Our wee girl Clare Louise was born in August 2012 nine weeks premature (31 weeks) in Wellington Hospital.

Her brother was born at 37 weeks in 2010 by emergency c-section. When pregnant with Clare in 2012, at approx 27 weeks, Mum started bleeding and spent a few days being reviewed in the Maternity ward at Wellington Hospital. At 28 weeks Mum was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and hospitalised to get blood sugars and the bleeding under control. Over this period little Clare was fine, healthy and strong her in her movements and heart rate etc.

At 30 weeks Mum was released after 8 days in hospital (after much begging and pleading) to go home and ‘grow’ baby as good as we could as could, knowing that the likely hood of reaching 40 weeks was low. That same night as being discharged (30 weeks and 5 days) Mum experienced a massive bleed at 4am resulting in a rushed trip back to Wellington. Managing to keep things in control we made it to 31 weeks before the waters broke and little Clare made a hurried entry to the world. It turned out the c-section from Clare’s brothers delivery had ruptured at some stage.

In what was a ‘blur’ Clare was born only requiring a few hours of c-pap oxygen and then some assistance with feeding over the following 9 weeks. She was delivered weighing 1980gms but went down to 980gms due to not being able to take nasal feeds very well. She turned the corner at 6 weeks post birth and didn’t look back. Every morning on Doctors rounds they would make their way through Pod 2. We were in the last bay. The group of Doctors and residents would get to us, and the wonderful head Neonates Fellow would say ‘uhhhh Sullivan – just needs to fatten up’ and carry on. Whilst we were very thankful for her improvement, after being in amongst some terribly sick babies it made us aware that not everyone gets to walk out with their wee angels.

For all mums, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunties and uncles etc who loose a wee baby during this time please know this. The Nurses, the helpers, the Doctors and the Specialists are doing EVERYTHING in their power to enable you to take your wee one home. Kia kaha to all those involved in bringing the next generation to life. You are appreciated.