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When Gladstone couple Glen and Carmel Que fell pregnant with their second baby, they were completely oblivious to the emotional rollercoaster that lay ahead.
Carmel’s pregnancy was tracking well until 33 weeks gestation, when she noticed she was a lot bigger than she should be. She had also noticed pains in her abdomen.
Carmel went to her nearest hospital as a precaution where doctors confirmed she had gone into premature labour. Shortly after, Carmel and her husband Glen were flown to Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane where they were admitted to the Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Scans found that Carmel and Glen’s baby was suffering from a condition known as Hydrops Fetalis—a potentially fatal condition characterised by excess fluid on the organs.
“I remember feeling heartbroken as we had been counselled to expect the worst for our baby because he had so much excess fluid on his lungs and skin,” Carmel said.
“The doctors at Mater’s Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine performed a procedure with a needle to drain the baby’s fluid and to drain my excess fluid. They had to perform this procedure twice because the fluid kept coming back.
“We were feeling very fragile at this time but the clinical staff at Mater Mothers provided us with incredible support and they were very respectful of our wishes.”
Carmel’s baby’s fluid retention was not improving, so Carmel was induced into labour. Baby Oliver John Que was born on 31 January 2014 weighing 3020 grams.
Carmel said she and her husband Glen didn't know what to expect post birth but were incredibly relieved when Oliver took his first breath of air and let out a big cry.
“We were so relieved that he started crying but he was rushed straight to Mater’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) because doctors couldn’t find the cause for the Hydrops Fetalis and they wanted to monitor him closely” she said.
Oliver spent five nights in NCCU under constant care before spending another three nights rooming in with his mum.
“I couldn’t sleep the night after I delivered him because, after all we had been through, I couldn’t believe he was OK,” Carmel said.
“Thanks to the life-saving care Oliver and I received at Mater Mothers' Hospital, Oliver is now a healthy baby who loves crawling, laughing and playing with his big sister.”
You can help thousands of babies like Oliver by supporting this year's IGA Mater Little Miracles Easter Appeal. Or click here to donate now.
Mater Little Miracles helps fund research projects, equipment and patient support programs for seriously ill and premature babies and their families treated at Mater.