It was eight o’clock on a Sunday night when Nicola’s waters broke. At just over half way through her pregnancy, 21 weeks and six days, she assumed it was just a bit of pregnancy incontinence. But to put her mind at rest, she headed to the Mater Mothers’ Hospital with her husband, Ben. At the time she had no idea that a chain of events was beginning that could best be described as a mother’s worst nightmare.
The staff at Mater confirmed the inconceivable – Nicola was likely to go into labour within a few days. Given the very slim chance of her baby surviving, the medical staff promised they would do all they could to support Nicola and her baby.
“The doctor and the midwife were very compassionate and you could sense their sadness as they explained what was happening,” recalls Nicola, “We were given a lot of information to help us process everything and we had access to a social worker who could support us with our emotions at the time.”
"Medical staff promised they would do all they could to support Nicola and her baby." Image via iStock.
Defying the odds, Nicola and her baby hung on. For nearly nine weeks, Nicola was in and out of hospital and had to check her pulse and temperature every four hours to monitor for infection. With each passing day, her baby’s chances of survival improved.
“I was lucky that the staff at Mater understood how important it was for me to be at home with my then-toddler, Cooper. They encouraged me to live as normal a life as possible while trying to keep me and my growing baby safe.”