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Birth Story: so little, so beautiful…

birthstory-joalishaMy daughter was born on the 27th of March 2008, 10 weeks early! We found out we were pregnant 4 weeks after we were married in 2007, we were very excited, especially my parents – their only daughter having a baby! All was well up until 23 weeks.

I was working crazy hours as a chef in Brisbane’s South Bank, and noticed after a shift my feet were really swollen. I went to see my doctor and she did a few tests and said I had protein in my urine and high blood pressure. The swelling equalled pre-eclampsia, and I was admitted to Logan Hospital for 3 days where I had a number of tests. They told me I had pre-eclampsia; I was released to later find myself back there 4 days later.

At that point, they decided I was too high risk for a local hospital, and only being 24 weeks I was transferred to the Mater Hospital Brisbane. I spent 5 days there and they released me again for the weekend to have daily checks with my GP.

Monday came; my blood pressure had sky-rocketed and I was told to head straight to the hospital. I got looked over and was sent to a ward; about 30 minutes later I had the senior doctor come see me and tell me I would be not be leaving this hospital until my baby was born. I was 25 weeks and 4 days.

My brother was getting married 4 days later I was meant to be in the wedding party, but had to pull out. I begged the staff to let me out; I had to have a blood test and be checked over before I was allowed to leave. I arrived at 3 o’clock, in time for ceremony, but only made it to 7 o’clock. I was very sick; my sister took me back to the hospital and I slept the rest of the night away – that was how I knew I wasn’t well.

4 weeks went past filled with visits from family and friends. I took up craft run by the Mater, and wrote in my diary every day.

4 days before bub came we were taken to the Intensive Care Nursery so we knew what to expect – it was eye-opening and so scary knowing that was what we were in for!

The day before Alisha was born, the doctor came and told us that I was getting very sick and bub would be born tomorrow at 8 am via c-section! The big day came; we were so excited. Hubby rushed to the hospital after night shift, and got dressed in his scrubs!

At 8.58 am Alisha Maree was born – 1332g and 40cms – she was taken away straight away and put on the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, and I saw her about an hour later. Oh my gosh she was so little, so beautiful, so like her daddy! I was taken back to my room, and my family left so I could rest. 20 minutes later I was told I was going to adult ICU – so far away from my baby! I was put on a magnesium infusion and spent 3 days there where my blood pressure went thought the roof. I was very lucky I was there. I also found out I had an enlarged heart from all the fluid I was retaining!

My first cuddle with Alisha was on her 4th day! It was amazing! I didn’t want to have to put her back in the humidicrib – I could have cuddled her all day, I remember she felt like a warm frog: all skin and bones! Alisha was so very lucky, she never got sick, all she had to do was get bigger! That’s what one of the midwives said; she is not sick just little! She spent a total of 9 days at the Mater, then was transferred back to the Logan hospital, she spent a further 5 weeks there. I saw her every day, but the hardest part is having to ask to pick up your own child, or kiss them or touch them. My hubby was very over it towards the end, as was I.

Alisha came home on the 7th of May 2008, nearly 7 weeks after she was born. It was an amazing day – felt like a long time coming! I was so glad we had her home with us where she belongs!

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Thanks to forum mum joalisha for sharing her heartwarming birth story with us.
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