On 21 March 2020 I was booked into hospital with excruciating pain following a kidney infection a few days prior. What my husband I thought would be a routine hospital stay for me with IV antibiotics and discharge within a few days turned into one of the most stressful times of our lives.

At 8am on 22 March 2020 my gynae came in to tell me that they had booked a theatre for 11am as I had a dangerous and deadly infection in my placenta called chorioamnionitis. At 11h27 on Sunday 22 March, Chloe Sienna Bell was born via emergency C-Section at 27 weeks gestation. She weighed a mere 1kg and was 26cm in length, the size of a packet of wet wipes. Our baby girl was stabilised and transported to the NICU where our 70 day NICU journey started. 

Chloe was intubated for 4 days, on CPAP for a further 6 days. FInally on day 10 our princess was put on nasal canullas and we finally got to hold our little girl for the first time. During our NICU stay she had a few setbacks, such as a PDA which only closed after 2 treatment of Prephalgan, 2 blood transfusions and a few issues with digestive issues but despite all of this she grew nice and strong and on 31 May 2020, at 11h27, exactly 10 weeks after she was born, our Chloe was discharged from the NICU at a weight of 1.9kgs. 

The first few months at home were a rollercoaster. We discovered that she had a severe tongue tie which made breasfeeding impossible and by the time we had it lasered my milk supply had dried up, she developed colic and her weight gain at times was not ideal but we held strong and now, 14 months later, we have a thriving little 1 year old who is hitting all her milestones. She amazes us with her strength, resilience and sheer determination! I am a blessed mommy.

Our preemie journey was long, emotional and at times felt impossible to conquer but we made it! We have a healthy girl with no lasting effects from her prematurity! The journey may seem tough, but a preemie is tougher! 

Cloe Then – Born at 26 weeks
Cloe Now – 1 year old