KYLEE and Nathan Terry were heartbroken when their newborn son Blake, born seven weeks premature, was immediately taken away to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH).
A very sudden and severe case of pre-eclampsia had sent Mrs Terry into Calvary Hospital to have an emergency caesarean section.
“Having pre-eclampsia had started to completely shut down my body, and I was told Blake had to come out within 24 hours,” Mrs Terry said.
With his lungs not completely developed, Blake was sent to the RHH while Mrs Terry remained at Calvary to recover.
“The hospital told me that by the time I recovered, Blake would be back in my arms,” she said.
“I couldn’t leave the hospital, so it was four days before I even got to see Blake and 19 days before I really got to spend any proper time with him.
“It was absolutely awful and so hard to deal with.
“There was one instance about 10 days in where we thought Blake would be transferred to Calvary, but he started having apneas – complete pauses in breathing during sleep – and couldn’t be moved.
“I just lost it then – I was completely devastated and heartbroken.
“My sister rushed Nathan into me because I was so upset, I had thought Blake was coming back.”
Mrs Terry was discharged from Calvary and travelled to the RHH every day to visit and spend time with Blake until he was strong enough to come home.
Blake spent a total of 30 days in hospital – 19 at the RHH and 11 at Calvary – before he was discharged.
During her second pregnancy with son Max, Mrs Terry was closely monitored by doctors for signs of pre-eclampsia, which were found at the 30-week mark.
With regular communication with doctors to ensure she was safe and healthy, she was able to wait five more weeks before delivering the baby.
“When Max was born he had to go straight to the special care unit at Calvary to stay because his breathing wasn’t great,” Mrs Terry said.
“It hit me a lot harder this time because I was hoping for a more normal newborn experience, where the baby is in your room and family and friends come in to visit you both.”
Mrs Terry said Max had to stay in the hospital for 19 days total, as he had to learn to feed properly.
She said it was quite hard as he was in the hospital, while Blake, now aged three, was at home.
“I’d have to leave one to go to the other and vice versa,” she said.
Fast forward to present day, eight-month-old Max and four-year-old Blake are healthy and happy and enjoying life at home with mum and dad.
Mrs Terry said she and her husband felt blessed to have two healthy boys, especially given that some parents with premature babies continued to have ongoing health issues.
To help commemorate her two little fighters, Mrs Terry and her family regularly participate in Walk for Prems, an annual event which supports the 48,000 premature or sick babies born in Australia every year.
Presented by Baby Bunting, Walk for Prems 2018 – which was held at Montrose Foreshore in late October – is the largest annual fundraiser for the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation.
During the event, participants paused to show respect for the families whose babies had sadly passed away, before walking around the foreshore to celebrate the babies who had survived their pre-natal births and were happy and healthy.
Mrs Terry said it was important to remember all of the families who had lost children, as well as those who were lucky enough to have had their babies grow into happy, healthy children.
Caption: Nathan and Kylee Terry and their children Max, left, and Blake recently participated in the 2018 Walk for Prems event at Montrose Foreshore.