Smiles hide sad­ness

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News - Rachel Fen­ner

LIFE had been pic­ture-per­fect for teenage sweet­hearts Peter and Sam Krieg.

They were mar­ried in Fe­bru­ary last year and baby Lola made them a fam­ily in June this year.

But be­hind their happy smiles was a hor­ror birth and a rocky start to life for lit­tle Lola.

It was a trau­matic start for baby Lola, who was still­born and had to be re­sus­ci­tated.

As a re­sult Lola has brain dam­age from oxy­gen de­pri­va­tion at birth. Her con­di­tion is called hy­poxic-is­chemic en­cephalopa­thy (HIE).

Her par­ents (both now 23) will not know for sure the ex­tent of her brain dam­age un­til she gets older and starts to reach mile­stones such as rolling over, sit­ting up and crawl­ing.

Sam had a text­book preg­nancy, in­clud- ing the usual morn­ing sick­ness and grow­ing pains.

Lola was due to be born on June 22. Dur­ing a check-up on that day to book in for an in­duc­tion on June 23, Sam men­tioned to her mid­wife that she had felt Lola move only once that day.

A check re­vealed that Lola's heart rate was drop­ping and Sam was booked in for an im­me­di­ate in­duc­tion.

Her wa­ters were bro­ken and they were meco­nium stained, in­di­cat­ing that Lola was in dis­tress.

Sam was taken to theatre for an emer­gency cae­sarean sec­tion.

“We don't re­mem­ber much of what hap­pened in that theatre room as we just con­cen­trated on each other, but as soon as I felt Lola come out I knew some­thing was wrong,” Sam said.

“There was no noise, no whim­pers, no screams, no plac­ing her on my chest.

“I re­mem­ber ly­ing there try­ing to not look past Peter but couldn't help but no­tice about six peo­ple gath­ered around our lit­tle baby.”

Lola was hav­ing seizures and had to have hy­pother­mia treat­ment for 72 hours to pre­vent fur­ther dam­age to her brain.

“We were in a world of shock; we had read all the books on birth and hav­ing a baby and thought we were so pre­pared, but the jour­ney we had been given was not the one we had re­searched,” Sam said.

“That night was the hard­est and it felt like our world had been crushed; all we wanted and prayed for be­fore birth was to have a healthy happy baby and we couldn't un­der­stand why.

“We sat with her day in and day out,­mu­ni­ d442297 talk­ing to her so she got to know our voices and hold­ing her lit­tle hand telling her we would stick by her side no mat­ter what.”

Lola's seizures were stopped with med­i­ca­tion.

Af­ter two weeks in hos­pi­tal, Lola was dis­charged and was al­lowed to go home.

On Novem­ber 8, Sam and Peter will take part in the John Hughes Big Walk to raise money for Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal and the neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Peter and Sam Krieg with two-month-old Lola.

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