As told by mum, Aleisha,

We did IVF to have our daughter due to my husband (Nic) having Huntingtons disease. My pregnancy was difficult, I suffered from a subchorionic haemorrhage and hyperemesis graviderum. I went to the doctors at 26+3 weeks gestation because I was feeling ‘off’ and my blood pressure was alarmingly high and I was admitted to hospital where they did more tests and informed me I would be having my daughter via emergency c section within the next 24 hours due to preeclampsia. By the next afternoon I was being flown to Dunedin due to lack of room in Christchurch NICU.

Over the next week I became increasingly sicker. I had daily checks and on the morning of the 16th of July after a sleepless night, I took a turn and lost my sight which is consistent with eclampsia and they decided it was time to get our baby out immediately.

Though I wasn’t conscious for majority of her birth it was wonderful she was born in her bag of waters at 27+3 weeks gestation, with delayed cord clamping and when they bag was popped, she let out a scream. I was rushed to the ICU due to extreme high blood pressure, it took two days before I got to meet our little Violet.

In those two days she developed a pneumothorax and was put on a ventilator which was very scary but they informed us that it can happen and she would be okay. While doing a routine xray to make sure the chest drain was in place they discovered air in her abdomen.

They organised for her to fly to Christchurch where she would have life saving surgery, it took a few hours for her to be able to be transported due to her condition deteriorating when she was moved into the travel incubator.

They informed me she was incredibly unwell to prepare me for anything I guess.  It was so stressful as I wasn’t able to travel with her they didn’t know when I would be able to be transferred.

She arrived in Christchurch NICU level 1 and had her surgery immediately, they removed 10cm of intestine due to two holes which they explained was due to her extreme prematurity. They surgery went very well and the next few weeks became a waiting game to see how she would heal. She pulled through like the little fighter she was and we were able to hold her for the first time at 7 days old!

We continued through the NICU on an 11 week journey which went so smoothly. She came off breathing support at 33+4 and was in an open cot a week later, after that it was just a feed and grow situation and we eventually went home at 38 weeks gestation on the 1st of October.

We made some incredible friends we still have a lot to do with today and who we would not have been able to do it without! We had the best care for Violet in Christchurch NICU on her journey and myself in Dunedin!

We are so lucky to have our special girl here with us!

Thanks so much for sharing your personal story.

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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