When Bundaberg couple, Elke and Russ, passed the 12 week mark in Elke’s pregnancy, they breathed a sigh of relief.
It had been a long journey for the couple, who had already suffered several pregnancy losses after the birth of their first daughter.
But three weeks later Elke’s cervix started to dilate and a cervical stitch was needed to try and help prolong her pregnancy as long as possible.
Put on strict bed rest, Elke and Russ and their seven-year-old daughter Maya had to relocate to Elke’s parents’ house in Brisbane to be near Mater Mothers’ Hospital.
Then seven weeks later; the cervical stitch failed and Elke was admitted to Mater Mothers’ Hospital where she was to remain in bed at all times―not even allowed to shower― in an effort to prevent her from going into early labour.
“We were desperate to get to 28 weeks, which was the magic number in my head, as the doctors had told us from 28 weeks the baby’s prospects would look much better," Elke said.
But at 28 weeks gestation, Elke developed an infection and had to undergo an emergency caesarean. Little Evelyn was born, weighing just over one kilogram.
Evelyn’s fight for survival was far from over. She was rushed immediately to Mater’s special Neonatal Critical Care Unit where she spent almost 13 days on respiratory support.
Two months later, Evelyn was transferred to Bundaberg Base Hospital where she stayed for another week before her parents could finally take their baby girl home.
“I don’t think I really let myself believe Evelyn was going to come home until we walked through the doors of our house. It was a magical day.” Elke said.
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