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After two previous losses, my rainbow baby was born at 34 weeks

This is Zoe’s story:

Axel is my rainbow baby, after suffering two losses at 20 weeks prior to falling pregnant with him. At my 20 week morphology scan, I was told he was 2 weeks behind where he should be but that they may have got the dating scan wrong. So, from that point on, I had a scan every 2nd week to make sure he was still heading in the right direction. 

I was then admitted to a ward for monitoring. When I got to the ward, they just kept telling me my baby When I reached 28 weeks, he was a little more behind. He had dropped from the 10th percentile to under the 3rd percentile. At this stage, I was having weekly scans and every time the dopplers were elevated. At 34 weeks, I went in on a Saturday to have my CTG scan in the morning. He was very quiet – not like he normally was. After the nurse urged me to have something to eat, he started moving around happily. At this stage my base line was normal, so I was let go. 

I went home and didn’t really feel him move much at all in the afternoon. Four hours later and I hadn’t felt him at all. So, I went into the hospital. They picked his heart rate up on the CTG straight away but no movements. My blood pressure was suddenly high, compared to that morning. After half an hour at the hospital, his heart rate had started to drop so the doctor decided to do an emergency caesarian. 

Just the beginning of his journey

Axel was born weighing 1350 grams. He made one big cry when he came out and then he was taken away. I thankfully got to see him soon after. He was ok and breathing on his own but still needed help. This is where his journey started. The first night he spent on CPAP which he handled really well. The second night all his blood results were back and he had very low blood platelets. They were exactly sure but thought my blood cells were attacking his blood cells. They contacted Sydney and Queensland paediatric teams for their opinion and they all agreed he needed his first blood transfusion. I was devastated. 

The third night was another transfusion of some blood sort. He did really well. He didn’t have any bad reactions (thankfully). They then took blood from him every single day to see if his platelets were stabilising, and if they weren’t, he would need another transfusion. He also needed a brain scan to see if he had any bleeds on his brain due to this. Again, thankfully he didn’t.

After two weeks of touch and go with his platelets, they finally started to stablise. By week three, everyone was happy with them and just worked out he must just have been really stressed out in the womb due to his cord being coiled with two true knots. He pretty much aced every single thing he needed to. It was something new every day. But he hardly cried, even when he had wires coming out of his arteries. He wanted to be here and fought so hard to be. By week four of being in the hospital, he was taking all suck feeds by himself, despite only weighing 1.5kg. 

Going home

When he reached 1.6kg, they let him come home, and ever since then, besides really bad reflux, he has thrived. He is now a big 3.4kg and is just amazing! Don’t ever give up hope, these babies are amazing. He was so small, but he was so mighty. My little mighty mouse!

Share your story

Have you found comfort in reading other parents’ stories? We get lots of grateful feedback on how reading these personal stories help new parents to cope with their own experience. Every family has a unique and important story to share. Share your journey and celebrate your story below.

Karen Peters


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