When my best friend Kate told me she was pregnant I was almost as excited as when I had fallen pregnant. We will totally force our offspring to be besties like we are.
I loved seeing Kate’s belly growing and feeling her baby kick inside her. Everything with Kate’s pregnancy was going to plan and I was so excited to meet this little baby she was cooking up.
Then at just 31 weeks pregnant, Kate went into labour. I can remember so clearly her calling to tell me her waters had broken at work and she was in hospital. She was so calm. I was frantic. But of course, trying to keep it together for her. I had a million thoughts running through my head – is a baby fully developed at 31 weeks? Would the baby be taken away to another hospital when he/she was born? Would her little baby even survive? None of these questions I could ask her, but just the thought of them made me feel so helpless and scared for her.
She told me that they were going to try and prolong the labour and keep her baby inside for as long as they could, but that would probably only be a few days, and that most likely the baby would be taken away to another hospital as soon as it was born. I couldn’t even imagine being separated from my baby girl when she was born. But this is a heart-breaking reality for many mums.
Kate’s baby was a tough cookie like her mama and managed to stay put until the 32-week mark when she made her entrance into the world, safely. She was born healthy and without complication and little Poppy stayed at the same hospital as her mum.
I couldn’t even imagine being separated from my baby girl when she was born. But this is a heart-breaking reality for many mums.
It was a very different experience for Kate than it was for me when I had my little lady. Kate missed out on having her little baby sleep in the same room as her, and visitors to the hospital were kept to a very strict few. When Kate was ready to go home, little Poppy was not, so Kate and her husband Paul had to wait for five weeks before they could bring their daughter home.
To keep up her milk supply and to breastfeed Poppy, Kate was getting up every couple of hours overnight in the same way she would if Poppy were home with her, but instead of feeding her little girl, she would express milk in the little nursery where her Poppy should have been sleeping.
Kate and Paul would visit Poppy as often as they could and lived for the moment they could hold their little lady. They could only cuddle her for very short periods of time because she needed to save all her energy to grow and become stronger.
Poppy is now home with her parents and is thriving like a superstar. While Kate and all us mamas out there are so lucky to have our babes, this experience really opened my eyes to what the parents of premmie babies go through, and it’s bloody tough. Mums of premmie babies are absolute heroes that’s for sure.
Perlita is a mum who gave birth to a premmie baby at just 25 weeks. She didn’t think her son would survive. She has shared her moving story with Bupa , who she says helped her through so much so she could just focus on her baby boy. You can watch her story here (you’ll need the tissues for this one!)