What were the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth?
At just 19 weeks pregnant, I had very severe abdominal pain similar to gas pains. On reaching the ER, we learned what we were assuming as gas pains were actually premature contractions. It was midnight, so the ER doctor admitted me saying that they have given me some medications and want to monitor me for the night. I was taken straight to the labour room and hooked up with IV fluids. My contractions were getting severe and more frequent.
In the morning, an ultrasound showed that my cervix was funneled till the end. I was diagnosed with Incompetent Cervix. A cerclage was the only option left, but the cerclage could be done only if the contractions stopped for 24 hours. It was a wait and watch situation.
The contractions went on for four days. I was in active labor for four whole days. My cervix was filled with the amniotic sac. The doctors had no hope of the pregnancy continuing. Miraculously on the fourth day, my contractions stopped, and with great difficulty, my doctor performed an emergency cerclage. I was on strict hospital bed rest with no bathroom privileges. At exactly 24 weeks gestational, my cerclage stich broke. We were rushed to a nearby hospital with a Level IV NICU. Upon arriving, the medical team tore the remaining stitches apart without giving anaesthesia.
Junu was born prematurely at 24 weeks 5 days, weighing a mere 540 grams (1 lb, 3 oz). She was admitted in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU, a place which we didn’t know even existed) for 111 days. She was given a survival rate of 40%.
What complications, diagnoses or surgeries did you or your child face?
Junu’s Apgar score was 1, and her weight was less than the 3rd percentile. Initially she was diagnosed with Anaemia of prematurity, Evolving Chronic Lung Disorder, neonatal sepsis, Retinopathy of Prematurity, cholestatic jaundice, respiratory distress syndrome, E-coli colonization & neonatal thrombocytopenia. We had multiple follow ups after discharge. There was a team of doctors and specialists who consistently monitored her growth through her first birthday.
How old is your child now and how are they doing?
Junu is now 1 year actual and 8 months adjusted. By the grace of Almighty, she is doing great. She has no more follow ups now. She has started cruising and is meeting all her milestones. She is extremely active and loves to smile and talk. She loves to go to parks and malls with her dad.
How did your whole family cope with this experience? How are you all doing now?
We had a very difficult time. We were tested mentally, physically, financially and spiritually. My husband supported me immensely. In this tough time, he was the rock that I held onto. He made sure that he did everything in his control to keep me relaxed and happy. When it was difficult for me to imagine the next day, he was there planning Junu’s first birthday. When I sat in the NICU staring at the beeping monitor, he was there imagining how cute Junu’s first cycle would be. He came to the NICU daily with lots of hope, faith and positivity. He taught me to believe that God works in mysterious ways and we should remain calm and pray for the best.
What did you learn about this experience that you’d like to pass on to others?
This whole experience completely changed us. It has made us value the most precious gift God has given us – LIFE. We are so greatful to the Almighty for her health and life. God is merciful! Junu is so sweet, fun and kind, and makes us laugh all day. We love her to bits.
Miracles do happen.