WATCHING baby Xavier Kidd bounce around on the floor in front of his parents, it’s hard to believe the one-year-old has spent a month of his short life in hospital.
Pakenham mum Kathryn Kidd was 29 weeks pregnant when she began to feel tired and started to gain weight rapidly.
By 32 weeks she found that her previously easy pregnancy had suddenly left her feeling sick and exhausted.
“I got home from work one day feeling unwell and told my husband he could go to the football while I rested,” she said.
“He insisted we call someone and after a call to the hospital they asked us to come in for a check-up.”
Doctors would later tell her husband Brian that he had probably saved Kathryn’s life that afternoon.
“I was sure they would tell me to go home and rest but I was quickly diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and our obstetrician told us he would need to deliver the baby that night,” she recalls.
“However, our hospital was not equipped to care for babies before 34 weeks so a transfer was organized.”
Unfortunately there were no beds available at any of the four Victorian hospitals that were equipped to deliver a baby so early.
Preparations were underway to fly Kathryn to Adelaide when a bed became available at the Mercy Hospital and she was transferred.
Once at the hospital, doctors stabilised Kathryn to the point where she was able to have two lots of steroid injections over 36 hours before delivering Xavier by Caesarean section.
He was born at 32 weeks and weighed 1.844 kilos, or 4.06 pounds.
“Xavier cried when he was born and I was able to have a brief hold before his breathing started to struggle and him and Brian went off to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).”
Kathryn was so unwell following the birth that she could not visit her baby in the NICU for the two days after he was born.
To help ease the separation, Brian took pictures of Xavier and was able to have skin-to-skin contact with the baby.
After nine days, Kathryn was discharged from the Mercy and Xavier was well enough to be transferred to St John of God Hospital in Berwick.
He was sent home after 28 days in hospital, weighing 2.7 kilos and able to feed without assistance.
Close friends of Kathryn and Brian had given birth to a premature baby girl not long before Xavier’s surprise arrival.
The couple said that knowing people who have shared similar experiences made a world of difference in their own situation.
“We’d watch them go through such similar things, so it helped that we sort of knew what to expect,” Brian said.
“To have that support, it was like a blessing in disguise.”
On 25 October Brian, Kathryn and Xavier will take part in the annual Walk for Prems to raise money for the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation.
Life’s Little Treasures provides support to the families of babies born sick or prior to 37 weeks gestation.
The walk will take place at Albert Park Lake in Melbourne as well as at six other locations around Australia.
For more information or to sign up for the Walk for Prems, visit www.walkforprems.org.au.
LAST week saw beautiful and clear, albeit warm, weather around the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. Mail photographer, Rob Carew, took this photo of... Read More »
Thieves don’t sleep EMERALD Police are searching for a thief who made off with wooden sleepers from a memorial in Cockatoo earlier this month. S... Read More »