At her 12-week scan, expectant mum Geordie was told she was at high-risk category for developing preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), when fetal weight is estimated to fall below the 10th percentile for gestational age.
All went smoothly with her pregnancy until her 28-week scan, when she was told to go immediately to Mater’s Pregnancy Assessment Unit for further tests.
“I instinctively knew that something was very wrong with my baby,” Geordie shares.
“All I remember is the midwife saying, ‘I'm going to press a button, and a lot of people are going to come into the room, but I just want you to stay calm.’ And she held my hand.”
With her baby’s heartbeat barely traceable, Geordie’s own heart was breaking.
“The Mater medical team managed to get a trace of my baby’s heartbeat back,” she said.
“They wanted to hold off his birth for 24 hours to administer magnesium sulfate for his brain and two steroid injections 12 hours apart for his lungs. Whilst it was quite touch-and-go, we were able to hang on for another 24 hours, and he was born the next day.”
Following an emergency caesarean, Noah was born at 28 weeks’ gestation, weighing 859g, but was still not out of the woods.
In a harrowing development, Noah was placed on life support after his tiny stomach started to distend.
“At 2am we got a call from his medical team, so we quickly got in the car and went to the hospital,” Geordie recalls.
Noah developed a perforation in his bowel as a result of suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and needed emergency surgery to save his life.
“I remember thinking, ‘how can they operate on a baby this small, and how does he survive?’ Waiting for Noah to finish in surgery felt like the longest wait of our life”.
“We almost lost him twice in a matter of days.”
Noah survived his life saving surgery and went on to spend a total of 102 days at Mater’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU), receiving specialist around-the-clock care.
With her bubbly boy now having celebrated his first birthday, it is with gratitude that Geordie now reflects on the highs and lows of parents facing a similar journey.
Each ticket that you buy is supporting vital medical research, equipment, and patient care for some of our tiniest patients. You are part of the team that enables babies like Noah to have the best possible start to life. Thank you.