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Baby Freya was destined to be born early. As she had with her previous two pregnancies, mum to be Hannah was suffering from high blood pressure. When pregnant with Freya, her blood pressure was even higher than it was previously, causing her obstetrician to keep an extra close eye on her.
Towards the end of her pregnancy, Baby Freya was still very small, and if she hadn’t arrived into the world by 38 weeks mum Hannah would be induced.
However, at 33 weeks, Hannah started to feel quite unwell. A few days later, she went in for another scan to check on things.
At this scan, the radiographer realised Hannah’s placenta had stopped growing, and her baby hadn’t grown any bigger in the past four weeks. A terrifying thing to hear for any parent to be.
Minutes after her scan, Hannah’s obstetrician phoned her and advised her to get to hospital immediately, as things were not looking good.
Hannah went straight to hospital where she was admitted. After monitoring and blood tests throughout the night, Hannah was confirmed to have pre-eclampsia.
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects women usually during the second half of pregnancy, or immediately after delivery of their baby. Women with pre-eclampsia have high blood pressure, fluid retention and protein in the urine. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications and can be life threatening for both mum and baby.
At this point, Hannah realised her baby was going to arrive extremely early, and she wouldn’t be going home until her baby had been born.
Hannah was adamant she didn’t want to have her baby via caesarean section, as both her previous children were born naturally.
“The thought of a caesarean was terrifying,” Hannah said.
However, after advice from her obstetrician that her baby wouldn’t survive a natural delivery, Hannah made the difficult decision to proceed with a caesarean section.
When we were finally allowed to leave , I couldn’t wait to get my baby home.
At 6am the next day, Hannah was told she would have a caesarean at later that morning. At 10.30 am, baby Freya was born weighing a tiny 1500 grams.
“My older daughter’s dolls were bigger than Freya,” Hannah said.
The good news was that Freya was breathing on her own, she was just very small.
Freya was put into a warming bag and was whisked away to Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) for immediate medical attention.
Three hours later, Hannah was able to properly see her new daughter for the first time.
“It was horrible seeing her hooked up to so many tubes and wires. It was quite confronting.”
It was two full days before Hannah would be able to hold Freya.
Thankfully, other than being small, Freya was perfectly healthy.
“She just needed to incubate and grow,” Hannah said.
Freya stayed in Mater Mothers’ NCCU for six days before graduating to the pre-term babies ward.
After a week in hospital Hannah went home, but Freya stayed to receive care in hospital. It was one month before Freya could go home to live with her family.
“I asked the paediatrician every single day if I could take Freya home, but I was told I couldn’t take her home until she weighed two kilograms. When we were finally allowed to leave , I couldn’t wait to get my baby home.”
Today Freya is eight months old. She is nearly crawling, laughs a lot and enjoys solid foods. A true Mater little miracle, Freya is growing into a happy and healthy baby girl.
Your support will help our smallest patients like Freya to receive the best possible start to life, and help them to go home as soon as they can and be with their families, where they belong.