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In a hurry to be a leap year baby

Although I was four weeks away from my scheduled caesarean, I wasn’t concerned by my contractions. I assumed they were due to my irritable uterus. I was fine last time it happened and had no reason to believe we could stop them again.

This is Teegan’s story:

“It was February 26th 2020 at about 9.30 pm, and I was booked in to have my little man via caesarean on the 1st of April 2020, but he had other plans. I noticed my Braxton hicks were occurring quite regularly and were getting stronger and stronger. I went to the hospital where they were sure it was an irritable uterus which I had the same with my second son but they were able to stop it. But this little man wasn’t going to wait, after many medications and two nights in hospital nothing worked and the Braxton Hicks had now turned into contractions that were around two minutes apart.

Early caesarean

The doctors were hesitant as my cervix wasn’t dilated but the contractions were only getting worse. So at 8 am on February 29th (yes a leap year) the doctor decided it was best for me to go in and have a caesarean to get my very impatient little man out. At 8.42 am on February 29th 2020 my little man was born weighing 5lb 7oz at 34 + 3 weeks. Due to having a caesarean I was not able to see him for over an hour which was heartbreaking. After birth, he was given a bit of help with his breathing and was but on slow flow oxygen.

After three days in the hospital, I was told they would need my bed so each night so I had to leave my little man in the hospital while I went home to sleep. This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. He had to get tube fed as he did not like the bottles the hospital used. His weight kept going up and down and up and down. Every time we thought we were going to be able to take him home, the paediatrician would tell us that he needed to do something else before he could go home.

One step forward, two back

The little things you take for granted with a normal birth are such big things for premie babies. We celebrated having the oxygen lowered, having the oxygen turned off, having the humidity crib temperature lowered, being out into an open crib, being able to have a bath, being able to wear clothes, having his feeding tube removed. All the little things meant so much to us and after a big fight and after a very long and painful two weeks in hospital (right before the Corona Virus restrictions hit hard) we were able to take our little man home.

Thriving at home

Once home, he absolutely thrived and gained weight constantly. He was kept in hospital due to slow weight gain but the reason he wasn’t gaining weight, was that he was exclusively breastfed. I wasn’t able to stay and breastfeed him overnight, so he wasn’t getting exactly what he needed until we got home.

He is now a very chubby and healthy six and a half-month-old baby who has done nothing but kick all the goals he wasn’t expected to kick so soon. His development is exactly where it should be and he is going in the right direction.

I could not have gone through any of this without the support from my partner, my family, my friends and all the nurses and doctors in the special care nursery at the Mildura Base Hospital. I formed friendships I will never forget with all the special care nurses they were absolutely amazing and I can not thank them enough for all they did for our family.”

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.

Rebecca Strahan


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