ONE year ago I was confined to complete bed rest in the maternity ward of Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my triplets.
Nervously, the midwives would come to listen to their heart beats, chasing babies as they moved around inside me. Each week I prayed for good news as I was wheeled to Maternal Foetal Medicine for ultrasounds, to check babies' growth, blood flows, fluid levels and more.
I had been there since 24 weeks and wasn't going to leave until my triplets were born.
After battling a number of complications and going into labour twice, the day came when the ultrasound showed a problem threatening the life of one or more of our babies.
Little Phoenix, who had been struggling with growth restrictions since 18 weeks, was having trouble and she needed to be born or else she wouldn't make it.
At 30 weeks, four days gestation, with 23 attending staff (nurses, obstetricians, paediatricians and midwives) on October 12, 2012 at 10.43am tiny Phoenix was born, weighing just 1092g via caesarean section.
She was closely followed by Indica, 1795g at 10.44am and Tywin, 1906g at 10.45am.
All let out tiny squeaks letting us know they were alive and breathing. However, they were all too fragile to keep breathing on their own.
All three were transferred to RBWH's Intensive Care Nursery where they remained on CPAP until they were strong enough to breathe unassisted.
They were too tiny to suck and needed to be tube fed every two hours starting with just 1mL at a time and slowly building up.
Days later, one-by-one they became strong enough to be transferred to RBWH's Special Care Nursery.
After several weeks of this "round the clock care" they were big enough to be transferred to Nambour General Hospital where they remained until they were able to come home at six weeks old (36 weeks, four days gestation).
Today they are nearly a year old.
They are active, happy, healthy babies and have met or passed all their milestones for their corrected age (gestational) and even some for their actual age.
It has been a fantastic year of trials and tribulations, of laughter and smiles, of tears and fears.
We have had everything a new parent has, times three. We have been able to watch in amazement how each individual child develops, how each individual personality blossoms and are in awe of our incredible miracles.
This fantastic year we owe to the staff and facilities at RBWH. Without them our babies would not have had a chance at life. They take in mothers and babies from all over Queensland and northern New South Wales, giving them hope and saving lives every day.
In honour of the year we have been blessed with, we are raising money for the RBWH. It is our way of saying "Thank you for the gift of life you have given us".
We would like to encourage others to make a donation to assist the work of the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital by donating to the Blake Triplets' Birthday Fundraiser via incelebration.gofundraise.com.au/page/BlakeTripletsDonate.
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