Saturday, September 5, 2009


Wow thats the first time Ive written that word.

Where did it start? How did this happen? How did I not know?

My story starts some 12 months ago.

I was 25 weeks pregnant and my OB had referred me to a fetel medicine specialist to perform an indepth scan of our precious baby.

She scanned and scanned and scanned, she asked questions over and over again. How many children have I had? Where they early? How big were they at birth? Are they healthy?

Then at the end she said "Im afraid there is something wrong with your baby. She has severe IUGR. You are 25 weeks pregnant and your baby is measuring 21 weeks. I cant find anything specific but I recommend you have Amnio ASAP.

I was admitted to rehydrate as Id been sick for a week with vomiting.

My OB came, talked about Amnio. I wasnt comfortable with it, I was 25 weeks, a positive result wasnt going to change anything at this point in time. So I declined an amnio, I didnt want to take the risk.

After many "discussions" about my decision I was getting tired, tired of justifying my decision. At 28 weeks I got a call early in the morning, apparently I had missed an appointment.

I get there 20 mins later and they were all set up, I had no emotional strength so I relunctily agreed to the Amnio.

That night I felt a gush of fluid. I was only 28 weeks. Contractions started soon after. Luckily at 3am the drugs kicked in and they managed to stop things.

another week in hospital and I could home on bedrest.

Then again at 30 weeks, more fluid, more contractions and more drugs to stop the labour.

I was now on daily monitoring, daily CTG's and secod daily scans. My baby wasnt growing.

Then one friday I went for my daily CTG, they count find the heartbeat. Taken for scan and relief as the heartbeat was found, albiet is was very low, there was no bloodflow from the cord to my precious baby.

My OB rushes in and says this baby needs to come out. Im only 31 weeks and my babys estimated weight is 736 grams, about the size of a 25 weeker.

30 mins later my baby is Born. Welcome to the world Sarah Claire - weight estimate was spot on, she weighed 735grams, 37cms long and HC of 24cms, so tiny.

We spend 118 days in the Neonatal Unit of the childrens hospital, the NICU where the sickest baby are sent, its the last stop for these babys, if the Dr's here cant treat them its the end of the road. Sadly not many baby's leave the ward to go home.

We made it out the Doors, not without alot of heartache, alot of emotional and physical trauma.

My baby made it though. She has no Pancreas, No Gallbladder and a heart defect.

She is an insulin dependent Diabetic, she has trouble absorbing the nutrients she needs to survive, she has a problem with her heart.

Then yesterday after cancelling 4 appointments I go and see a councillor.

She was the Social worker at the Neonatal Unit, but now has set up her own business.

She saw us through NICU, she was there when they told us she wouldnt live. She was there when I said I told you she would make it, she was there when I would just breakdown in tears, and when I would laugh at the smallest milestone.

And yesterday she said Karina - I saw what you went through, it was incredibly traumatic where you went from mentally planning a funeral to taking your child home with a lifelong illness.

So Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I dont know how to react. I dont know how to explain it to people.

I want to return to normal but I dont think I ever can. My life has changed, I think for the better. I see things more clearly now, the things that matter.

Ah its good to get that out.

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Melissa said...

Of course. Your trauma was as bad as it could be - being told that someone you loved with every fibre of your being would die. There is nothing worse, my friend.

And yet. Here she is, still fighting. I wish she didn't have to, of course. But she's so amazing, it's wonderful that she does.

And just as incredible that you do.

I'm glad you're seeing a counsellor. That's a smart move on your part. i hope that she helps you, helps you talk it out and at least clarify it, work it out in your head.

You're amazing. Sarah's amazing.

Umma said...

Hi Karina,

Wow, your story is like mine only even more scary! I know that there are a lot of babies who have bigger problems than mine but there is something about your story that resonates with me.

My baby is 3 years old now and doing well but he also had a rough start. At 34 weeks I went to the hospital in the middle of the night because I thought something was wrong, my baby wasn't moving. The MW checked with a doppler and found a heartbeat but then then CTG showed how slow it was and that my baby was in distress and I was told "this baby needs to come out now" too and rushed off to theatre for an emergency CS. When I woke they had taken him to NICU and he was at the far end of the room with the highest level of care. He was a good size but the lack of oxygen in utero from a malfunctioning placenta meant that he needed to be resuscitated and was on a ventilator with tubes and wires everywhere. For the first few days it was touch and go but after 30 days he went home a well baby with a possibilities of CP, epilepsy and deafness.

Well three years on he is making great progress, he was late to walk (2.5) and will probably always be a little clumsy. His talking is not very clear and he wears hearing aids. Not deaf, just hard of hearing. He's a very happy and lovely little boy and we feel very lucky that he is doing so well but it has been a very difficult journey and I suspected for a long time I was suffering from PTSD. I did have counseling and it helped but I still sometimes go back there, to those horrible moments and relive the events. The rush to theatre, the sound of the nurse reading out the heartbeat as it dropped and the confusion and sleeplessness in the days and weeks that followed. It happens less now.

I wish you and your family all the best for the challenges that lay ahead.


Anonymous said...

I just read you story in That's Life and want to wish your daughter a speedy recovery.
I have no idea what you are going through, but my thought's are with you and Sarah.
Bless you for the loving mother you are.
Arohanui (all my love) a Kiwi Gurl