Not particularly worried, but unable to get rid of a niggling feeling, Alyson Myers drives herself to Bacchus Marsh hospital hoping for assurance everything is OK.
She’s only 24 weeks and six days pregnant – surely her baby can’t be arriving? She wonders if it is even possible for babies born so early to survive.
“It was Labour Day, ironically, and the [hospital] staff told me I was already two centimetres dilated,” she recalls.
She’s given drugs to stop the labour and steroids to speed up the development of her baby’s lungs before being rushed into a waiting ambulance and – with lights and sirens on – taken to Mercy Hospital in Heidelberg.
By the time Ms Myers is finished the 70-kilometre trip to hospital, she is six centimetres dilated and in active labour.
At that stage, she is without her husband, Luke, by her side. He is interstate.
“I managed to get hold of Luke – he is still six hours away, so it was just me,” Ms Myers says. “Both of us had never been so scared.”
Luke made it to the hospital just before
Ms Myers’ waters broke.
But the Darley woman started haemorrhaging and was rushed into an operating theatre for an emergency caesarean. After the room is filled with 40 people, baby boy Mason is born on March 12 weighing just 791 grams.
Unable to hold him for the first 10 days, or take him home for 87 days, the Myers became well versed in health jargon.
And the journey from Darley to Heidelberg became a hard slog.
“While we were in hospital, it was honestly our worst nightmare,” Ms Myers says. “It’s like being on a rollercoaster but dragged by your hair at the back of it.
“You’re watching your baby fight to live. Mason got a really deadly infection when he was three weeks old … and we couldn’t look more than an hour ahead. We weren’t sure he was going to make it.”
Mason was discharged in June, but his mum says bringing him home was nothing like she’d expected.
They’ve had ongoing medical appointments and Mason has been using breathing support during overnight sleeps.
“We are so grateful for every little thing, and to hear him cry in the middle of the night is a blessing, because we can get up to him,”
Ms Myers says.
“Previously, we could hear him crying but it was over the phone – we were so useless and other people were caring for our baby.”
The Myers will take part in Walk for Prems on Sunday, October 28, to support Life’s Little Treasures Foundation.
For more information about the fundraiser, or to donate, visit walkforprems.org.au.