A few fleeting moments were all Melinda Cruz first had to see her baby right after she gave birth.
At 25 years old, Melinda's first baby, a son, was born at 34 weeks.
"It wasn't like in the movies when someone says 'congratulations' and they hold him up and say it's a boy... there was no moment like that," the now 44-year-old told Mamamia for World Prematurity Day.
Instead, Melinda only had a brief chance to ask doctors if her baby was ok before he was rushed to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
"It was just really scary... I got a quick look at him and then he was gone."
"I remember the doctor was stitching me up [afterwards] and I looked at him and said... 'That was a boy wasn't it?'"
Watch: Questions about childbirth (answered by mums and non-mums). Post continues below.
Two weeks earlier, Melinda had rushed to hospital when her waters started to break at home while 32 weeks pregnant.
"I was just sitting on the lounge watching a comedy and I started laughing. I thought I'd peed my pants after laughing too much. And then I realised... it didn't stop."
"I went to the bathroom and sure enough my waters had broken. I was just sitting on the toilet crying... I didn't want him to come so early because I knew he would struggle."
At the time, in 2002, Melinda was well aware she may encounter risks during her pregnancy. At 18, her doctor advised her to have kids earlier rather later on account of her bicornuate uterus, endometriosis and polycystic ovaries.
"The doctor gave me three scenarios, either I would find it really hard to fall pregnant, I would fall pregnant and not hold it... or I would have them early."