Surviving the Challenges of Prematurity: A Mother’s Story

Surviving the Challenges of Prematurity: A Mother’s Story

Amour Stewart, a local mother, had always dreamed of having a smooth and joyous pregnancy. However, her journey took an unexpected turn when she experienced severe morning sickness and discovered she was pregnant with twins. Despite facing numerous challenges and undergoing an emergency caesarean section, Amour’s determination and love for her babies helped her navigate the turbulent road of prematurity.

During her pregnancy, Amour experienced Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a condition characterized by extreme morning sickness. She recalls feeling sick every day until the 17th week of pregnancy. Concerned about her well-being, her healthcare providers scheduled a scan to ensure everything was alright. To her surprise, the scan revealed not one, but two little hearts beating inside her.

Amour’s journey became even more uncertain when complications arose. One of the twins, Waitī, had a low doppler reading, indicating inadequate blood flow to the placenta. It was a worrying sign, and Amour was transferred to a hospital in Auckland for specialized care. She was injected with steroids to promote the babies’ lung development and prepared for a prolonged stay in the hospital.

The next weeks were filled with uncertainty and moments of both hope and fear. Amour’s husband and daughter stayed at the Ronald McDonald House nearby, while she remained in the maternity ward, monitored closely by the medical team. As her pregnancy progressed, Waitī’s distress became evident, leading to a move to the delivery suite. Amour’s husband rushed back to Auckland, and together, they faced the challenges that lay ahead.

On April 12, the twins were born via cesarean section. Waitī weighed a mere 490 grams, requiring continuous positive airway pressure, while Waitā weighed 690 grams and needed ventilation support. Both boys fought bravely, overcoming obstacles such as a collapsed lung and the need for blood transfusions. Amour’s heart ached as she watched her fragile babies undergo numerous tests and treatments.

Their journey in the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit lasted 125 long days. Every day, Amour and her family celebrated each milestone the twins achieved, from breathing advancements to nappy size changes. One of the most significant moments was when their older sister held them for the first time, showcasing her protectiveness and love.

Amour’s commitment to breastfeeding was unwavering despite the challenges she faced. She expressed milk diligently, ensuring her boys received the nourishment they needed. Her dedication paid off when they easily latched and began breastfeeding.

Amour’s story serves as a testament to the strength and resilience of mothers and premature babies. Their journey was tough, but their bond and love enabled them to overcome the hurdles they encountered along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe form of morning sickness that is characterized by persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It can lead to dehydration and weight loss.

2. What is the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)?
The Special Care Baby Unit is a specialized unit within a hospital that provides medical care and support for premature or sick newborn babies.

3. What is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a specialized unit within a hospital that provides intensive medical care for newborn babies who are critically ill or born prematurely.

4. What is a doppler scan?
A doppler scan is a test that uses ultrasound technology to measure blood flow through the placenta and the baby’s vessels. It can help detect any issues with blood flow and fetal well-being.

Sources:
– Hyperemesis Gravidarum. (n.d.). Retrieved from Mayoclinic.org: mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperemesis-gravidarum/symptoms-causes/syc-20352198
– Special Care Baby Unit. (n.d.). Retrieved from Healthpoint.co.nz: healthpoint.co.nz/public/special-childrens-health-services/special-care-baby-unit/
– Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). (n.d.). Retrieved from Healthychildren.org: healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/Understanding-Dyphagia.aspx

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