I went into hospital on Wednesday 23rd March 2021 for a routine induction of labour. Zoey is my 6th baby, so I am no stranger to the maternity ward! Things went really well until it was time to push, and all hell broke loose. My uterus had ruptured from a previous c section 6 years previously and things got critical very quickly. I was raced into theatre and Zoey was born within minutes via c section. She had been deprived of oxygen and I was haemorrhaging. My poor husband sat in the delivery suite for 2 hours wondering if he would have a wife and baby to take home. The hospital staff were amazing, they acted quickly in assessing Zoey for cooling treatment and started her on the cooling mat straight away. I was extremely lucky, after a few blood transfusions I was recovering well. Zoey however was a different story. They told us to prepare for the worst and it completely broke me, I couldn’t imagine not having a baby to take home at the end of it.
She was transferred to St. Michael’s in Bristol where they have the specialist equipment for the cooling treatment. It was 3 days before we could hold her. It was strange sitting there surrounded by tiny babies in incubators, being kept warm, and our baby was being kept cold.
As she was warmed up, we were warned she could have seizures which would indicate brain damage and I was terrified, what would this mean for our future? The staff however were optimistic. As the days progressed so did Zoey and she amazed everyone. Not only did she not have any seizures, but I was also able to start breastfeeding her and she was responsive and alert. Her MRI came back clear meaning they couldn’t detect any brain damage, that was a huge relief! After a week at St. Michael’s there weas nothing more they could do so we were sent home to ‘wait and see’, those dreaded words that can mean so much.
Zoey is now a year old and doing brilliantly. She has hit all her milestones so far, she has rolled over, crawled, and is now cruising around the furniture. She loves Hey Duggee, our 2 cats and all her older brothers and sisters. They all dote on her. She also loves to play in the garden and go for walks in the pram.
We still don’t know what the future holds, babies like her with moderate HIE can suffer with more subtle disabilities like behavioural issues, learning disabilities or ADHD. But whatever the future brings, she has defied all the odds so far and we hope will continue to do so.