appointment for Tuesday. My results were not good my liver levels were really high. I was put on medication but on the Thursday morning I started having contractions. I was at work and thought that I was just having Braxton Hicks contractions so continued working. That night my contractions were more intense so we went to the hospital. I was in preterm labour.

I was given surfactant for babies lungs and medication to stop the contractions but my contractions didn't stop. The blood tests came back and they decided that baby would need to be born Friday. By Friday afternoon I hadn't progressed and my levels came back even higher. Baby was now in distress and my liver and kidneys were shutting down.

Zachary was born via emergency c-section on 6 July at 33+3 weeks at 2.3kg. I was terrified we were going to lose Zachary. Zachary and I were both rushed to ICU. Zachary was put on oxygen but only for one night. My little man was such a fighter.

He was a good weight for a prem and immediately starting breastfeeding. He only fed for short periods but he gained weight really quickly. We were lucky there were no health issues and he was allowed to come home after three weeks.

I was so unprepared having a prem as my first child was born at 39 weeks and I had no health issues. It was so difficult leaving Zachary every night at the hospital, the pumping every three hours and not feeling like he was our baby because he was under such a strict routine.

But it really made us appreciate how each journey is different and that we were lucky in comparison to some of the stories we heard whilst in NICU.

Zachary is now a healthy happy 18-month old who keeps us on our toes and brings us so much joy everyday. The prem journey is one of the toughest things we have faced and we appreciated all the doctors and nurses who were there throughout our time in NICU."

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