This post is brought to you by Mamamia Cares.
I am pregnant for the third time, standing in the newborn clothes section of David Jones, and I am crying.
Tears spill over and plop onto my bump – warm, wet splashes of grief marking my maternity dress.
The sales assistant has just walked away after helping me choose a beautifully soft blue onesie for my baby boy. But it’s not for him to wear in hospital or for the car trip home; it’s for him to wear when we bury him. After he’s stillborn and put into a tiny little coffin.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Mater Little Miracles. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
We were at the 19-week ultrasound when, out-of-the-blue, doctors delivered us devastating news: our baby, a little brother for our children Eve and Tommy, had no lungs. Or rather, he had a cystic mass, like a tumour, where his lungs were supposed to be.
As his heart was already failing from the severity of his condition, doctors said they expected he’d pass away within a week or two. We were sent home to prepare for our baby to die.
Sick with shock and grief, we spend our days waiting for the moment which will shatter us. It’s harrowing, exhausting and it takes its toll as I crumble from the anxiety.
But at 24 weeks when our baby is still hanging on, we see a new doctor at the Mater Hospital’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit, Glenn Gardener, who gives us hope.
Using an experimental treatment of steroids to stop the growth of the tumour, Dr Gardener tells us it’s possible for our baby to grow some lung tissue – if the tumour stops growing.
The final 16 weeks of my pregnancy are brutal as we cope with the anxiety of the unknown but amazingly, at 40 weeks, our beautiful, determined little fighter, who we call Sam, enters the world – and not just alive, but breathing on his own. He has one little lung and a big tumour still in his chest but it’s enough; he can breathe.
Against all the odds, his doctors were able to save him. The Mater Hospital and its incredible staff will always have a special place in our hearts; tucked in right next to where we remember what it felt like to nearly lose our precious little boy.
When have you or someone in your family beaten the odds?
Here are a few more happy snaps of Ellen and her family…
Mater Little Miracles helps fund exceptional patient care, provides comfort to children and their families during some of their most difficult times, and contributes to ground-breaking research. This is all made possible because of community support.
Each year more than 5000 people gather at Mater Little Miracles 5ks events around Queensland to show their commitment to providing Mater’s tiniest and most vulnerable patients with the best possible start to life.
Join us in Brisbane at South Bank on 31 May for a fantastic day out for the whole family! Register today.