The story of 26 Weeker Miracle Elodie
I want to introduce myself and my beautiful daughter who made me a NICU mumma. 💖
My partner and I conceived our little miracle after experiencing a miscarriage the year before & also both having some fertility issues.
At 20 weeks pregnant we found out we were having a little girl. I was beyond excited - but the news of having a girl was shadowed by some unexpected news that we had abnormal blood flow from the placenta to our precious little girl.
Due to lack of movement, head aches, dizziness & fluid retention, I was presenting myself to birth unit at least 4 times a week. I was always told everything was fine because they could hear her heart beat. They refused to diagnose me with pre eclampsia because I was too early to have it.
At 24+5 weeks I went into birth unit after not being able to feel movements for 28 hours. I had a urine test done, bloods & heart doppler check. My blood pressure was through the roof and I had 3 times the amount of protein in my urine. They decided that they had no choice but to diagnose me with severe early onset pre eclampsia. However, by this stage, it was too late and not even the blood pressure medication was working.
I was then rushed to Clayton Monash at 3am via ambulance & told to prepare for the birth of my daughter. At 25 weeks pregnant I was shitting myself. “We don’t deliver babies before 34 weeks here, and we don’t think you will make it to 30 weeks”.
I was an inpatient at Clayton for 12 days before we had our final ultrasound that determined it was time for our little girl to make her grand entrance. For those 12 days, I had heart doppler checks every 4 hours, an ultrasound every morning, strictly bed ridden, steroid injections, and constantly fasting in case for an emergency c section.
The day before I delivered, my doctor came in and said “we think we can push it one more day. However there is a chance we have got this wrong and should have done it today. The risk of delivering a still born is high”. But that extra day of her staying inside, means three days out of the NICU.
On the 15th of July, at 8am I was wheeled down to birth unit. I was having my final ultrasound. I had absolutely no fluid around my baby. Her tiny vessel next to her heart was working too hard, she had pushed all of her blood pressure to her brain at maximum capacity, was not practising her breathing exercises and was not moving on the screen at all. I was then moved into a bed and put on the magnesium drip for 2 hours.
1:15pm I was then wheeled to theatre. I remember Post Malone “Better Now” being played in the background.
At 2:20pm, Elodie Maree Gowland was born via emergency c section, weighing a teeny tiny 435g at 26+2 weeks gestation. She was breached and not breathing on her own.
Off she went in her isolette to NICU where she would be intubated and I stayed getting stitched up and put into recovery.
The next morning I get a phone call from one of the Neonatologists stating that Elodie had a bleed in the lungs and they needed my permission for a blood transfusion as well as to give her steroids. Without even meeting my baby yet I agreed and told them to do what ever they had to do to make sure she was well and healthy.
I met my daughter the next day around lunch time. I’d never ever seen a baby so small. Her skin translucent, her ears pinned to her head and no bum cheeks!!
Our first cuddle was when Elodie was 9 days old. It was the most precious moment of my life that I will forever cherish.
The NICU nurses constantly told us about the “honeymoon period”. I thought “no way, she’s such a trooper, she won’t go downhill”. But boy was I wrong.
Elodie then had 5 positive blood cultures. Infections in her blood, eyes and lungs which cause her lungs to collapse. She was so unwell. At this stage they also thought that her bowel had died, and warned us that surgery was on the cards. Our tiny 600g baby was going to be operated on. An operation we were told that only 1 in 3 babies make.
Thankfully, the surgery was held off. Elodie fought off her infections and her lungs were back to normal. But the infection had re opened a large PDA. New course of paracetamol to close it up.
A few months had passed, and Elodie went floppy & lifeless. The days leading up to this, she wasn’t herself. She was agitated, sooky and didn’t want to be bothered, but also didn’t register when people were touching her. She was electively intubated after being on cpap for about a month.
On the 7th of October, just shy of being 3 months Elodie had surgery on her bowel. They found it was stuck & twisted. Thankfully she didn’t need a stoma bag. ✂️🏥
Elodie spent 112 days in the NICU. Where our nurses became our families and many friendships were made.
After surgery Elodie went back to her normal self. We started breast contact, and she was stable enough to go on high flow for her oxygen. Then came her first bath at 3 months old, and moving into an open cot!
2 weeks ago Elodie graduated NICU and was moved down to the Special Care Nursery. We have established bottle feeding. She loves her cuddles. However she keeps dropping her blood sugar levels. 🎓
Problems Elodie now has is chronic lung disease, bone disease, stage 2 ROP in both eyes, liver problems, a slow thyroid & is being tested for cystic fibrosis once she hits 3kg. Genetic testing will also be happening in the coming days. She has also had 13 blood transfusions.
Elodie is now 4 months old, 2.7kg & wearing 00000 clothes. We are hoping to have her home before Christmas! 🎄🎁🎅🏼🤶🏼
Thank you for reading our story. I look forward to learning about your premature little ones or sick bubbas and offering as much support & advice as I can. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💖
Thankyou to Miracle Mumma Tenielle for sharing your story and helping to raise awareness of pre-eclampsia & premature birth.
'Vintage Floral' Premature Baby Milestone Cards available at https://www.miraclemumma.com.au/collections/premature-baby-milestone-cards ♡