Cindy Visser recounts her difficult second pregnancy and says her son’s positive attitude towards life is what keeps her going.
When we decided to extend our family, I was over the moon. I had a perfect first pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I was naturally excited when I found out I was expecting again, and elated when I discovered I’d be having another boy.
Things didn’t go as smoothly with the second pregnancy as I was in and out of hospital with infections. At 26 weeks, my membranes ruptured and I was admitted to hospital immediately and put on bed rest until my due date. The doctors tried their best to push the birth to 30 weeks, but our miracle decided otherwise, and I will never forget that day.
I was lying in bed when I felt a gush. At first, I thought my waters broke because of the leak, but when I went to the bathroom I saw blood. The first thought that came to my mind was that I was losing my baby. I went to the head nurse and told her something was wrong. Confused and shocked, I was rushed off for an emergency C-section, and a few hours later, I woke up not knowing if my son was OK. I heard a voice saying, “He is beautiful and doing well”. Jacques was born on 16 May
2017, weighing 1.1kg at 27 weeks; the doctors were surprised by how much he weighed under the circumstances.
The hospital staff explained that the first 72 hours of a baby’s life are the most crucial and Jacques was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit. I also had an infection in my womb, so had to stay in hospital. I didn’t mind, though, as I was close to my baby. But when I was discharged after two weeks, I felt empty when I left without my bundle of joy, and my world was filled with uncertainty as I didn’t know if he would pull through. I visited him three times a day and received great support from Little Steps, an online support group for parents of preterm babies. They recommended the book, Prematurity: Adjusting Your Dream, which helped me on my journey as a mom to a preemie.
Jacques was finally discharged in July, just in time for my birthday.
But our challenges didn’t end there, as he would be admitted to hospital 23 times for lung problems. He was put on a ventilator a few times and spent his first Christmas in ICU for a lung infection. Doctors weren’t sure if he would make it, but our miracle baby pulled through once again.
Today, he’s a year old and a little busy body. You would never guess he was a premature baby. He smiles every day − no matter what he’s going through. He’s our hero! LL
‘He smiles every day – no matter what he’s going through.’