A Miracle called Poppy


Part 8 in a series on Pregnancy Loss

Finally after 4 months in hospital I was allowed to go home at 28 weeks gestation. I had been on bed rest the entire time and I had no muscle left in my lower back or legs. I would get puffed out very easily. I remember being really freaked driving home as I hadn’t been in a car for 4 months. I kept losing my equilibrium and I held on to the door handle for dear life.

For the next seven weeks I started to buy my first baby stuff and prepare the nest. I would constantly head out to the shops and find I’d over done it. My head and heart were so excited and willing to walk a thousand miles but my body would give me a couple of hundred metres and shut down. I would tire so quickly and be stranded at Ikea, the supermarket or Pumpkin Patch. I would have to sit down and rest for an hour before I could get up and make my way home.

I was thrilled to be home with John and we loved being together again. I think the first night home I bawled my eyes out I was so happy. Two amazing women, who were professional painters, offered to paint our rented unit (for free) while I was hospitalised. Our tired little East Melbourne unit felt like a million dollars freshly painted. I was so grateful for their thoughtful and selfless act.

I would continue to go the hospital, sometimes twice a week for monitoring and ultrasounds but we were out of the danger zone and every day was a bonus. At 33 –  34 weeks I had some protein show up in my urine. After the results of a 24 hour urine collection were processed I was diagnosed with Pre eclampsia and a quick and decisive move was made by the Head of Obstetrics, Prof Permezel, and I was booked in for an emergency caesarean section. When a pregnancy is complicated by pre eclampsia, the baby may grow more slowly than normal in the womb or suffer a potentially harmful oxygen deficiency. Occasionally, pre eclampsia can lead to convulsions (fits), a serious complication known as eclampsia.

Little Poppy Lee was born safely on a beautiful day in November, 2006. Unfortunately the timing caused me to miss a very special day – my only brothers wedding. Sorry Bro – xo. Upon arrival Poppy was sent straight to the NICU (Neo natal Intensive Care Unit) as she was 5 weeks premature. She weighed 2 ½ kilos or 5.1 lbs. She was so tiny. She was to spend a further 3 weeks in hospital herself putting on weight and learning how to suck, breath and swallow. It was so hard to finally have a live baby and not be able to bring her home. I would phone the hospital constantly throughout the night as I got up to express milk. I would leave early in the morning for the hospital and John would come at lunch time and we would both go home somewhere between 7 -8 pm. One of the nurses used to remark how Poppy would sleep so soundly and not make a noise from the time I left in the evening until I arrived the next morning. Apparently as I made my way down the NICU to her bed she would hear my voice as I said hello to other mums and nurses and by time I reached her bedside she would be awake. Poppy had a nasal gastric tube which helped her to drink milk. She hated it and tried to pull it out constantly. I hated it too as you could see how much it annoyed her but she just couldn’t take in enough milk orally and we would have to feed her through her nose. They told us that when she could take enough milk through her mouth she could go home. I willed that little baby to drink more – I just wanted her home with me.

After 3 long weeks Poppy graduated the NICU and we took her home. I was so nervous to have the responsibility of her life in my hands. She adapted to her new world quickly and we bonded as a family. I thank God for my daughter all the time. I am so very grateful for her life and I will never forget the peace, comfort and promises that God gave me to this day. While we would love to have another baby the complications for me and that baby are too great. I underwent surgery to have my tubes tied but I stopped breathing and the surgery was abandoned. John took one for the team and had a vasectomy so another is not possible unless God does a miracle.

When I started this series on Pregnancy Loss I had no idea I would pen some 8,000 words. Some of the posts in this series have been amongst my most well read so thank you for coming on this sad but miraculous journey with me. Your comments strengthened and encouraged me to keep going and I certainly would not have written one post after the other without them. I feel there is a deep need for woman to share their pain, grief and hope as they lay some babies down to rest but give birth to some true miracles. I understand that this is very difficult and not for everyone but for those that can – please tell your story.

Over and Out.

Catherine xoxo

2 Comments to “A Miracle called Poppy”

  1. Hi Catherine, though we never met but have been in communication for the last 8 months or so since my son died – your blog is so encouraging. I am so glad God blessed you with your miracle baby. I hope God can do the same for me after my three losses. I will continue to put my trust into God. Thank you for your love that shines through as you write to share your incredible journey with us xoxox

  2. An extraordinary series – I have no other words…
    Grace and Peace to you.

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