Bun­dle of joy

Prem­mie Con­nor home in time for Christ­mas

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - By RACHELLE CHAP­MAN

TINY Con­nor Smith was sup­posed to be born next month.

The lit­tle fighter was only 1176 grams when he ar­rived al­most three months early on Oc­to­ber 19.

But Con­nor has grown big­ger and stronger ev­ery day, with his par­ents Martina Ah Sam and Philip Smith thrilled they can fi­nally take the tiny bun­dle ofjoy home just in time for Christ­mas.

Con­nor and Ms Ah Sam have called the Townsville Hospi­tal spe­cial care nurs­ery home since the birth, with proud dad Mr Smith visit­ing each day.

It’s been a test­ing time for the par­ents, but with the baby gain­ing strength each day they can now breathe a sigh ofre­lief in the com­fort of their Ras­mussen home.

The en­tire preg­nancy came as a shock to first-time mother Ms Ah Sam.

She didn’t re­alise she was preg­nant un­til the 11th week and was work­ing 12-hour days fly­ing in and out of Can­ning­ton mine up un­til Au­gust.

On the day Con­nor was born, Ms Ah Sam said she felt some back pain and de­cided to visit the Townsville Hospi­tal emer­gency de­part­ment — via Sub­way for lunch — with Mr Smith as a pre­cau­tion.

A quick med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion re­vealed Ms Ah Sam was go­ing into a very early labour.

‘‘I had only just told peo­ple I was preg­nant,’’ she said. ‘‘I was just at the stage where I was get­ting used to be­ing preg­nant and then I had him.’’

Doc­tors tried to slow down the birth but were forced to break Ms Ah Sam’s wa­ters by a per­sis­tent Con­nor.

‘‘There was no stop­ping him, and he’s just made up his own mind ever since,’’ Ms Ah Sam said.

‘‘The doc­tor told me not to be alarmed be­cause he prob­a­bly wouldn’t scream be­cause his lungs would not be de­vel­oped, but he squealed when he came out.’’

The tiny bun­dle ofjoy ar­rived on his de­lighted grand­mother Eileen Smith’s birth­day. ‘‘He was all skin and bones, hollow in the face and was all arms and legs,’’ Ms Ah Sam said ofher son when he was born. Lit­tle Con­nor was con­fined to a hu­midi-crib for the first sev­eral weeks of his life, with hi-tech mon­i­tor­ing ma­chines and feed­ing tubes fixed to his tiny body help­ing to keep him alive.

But they’ve all come out, with Con­nor now able to breast­feed nat­u­rally.

The baby was al­ready show­ing signs of a de­ter­mined per­son­al­ity ac­cord­ing to his mother, who said he thought noth­ing of pulling out at­tached med­i­cal ma­chines if they were an­noy­ing him.

Mr Smith’s daugh­ter Sha­nia, 5, also can’t wait to meet her new lit­tle brother prop­erly at home.

All in­di­ca­tions show that Con­nor will grow up to be­come a happy, healthy boy.

He used to wear a nappy the size ofthe palm ofa hand, but is now into size 00000 and weighs al­most 3kg.

Pre­ma­ture ba­bies of­ten have prob­lems with their eyes and ears but Ms Ah Sam said tests showed Con­nor’s were nor­mal.

Mr Smith said he couldn’t wait to bring his lit­tle son home so they could all be a fam­ily.

Ms Ah Sam agreed, and said she was look­ing for­ward to re­lax­ing at home and be­ing a mum. Af­ter months look­ing at their son through a hu­midi-crib and hold­ing him for lim­ited pe­ri­ods, the cou­ple can’t wait to en­joy their baby in the com­fort of their home.


PROUD PAR­ENTS . . . baby Con­nor­with mum Martina Ah Sam and dad Philip Smith


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