Liam re­ally is a mir­a­cle baby

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Marinda Brits and Nor­man Holle­man know just how lucky they are to hold their healthy new­born son Liam af­ter com­ing so close to los­ing him.

The Auck­land res­i­dents re­ceived dev­as­tat­ing news from their mid­wife in November when Brits was 21 weeks preg­nant.

A scan showed low am­ni­otic fluid lev­els sur­round­ing the baby and they were told Liam was dy­ing and they’d have to ar­range an abor­tion.

But the ex­pec­tant par­ents re­fused to give up hope.

‘‘We knew our baby was fight­ing for his life and we were go­ing to fight with him,’’ Holle­man says.

Their healthy son was born on March 1, the same birth date as their twoyear-old son Jay­den, and they now want to make sure other par­ents are aware of the op­tions for ba­bies with low am­ni­otic fluid.

The cou­ple vis­ited Auck­land Hos­pi­tal’s women’s as­sess­ment unit for a sec­ond opin­ion the day af­ter get­ting the ini­tial news about Liam.

Brits says she could feel her son kick­ing in­side her the whole time.

They were told chil­dren can still be born with lit­tle fluid, how­ever, there’s a high risk of de­for­ma­tion and the brain, lungs and kid­neys may not de­velop prop­erly.

‘‘We were will­ing to take that chance though,’’ Brits says.

The weeks that fol­lowed were made up of more scans and, at 23 weeks, Brits had an am­nioin­fu­sion where 600 millil­itres of sa­line was in­jected into her womb.

It was not meant to be a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion but would in­di­cate whether she had any leak­age or fur­ther com­pli­ca­tions.

An­other scan the

fol­low­ing week re­vealed Brits was re­tain­ing about onethird of the fluid but Liam’s kid­neys weren’t form­ing prop­erly and it was likely he’d die shortly af­ter birth.

But on New Years Eve, doc­tors dis­cov­ered Liam’s kid­neys were func­tion­ing prop­erly and Brits and Holle­man could pre­pare for a healthy baby and younger brother to their four other chil­dren.

Liam’s birth brought tears to Holle­man’s eyes.

‘‘I was look­ing at him think­ing, ‘Mate, you al­most weren’t go­ing to be here.’

‘‘I just couldn’t be­lieve it,’’ he says. ‘‘Every­one says their baby is a mir­a­cle but Liam re­ally is.’’

Royal Aus­tralian New Zealand Col­lege of Gy­nae­col­ogy me­dia spokes­woman Emma Parry says am­nioin­fu­sion isn’t gen­er­ally a cure for low-fluid preg­nan­cies. ‘‘It’s a pro­ce­dure which we rarely per­form in the foetal medicine unit in Auck­land as there are only a very few in­di­ca­tions for it.

‘‘It’s been used in later preg­nancy to stop the um­bil­i­cal cord be­ing pressed dur­ing labour.

‘‘And in this case, very early in preg­nancy, to al­low a bet­ter pic­ture of the baby by ul­tra­sound,’’ she says.

Mir­a­cle baby:

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