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We were told one of our babies was not going to make it

Trigger Warning: The following story and pictures may be distressing for some people.

This is Katrina’s story:

In 2017, we were so excited to discover we would be welcoming a baby in April 2018. After our first ultrasound, we found out we were expecting twins. Our babies would be identical! As the weeks went by, we were filled with so much excitement yet so many nerves – expecting twins for the first time was definitely a huge shock to us.

Once we reached the 23 week mark, we were scheduled to have fortnightly ultrasounds to keep an eye on our boys. Although much to our disbelief, at just 23 weeks and 5 days, my body had already started the labour process. After much discussion with the higher medical staff, I was airlifted to Centenary Hospital for Women and Children in Woden, Canberra. After 3 days of being completely bedridden and poked and prodded every two hours by nurses and doctors, our boys were in too much of a hurry to enter this world.

At 9.35am, at 24 weeks and 1 day, Lachlan arrived and was joined by his brother Brodie, 8 minutes later. After being intubated and rushed to the NICU, my husband and I were approached by the medical team in the NICU who told us one of our babies was not going to make it. We had to make the rash decision as to whether or not we would leave Brodie’s life support on. Brodie wasn’t able to breathe on his own and required 100% oxygen. He had also sustained a blood clot to his brain and lungs which had been irreversible. We made the decision to free him from his pain and 90 minutes after arriving earth-side, he took his last breath in my arms while staring at us. Our hearts were completely shattered.

Things continued to go downhill as we had a baby on high oxygen requirements and struggling to survive. While trying to mourn the loss of our son, Lachlan proved to be a fighter. Doctors told us Lachlan had a less than 7% chance of him making it through the night. At 3 days old, Lachlan required resuscitation as he pulled the breathing tube from his mouth.

As the days went on it felt like the longest time of our lives. Every day was a challenge for Lachlan, overcoming a server chemical burn to his leg, many major surgeries including both of his eyes, and having to be revived more times than we can count. Lachlan was in hospital for 117 days, defeating all the odds of what the doctors had been telling us.

Once we made it back to our hometown of Griffith NSW, we were lucky enough to have our baby at home for 3 days before he was admitted back into hospital. In the first two years of Lachlan’s life we, spent more time in our local hospital than we did at home. Lachlan had a lot of developmental delays but with amazing therapy he has risen above and come out on top. Lachlan requires glasses all the time and daily patching to help strengthen his eyesight. He suffers from chronic lung disease, which requires daily Ventolin and Seritide, as well as the use of a nebuliser.

It’s been 4 years and 7 months since we saw our gorgeous boy, Brodie. But we know he’s watching over us and he’s been guiding Lachlan. We have a memorial cabinet in our living room that Lachlan talks to every day. It’s definitely not easy being a parent to premature babies with all the expensive therapies, but we are more than blessed to have Lachlan here with us today.

In January this year, we were joined by our rainbow baby Harlow.

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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.

Belinda Algie


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