Beautiful little Charlie arrived at 29+5 weeks in June 2021, weighing a tiny 1.34kg.

Spontaneous premature delivery is what our hospital notes say, never really getting a reason why she made her early entrance.

After spending a few days in bed with a hot water bottle to try relieve some unexplained pains I went to the hospital for some monitoring, it was then that I received a positive result for fetal fibronectin.

I spent the night in hospital and was given the first dose of steroids for baby. The next day I was told we had to transfer to Dunedin hospital incase of delivery due to Christchurch NICU being over capacity. So after a big panic, on the medical plane we went!

Once we made it to Queen Mary maternity ward we had lots of monitoring continuing overnight and a second dose of steriods.
I woke at 4am the next morning to painful contraction. Not convinced I was having real contractions, monitoring continued.

We met with doctors and a plan was put in place incase we were to deliver early. We started an IV of magnesium. By this time contractions were becoming consistent but not strong enough. We met with doctors and discussed the possibility of a c-section, signing all the paper work and told all risks involved incase it was needed.

Progress was slow, so an IV of oxytocin was started – this got things ramping up and 1hr40mins later our baby was born! A tiny, beautiful, strong little girl.

The hardest part of all was not getting that initial skin to skin time after delivery, that first cuddle is so precious. She was whisked away and taken to the NICU.

I rushed as fast as I could so I could go up and meet my baby girl. She looked so tiny in her big incubator. All the wires and machines beeping were very confronting –  but as soon as I saw her I had tunnel vision, eyes only on her, she was perfect.

To my surprise I was allowed to have my first cuddle!!

She looked so fragile I remember feeling scared to touch her but overwhelmed with excitement also.

A wonderful nurse, Alex, who was looking after her carefully took her out and placed her in my arms – a moment I’ll never forget.

We stayed in Dunedin NICU for just shy of 7 weeks. It became our home away from home. The staff were incredible, so supportive and caring. A journey so overwhelming and full of unknown, I will be forever grateful for the support and care they gave myself and my baby. After 46 days, we were going home!!

At 5months old / 2.5 corrected Charlie was diagnosed with severe Laryngomalacia after struggling to gain weight, apneas and a prominent stridor. She underwent a laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy and supraglottoplasty to correct this and has been thriving since.

Fast forward to now and Charlie is an incredible 13 month old little treasure. She is absolutely adored by her two big brothers and she lights up any room with her contagious smile. She is crawling, climbing, standing, chatting and is always so happy.

Looking at her now, aside from her petite size, you wouldn’t know the battles she has faced in her little life and we feel so incredible lucky to have her with us, happy and healthy! ❤

***** Thanks so much for sharing *****

We get a lot of positive feedback from families in a neonatal unit who read these stories and feel strength, hope and positivity knowing that they are not alone going through these experiences and feeling certain emotions.

If you would like to discuss sharing the story of your neonatal journey, we’d love to hear from you. Please email 

If you want to help our support of families going through the stress and anxiety of a neonatal journey, you can donate here.

  • The Little Miracles Trust provides support to families of premature or sick full-term babies as they make their journey through Neonatal Intensive Care, the transition home, and onwards. We do not receive any Government funding and are entirely reliant on the generosity of individuals, companies and organisations in the form of donations, value-in-kind donations, grants, sponsorship and fundraising events to supplement operating costs and fund our services and initiatives.
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