Three years ago I had my first baby girl naturally at 35 weeks pregnant, she was breech a week before but due to a small car accident the shock turned her, she was not harmed and neither was I, but apparently she couldn’t wait any longer. During delivery I suffered a 3rd degree tear that needed to be stitched in theatre, but I refused as I did not want to leave my baby. Luckily enough I had an excellent doctor who agreed to do the repair work in the birth suite.
Shortly after Isabella was born she was sent to the hospitals special care nursery to receive antibiotics, it was there they discovered she had high levels of jaundice requiring phototherapy within a humidicrib, she also had feeding troubles so a nasogastric tube was inserted to help her to feed. After over a month in special care we finally got to take her home. I was terrified about having another baby thinking the same thing would happen, but through the support of my partner we decided to go for another.
Around 20weeks into my 2nd pregnancy we found out our baby was breech, we tried everything to turn her but she wouldn’t budge so I booked a C-section on a week that my partner would be home from work, as he worked away for a week at a time. Two weeks before my booked date, I knew I had gone into labour but I didn’t want to do it alone. So I held out and stayed home through increasing pain with Isabella (who was now 18 months old) until morning came as my partner would be flying home that day. I spoke to him and he told me to go to the hospital and he would try get an early flight home.
He arrived as I was being wheeled into theatre to welcome our new baby girl; I couldn’t be happier. Aria was born via emergency C-section at 38weeks and we got to take her home 3 days later; however, I knew there was something off about her. On day 6 I requested a doctor come to our home 30 minutes out of town, as my partner had gone back to work and I couldn’t yet drive.
She was readmitted to hospital that afternoon into the special care nursery as she, too, had high levels of jaundice. Hers, however, were at a critical level due to a urinary tract infection we weren’t aware she had. Blood was flown up from our states capital and triple phototherapy (the first time it had ever been attempted at our hospital) was commenced in the meantime to try starve off the jaundice to avoid brain damage. 1 month later we got to take her home again free and clear with no signs of any side effects.
Thirteen weeks ago I gave birth again to another baby girl, I prayed for a VBAC. When we found out she was breech also, we once again went through all the motions to try and turn her to no avail. I was booked for C-section at 40 weeks; 2 days before my due date. However, at 38 weeks pregnant, late at night, on the day of my step daughters 4th birthday, I knew I was going into labour.
I made all the calls and we arrived at the hospital at 3am, Jan 17th the day, after her birthday. Within half an hour I was in for my emergency C-section. Once again, I was terrified of my baby being ill; however, everyone was confident we would have a healthy baby girl. This time my C-section was calm and peaceful. My partner and I joked and lots of photos were taken of the whole process including her delivery by our midwife.
Moments later things started to get tense and I knew something was wrong. Harper was taken to be checked over while the surgeon battled with a bleed I was having. When they brought her back they told us not to be alarmed, but as soon as my bleeding was controlled they would need to take her into the special care nursery as some things weren’t “right” about her.
They let me hold her as they fixed me up and off we went. While in special care, I found out she had some “abnormalities” as they called them, and they weren’t 100% sure she was a girl, tests came back clear, she has no chromosomal abnormalities and we were sent back to the ward.
The next day things started going downhill, while I was up and about she was very lethargic and starting to yellow, so on my insistence they called a specialist. She was readmitted to special care nursery on day 2 with high levels of jaundice just like her sisters; however, they also found she had a heart condition and a torticollis in her neck, causing her head to pull to the side and develop a little wonky. After 2 weeks we took her home only to have her readmitted a week later with chronic heart failure.
She was placed on heart medication, antibiotics for an unknown urinary tract infection, and oxygen to help her breath as well as a feeding tube, that night they rang to tell us she had been moved to the NICU. After 4 days in the NICU, and another 2 weeks in special care, we got to bring her home again. She has an ASD, VSD, duplex urinary system, bilateral reflux of urinary system, and torticollis of the neck, low muscle tone, and failure to thrive.
Through the help of our team of specialists, she is on various medication as well as growth formula and physiotherapy, and is on the road to recovery. At 13 weeks old she still only weighs 5kg, but she is getting there. I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my friends, family, partner and our team of doctors who have looked after all my babies and gotten them home with us.
I have attached photos of my girls in special care/NICU as well as my body post my miracles. People ask if I’d do it again, and I’ve always said yes. But since Harper was born I have changed my mind. Reading the stories on this site have helped me to see that even though it’s been a difficult road, I wouldn’t change it for the world and I would definitely do it all over again if I could.