Alicia Rose's story - A mothers dedication.

Alicia's the most precious Rose
My husband and I have been together for 7 years plus. We had been trying naturally for five and a half years, and decided to down the road of IVF. An expensive road, filled with needles, moodswings the works, just ask Dave about the moodswings!!! We were successful first go, and had one embryo in the freezer, hoping that one day that'd be a baby brother or sister for our little one. The day we saw the seven week ultrasound was the most powerful experience ever. I had the usual symptoms of cause, nausea, can I just say morning sickness is not fun. I'd prefer to not have it. At twelve weeks, they noticed an abnormality. Thickening in the neck. Their first concern was that our baby had downsyndrome, course being first time parents, that was just a big shock, we weren't complaining though, because we knew that we'd be able to cope, it didn't matter to us what they had. At fourteen weeks we went to Monash for a second opinion. The obstetrician there was a bit daunting, giving us the news that he's worried about the neck, and that our baby could have downs, as well as a condition called CDH. Congenital Diaphragmatic hernia, which is a hole in the diaphragm, meaning that organis can fall into the chest cavity, and prevent lung growth. News came like crashing thunder, they wanted me to do a CVS which is like the amniocentisis but without the ultrasound. I'd already been under stress, realizing my baby was sick. We asked the doctor what the sex was, as we wanted some good news. And he said it was a girl. Alicia Rose.

They kept her closely monitored, wanting to keep an eye on the condition. Her heart was  being pushed to the right, so she had left sided CDH. At 29 weeks they had me in for another scan, mind you we had to travel an hour and twenty minutes to that hospital, as the country hospital wasn't equipped for Alica's condition. So if I did go into labour I'd need an ambulance. We became members of course! We were shown the NICU where Alicia would be for a little while, and course my heart rate was up, they did a CTG fetal monitoring checked my BP, it was high, was sent to hospital, twice mind you. I should of stayed there, though in that week, I had lots of fluid build up because Alicia couldn't swallow cause of her condition. My uterus thought I was full term. I wasn't. And I was only at 31 weeks.

Here is her birth story!

I thought I'd actually write this birth story as a memory for all the beautiful things that God had given us. He had blessed us with a miracle, and our miracle was too beautiful for this earth, she's now an angel, and she grew her wings on 25th November. This week will be one I will not forget in my entire life time, but for now I wish to tell you all about my labour and about the birth, because it was truly the most wonderful thing I had experienced. It all started at around 315am in the morning, but now thinking about it, it probably did start earlier, but being a first time mother, and first pregnancy I didn't know what was going on. I remember quite clearly groaning about it on facebook, and on here about what these pains were, thinking they were just braxton hicks. Little did I know I was wrong. It all started getting a little stronger, but I didn't think anything of it. And to be honest now I wish I had. But i can't dwell on the what ifs. So at 315am after rolling over trying to get comfortable, going to the toilet, thinking that would solve things, I noticed I was leaking (sorry for TMI) I had no idea that my membranes had actually ruptured even then. Dave woke up saw me bending over the bed, and he immediately thought uhoh, somethings not right. The contractions felt like strong period pain and I had been experiencing that earlier in the day, along with back pain but didn't think anything of it. So Dave rang the midwives at Monash asking them what we should do, and they said bring her in it could be nothing.

Never had they been more wrong. My mother in law drove me to the hospital which is an hour and 25 away. we had to go to Monash due to the condition that our girl was in, and cause I was high risk. I remember my mother in law worrying about me cause the contractions were getting stronger and she said that we might have to ring a ambulance but I was holding on best I could. They were getting intense. Before we turned the corner on Clayton road Dave rang me while he was at work, I told him I was fine, and that he could still work, but I quickly hung up as I was about to throw up. There was no bucket or anything so my mother in law went to open the window for me but that didn't help either, so she grabbed a rubbish bag. This happened when Monash was like one minute away. We pulled up to the emergency area, and there were no wheel chairs they were all the way up on level 5 where I was supposed to go!! the wheel chair finally came and so I was whizzed up to one of the birth suites up there.

I was put on the bed,and they set up the fetal monitoring to check on baby. it was like that for a good couple of hours, they checked my cervix, and it was fine at that point, they kept giving me tablets (I forgot what they call them) to try and stop the contractions, but that wasn't working. They gave me steroids for bub. Anyway, I was scheduled that day to have some tests done anyway, so they whizzed me down to the MRI. The guys there gave me a puzzled look and not even a midwife came with me down there which I couldn't believe. They took me into the room, and as soon as I sat on the table, my waters broke. I was so embarrassed as I was still in those awful hospital gowns. So the guy goes "Your not having a scan today your having a baby" and I was well in shock as you can imagine. So they whizzed me back upstairs, onto the bed, and put the fetal monitoring thing back on, then the doctor said they were going to put a clip on the babies head so they can check how bubs was going, and man that hurt!

It was at that stage that everything was becoming more intense, by the minute. I knew that baby wasn't far off, and they checked my cervix, six cms dilated and that just shocked me again, how could I be in labour? I kept asking myself. Anyway, I was so greatful to have my mother in law there, I said no to epidurals, and no to pethidine, I wanted to experience this as best I could. They gave me laughing gas. I was screaming cause of the intense pain, and it really was just uncomfortable pain as my mum said later like your constipated... (tmi) and Dave arrived ten minutes before I gave birth to our daughter. He came over, held my hand, I squeezed it not enough to break it I hope. But him being there was better, I started listening to him, and focusing, and really pushing the scream down, not just screaming. She came flying out of this world, and seriously she did, there was so much fluid, she was in her own little pool so to speak. The poor midwife who caught her., It was so beautiful, to see her finally but I was also worried. They had the incubator ready for her, and there were about nine doctors and nurses working to get her back to breathing etc. And thus the feisty determined gorgeous Alicia Rose was born.

Then I had to have one last push for the placenta and what a relief. I was so tired. I'm sure hubby was too, and our daughter was whipped into NICU, we didn't get to hold her or hug her or anything like a normal pregnancy. That first night was scary, I was in the hospital still and we were called in at 330am in the morning, dave was staying at ronald house, and I panicked, I was balling my eyes out, she had deteriorated over night. But then when hubby came they said oh no no its okay its a false alarm. I took Dave outside at about 5am in the morning and we had a good cry, cause I didn't want to loose her we both didn't. He ended up sleeping on the hard floor in the suite while I had a sleep too. My parents came the next day, as did my brother Lindsay and his family. Thats my story I won't go into what happened the week leading up to her growing her wings but wanted to share this story with you I'm sure Dave has his own version and will want to tell it to you :-) love all of you and thanks so much for your support through this hard time, just so you know we aren't giving up on our dream, we still have one embryo in the freezer if we need it. But we're trying naturally first, who knows maybe God is going to bless us with a natural miracle this time :-) This is my dedication to my beautiful daughter. Thankyou all for taking time out and reading my story.

How we came about milk banks you wonder? Well let me tell you. While I was in the NICU, I expressed daily, I had a great supply, and I filled bottles up to the brim, in the hope that when Alicia got better she'd be able to have some of this stuff I call GOLD. It was vital for her. But sadly she didn't get to taste any of it. We had to throw it all away. As parents thats another grief. All that milk, we were in the nursery the day after her passing, throwing out the milk, and I was leaking still and it hurt so much. We got weird looks from the other mothers who were nursing their full term babies, their babies were fine and crying and some laughing and snuggling their mothers while feeding or changing nappies. That milk was waisted, It was frozen in the Nursery for all the time Alicia was there, I had syringes filled with Collustrum. So after a few months since her passing ,my mum rang me telling me about the Milk bank in Perth Australia. She thought what if we started up a milk bank fund or milk bank in Honour of Alicia. So hence why I created the fanpage In honour of Alicia Rose the breast milk donation group. I hope to one day set up a milk bank in Canberra where I'm currently living. And then take the world by storm and introduce it to other countries educating them the importance of breast feeding and the many advantages it has! My girls spirit will live on through this project and I need your help getting it out there!