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I didn’t make it to the hospital in time

Matthew was born in the middle of a world-wide pandemic, in the back of an ambulance on the side of the road at 33 weeks.

This is Kristal’s story:

My labour was very spontaneous. When my waters started to leak in the early hours of the morning, my partner got our 2 year old up and ready and we went to the Innisfail hospital. I was checked and was told that bub would most likely be born within 48hrs and I’d have to be transferred to Cairns Base Hospital. I was given steroids for Matthew’s lungs and medication to try and stop the labour.

My partner left to take our 2 year old son to his grandparents which was an hour drive away. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, he was unable to be at the hospital nor was he allowed to visit or meet his brother in the SCN. 

In a hurry to be born

I was loaded up into an ambulance to go to Cairns. My contractions started getting closer and more intense, when, not even 11kms out of Innisfail, I felt the urge to push. The driver pulled over and within 15 minutes Matthew was born. Thankfully, he was breathing on his own.

We then raced to Cairns Base Hospital where Matthew was taken straight away to be put into an isolette as his body temp was extremely low. He spent 26 days in the SCN, mainly just growing and learning to feed. We had a few little setbacks but our little man is a warrior. 

A village of support

I can honestly say the SCN nurses and doctors were amazing. We had so many incredible and talented people caring for our baby. Leaving the hospital without our son was probably the hardest experience – one which still brings tears to my eyes. 

Though it was heartbreaking, through all the trials and tribulations of bringing our son into this world AND THEN home, I have nothing but endless positivity for the team who cared for him when I couldn’t. My family is forever grateful for their hard work, dedication and compassion. It’s an experience I couldn’t have gone through without their support. 

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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