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“Not having our little girl with us on Christmas Day felt empty…”

Baby Amelia arrived unexpectedly five and half weeks early, on December 5th. Parents Rhiannon and Brett had a difficult time coping with their daughter’s early arrival – especially not being able to have her at home with them for the festive season.

This is Rhiannon’s story:

What a roller coaster of emotions that December was for us! Our daughter Amelia was born on December 5th at 34.5 weeks, by Caesarian weighing a tiny 1.4kg. She was in the ICU at Jessie McPherson Hospital until January 1st, 2018.

Man smiling holding his new born baby who is wrapped in a blanket and wearing a yellow knitted beanie.
Brett with Amelia shortly after her early arrival
Young woman with her young baby onto her chest in Kangaroo care. Father is siting next to them smiling.
Rhiannon, Brett and Amelia enjoying Kangaroo Care

No one can prepare you for the emotions that will come not being able to bring your child home after birth. My husband and I shed so many tears – some of joy when she arrived safely but most heartbreaking ones every day we had to leave her after a visit.

Not having our little girl with us on Christmas Day felt empty.

What made us get through it all was knowing she was safe where she was was and that the care she was given was like no other. We couldn’t be happier with how amazing the nurses were. They taught us so much being first time parents and we are forever grateful for it.

Premature baby sleeping in a cot with a feeding tube taped onto her face. Behind her is a red Santa hat that reads 'My First Christmas'.
Amelia’s first Christmas
Young mum in wearing floral dress in a hospital ward holding her tiny premature baby next to a woman holding the book 'Spot's First Christmas'.
Making the day special

Visiting Amelia Christmas Day twice made us realise it’s not about getting presents or having the nicest Christmas lunch. It really is just about being with the people you love dearly. The memories we made in hospital will always remain in our hearts even the tough ones.

Young mother with long blonde hair  and dad with his arm around her shoulders carrying their new baby out of hospital. Both are smiling.
Starting the New Year as a family together

New Year’s Day 2018 was one of the happiest days of ours lives because Amelia was finally home where she belonged.

Amelia is now 3 years old and the strongest, funniest and most gorgeous little girl we could have ever asked for. Being in ICU feels like a lifetime ago.


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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