My Baby Boy Was Born 8 Week Early. Here’s His Story…

a preemie mums story of how she copedI’m incredibly grateful that you’re here at staceyclare.com and following along on my journey to a healthy, wholefoods diet. Today I want to take it back a little and let you further into my world. There was a catalyst for me becoming a lady who makes broth, cooks breakie from scratch and is a Health & Nutrition Coach. It was my eldest boy. He’s 3.5. Here’s his story.

My pregnancy was less than ideal. We’d struggled for months and months (insert a few years here) to get pregnant and finally after doing so, things started to go downhill pretty damn quick for us.

At month 3, when I could finally tell everyone why I’d put on 10kg and was living on a diet of strawberry milkshakes and hot chips, I started to have issues. My pelvis wasn’t able to carry the extra weight, my blood pressure was really low and the baby was facing the wrong way. I’d go 2 – 3 days at a time without feeling him move. How’s that for helping one chill out?

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Here I am, 2 weeks before he was born

A week before my little man was born we found out his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. It was affecting blood flow to his brain which I’m sure you can understand, is.not.good. My OB told me to chill-out so I did as I was told. (I’m actually super good at that) Heck, I saw no issue with hubby going to Germany for work the next morning. Crazy, pregnant brain or what? This was really silly on my part because a day after he left I was back in hospital having steroids to grow my boy’s lungs. 4 days later my babe was out.

It wasn’t a magical birth filled with candles, kumbaya and heavy pushing that I’d paid all this dam money at calm birthing for. It was scary, quick and whisper quiet. I still remember the OB briefing the paediatrician on what was going on. The paediatrician saying loudly “Just get the baby out and get him out now!” Within 15 minutes of me arriving at the hospital, he was born. 1.4kg and 35cm long. He was TINY, like super-duper, 1 ruler from school, TINY.

I got to kiss him on his head and he was then whisked off with hubby to get help. He’s poor little lungs were just so small. I remember laying there and listening to my OB talk about normal life while stitching me back-up. I just starred at the roof and didn’t move. I was numb. I kept begging to see him, could they not just put my bed near his so I could watch him? After a few hours in recovery with a whole heap of old men that just came out of their knee surgery (lord, why put an emotional mother in that ward for her recovery?!) my bed finally got to lay next to his.

The next 5 weeks of his time in hospital was a blur.

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Here he is, 4 weeks old

I’d pump my milk every 3 hours and stare at the wall wondering how the heck I got there. I’d drive in to hospital to spend the day with him and leave feeling empty and cold. The pain and stress of just getting on with it was hard. But like all shit situations, you can take a lesson from it to make your life better. Maybe it’s all pancakes and fairies, but it gives me comfort to find a lesson. For me it was that I can have a say over his health, not completely (clearly) but enough to change some things. I would do EVERYTHING I ever could to make him and myself healthy. I never went to extremes but I prioritised making his baby food from scratch, I ensured hubby and I were eating great so that we were healthy and I studied nutrition to make sure I had a really good knowledge of what we all needed.

He came home from hospital on New Years Eve to the sounds of fireworks but sadly we only had a few days with him before things turned bad.

I was on the phone to a girlfriend and hung up on her mid-conversation. It was very eerie and not at all like chatterbox Stace. I walked passed his room and could see from a distance around his mouth was blue. I jumped to his cot and started shaking him and screaming his name. I did everything I was taught in the CPR course – I called the ambulance, grabbed him out of his cot, put him on the floor and started compressions. He’s tiny little body was so small and I still remembering fearing breaking his ribs from my desperate compressions.  I was so incredibly lucky that within a minute, I had him breathing again. At that point my hubby walked through the door, heard me screaming and took over. Just 5 minutes later we had 3 ambulance crews arrive and a Careflight helicopter was on it’s way. My baby boy went back into hospital that night for another week while doctors ran test-after-test to try and figure out what the heck went wrong.

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Home time from the hospital

I remember every second of the night he stopped breathing and honestly, it’s scarred me far worse than his birth ever could. My husband didn’t let go of him the whole night in Emergency he held him for each test and each check. He took the next week off work and slept in a hospital chair with him on his chest, day and night. He came off to feed and then went straight back to that spot. My poor man was hurting exactly the same way that I was. We were both heartbroken.

We chatted about all kinds of things during that hospital stay. Was this going to be our life now, filled with fear that he wasn’t breathing? How would we ever leave him? Would we be those kind of helicopter parents? What could we do as parents to support him and ourselves? Did we do anything to cause this? We are both pretty chilled-out people and we were so petrified that these incidences would remove that part we love about what makes us ‘us’. We’re happy, go lucky people.stacey-clare-healthy-mum-blog

The answer we kept coming back to was that we had to get healthy. We needed to eat well so that we would have the energy to get out and about with him. I had to stop eating 60% of my diet from boxes and plastic wrappers. He needed great milk to grow so I had to cut out the chemicals and eat real food that would help boost my supply, naturally. We needed to be happy and stress free. The reality is, I feel good when I eat healthy food. I do. I can think better, my moods with the boys are better and I have more energy to do things that make me happy.

So that’s what I did. I ate real food. And a year after that I studied nutrition and started this blog. A few months in, I started helping other mums one-on-one through my health and nutrition coaching which I still do today (and would LOVE to do with you – click here to find out a little more about it) to get them to a place of health too.

These days my beautiful boy is a picture of health. He’s had just 1 course of antibiotics since that hospital stay and his 3.5. He’s had the odd runny nose but rarely misses daycare. He enjoys healthy food and would live on kefir, meatballs and frozen peas if I let him. Granted he won’t go near a raw carrot or a tomato but you know, can’t win ‘em all. Also, he’s had no issues with brain development due to the lack of oxygen he experienced in the womb. He will happily ‘negotiate’ with me why three chocolate croissant for Sunday morning breakfast from our local is a far better idea than just the one. 

In life we have a choice about how we will handle those crap, heart-wrenching, I’ll-never-forget-his-perfect-little-face-all-blue-situations. For us, we chose health and I’m so incredibly grateful that you’re here at staceyclare.com choosing health with me.

Stace x

PS. If there’s even a part of you that wants to choose health and wants some help to get on track, please do email me and lets chat about what I do in my one-on-one Health and Nutrition Coaching. This stuff changes lives and if you’re ready…I’m ready.

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Last photo – I ran the City To Surf for the Miracle Babies Foundation and raised $1,000 for the charity. I ran the last 200m with him in my arms. What an amazing day x

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