Kimberley's Story

Kimberley's Story

After 11 attempts at IVF and two heartbreaking ectopic pregnancies, my husband and I were finally expecting a baby girl due 18 August 2017. After a few scares in early pregnancy we finally started to relax as we approached 24 weeks - the big viability milestone!

Then at 24 weeks and 2 day I went into threatened premature labour and was told I had a 50/50 chance of delivering our baby in the next two weeks. Living in Rockhampton meant I was quickly flown to Brisbane via the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

It all happened so quickly.

I arrived in Brisbane at the Mater Mothers’ Pregnancy Assessment Centre (PAC) at 1 am on 1 May. Absolutely terrified, alone and unsure of what was going to happen, the midwife at PAC was very comforting and supportive and I was incredibly lucky to meet Dr Julie Buchanan, who was on call that night. She was kind, empathetic, caring and so supportive. I knew that my baby and I were in good hands.

I was taken up to the antenatal ward which became my home for the next nine weeks. I was seen by the amazing Dr Glenn Gardener, in Maternal Fetal Medicine, who did a thorough ultrasound of my baby to make sure she was safe and healthy. My heart sank when it was confirmed I had an extremely shortened cervix, meaning I was at a very high risk of premature labour,  being over 24 weeks meant it was too late for a cervical suture. My husband arrived and was able to stay by my side for the first few nights, then a room at the Ronald McDonald House was organised for him. During the most stressful time of our lives we were incredibly grateful he was able to have somewhere close to stay.

At 25 weeks I began to dilate, and spent 24 hours in birth suite trying to stop the labour as well as being given medications to help the baby if she was born. That night was terrifying. We had the extremely difficult discussion with the neonatologist explaining the expectations of a baby born at this prematurity. We were told there was a 40 per cent chance she might not make it, and if she did a 30 per cent chance of being born with severe disability.

How could we have come this far, beat the odds of infertility, to lose our miracle? I was determined to fight and do everything we could to keep her safe and sound. Thankfully labour didn't progress that night and every day that passed was a huge blessing.

Over the next nine weeks we had many scares, my obstetrician was called many times thinking "today's the day" but to everyone's amazement days turned into weeks and hospital bed rest became very familiar. Mater Mothers’ does a wonderful job at trying to make the best out of a scary experience.

The occupational therapy department set me up with adult colouring in and I learnt to knit and crochet. The hospital’s entertainment system meant I had movies and educational DVDs to prepare for motherhood as well. I also made use of the free Wi-Fi.

Once I got further along, I was able to attend classes run by occupational therapists and volunteers like "mums connect", cooking classes and craft groups. They were a great way to meet other mums on hospital bed rest as well. The support and friendships I made during my time really helped me throughout the weeks. We even had State of Origin parties in the patient lounge.

By 33 weeks, nine weeks after being admitted I was transferred back to Rockhampton via RFDS, it was great to be home sweet home! We are forever grateful that our little girl had defied the odds and has made it this far. At 24 weeks we thought there was no way we would make it to 32 weeks- but this little girl is a fighter and a true miracle!

It was with great pride and joy that we were finally able to announce the safe arrival of our beautiful little girl Mia Jasmine, born at 37 weeks on 28 July 2017.

I cannot thank Dr Julie Buchanan enough for her incredible support, knowledge and pure kindness during the most stressful nine weeks of our lives. We are also very grateful to the midwives, Maternal Fetal Medicine team, occupational therapists, social workers, volunteers and midwives at the Mater Mothers’, as well as the quick acting care and support of my obstetrician and midwives here in Rockhampton and the Royal Flying Doctor Service for getting me as quickly as possible to one of the best maternity hospitals in Australia.

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