Baby Dorothy finally welcomed home

Baby Dorothy finally welcomed home

Amelia and Jeff’s journey to welcoming their beautiful baby girl Dorothy home has undoubtedly been a journey—from a long road to pregnancy suffering fertility issues, through to a dramatic pregnancy resulting in a premature birth for Dorothy who required time in Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit. 
 
Having experienced numerous health issues suffering from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, Amelia and her partner Jeff who suffered his own cancer journey in 2012 with a anaplastic t-cell lymphoma diagnosis, the couple fell pregnant only to experience a miscarriage in early 2019.
 
“It wasn’t a shock as we had been told our chances of getting pregnant were slim, but it didn’t make it any easier. We were so excited but then that was taken away,” Amelia said. 
 
Continuing to try for their miracle baby, Amelia and Jeff fortunately fell pregnant again by the end of 2019, this time with little Dorothy. 
 
“It was certainly daunting as we stepped into this next pregnancy, as our first baby and having gone through a lot of trouble to get to where we were, we felt like we were stepping into the unknown.”
 
During Amelia’s second trimester she experienced swelling across her body from fluid retention along with very high blood pressure, and subsequent blood tests lead to diagnosis of preeclampsia. 
 
“I had gained 5.5kg in 2.5 weeks so I knew something might have been wrong, and when we received the test results I was told my blood pressure was considered catastrophic,” Amelia said.
 
“I was experiencing a lot of swelling in my body and further tests revealed that my kidneys weren’t functioning properly, and my doctors diagnosed me with preeclampsia.”
 
After these results, Amelia was brought in as an inpatient at Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane to be monitored and following a few hours in hospital, the team advised her that she would need to stay in hospital until her baby was born. 
 
“The next three weeks were spent in hospital where I was receiving scans for me and the baby nearly every day, being checked by my obstetrician, endocrinologist and the neonatal critical care team.”
 
“The team were just fantastic, I felt so well looked after and they really supported me when we were told that Dorothy needed to be delivered early due to my preeclampsia becoming to detrimental to my body and her condition.” 
 
Baby Dorothy was delivered at the end of June, as 28 weeks and 6 days and 78 days premature. She was immediately transferred to Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) to receive specialised care for her breathing and growth.
 
Amelia said one of the hardest parts of her experience in NCCU was leaving Dorothy behind when her and Jeff had to go home. 
 
“The first day that we left to go home, leaving Dorothy in hospital was so emotional and I just cried as we walked out.”
 
“It definitely helped knowing that she was in the very best hands and receiving the best care possible, that she needed to become well up to her time to full-term.”
 
“We just feel lucky that we have been able to spend an extra 11 weeks with her, getting to know her and seeing her grow at such an early stage.”
 
Now considered full-term, little Dorothy has been transferred to Mater Children’s Private Brisbane and has finally been given the tick of approval to go home. 
 
“For the past two weeks, we have been working through transitioning her off a feeding tube to be fully bottle and breast-fed.”
 
Dorothy will need to continue oxygen support when she goes home and is expected to need this for the first six months of her life, but is expected to be a happy, healthy little girl in no time. 
 
“It has taken a long time and a lot to get little Dorothy here today, so we feel incredibly grateful so have her with us, and very blessed.”
 
“All babies are special, but we think she’s that little bit extra special.”
 

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