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WIRF is one of Australia's leading organisations that is dedicated to improving the health of women and infants.

Amy Hussey reflects on her preterm birth journey

Hussey-Family_re-(2).jpgIn 2007, I was pregnant with my 3rd child.

I was enjoying a problem free pregnancy when at 24 weeks out of nowhere I started having complications and ended up in King Edward Memorial Hospital on bedrest. 

For the next 10 days I would lie there hoping my blood clots on my placenta would resolve so I could go home to my 3-year-old daughter and 14-month-old son. 

It was like a dream that I was going to wake up from and discover wasn’t really happening to me. After a stay in hospital, I was sent home on light duties and told to stay close to the hospital. 

My complications worsened. I found myself in an ambulance in the middle of the night ringing my mum and saying, ‘If anything happens to me mum, promise you will look after my babies.’ 

A few days later I had an emergency C section and delivered a baby girl at 28 weeks weighing just over 1 kg.

I remember lying in my bed in disbelief and being wheeled down to the NICU nursery and taken to a humidicrib with a tiny naked baby who looked like she was made of plasticene, with cords and eye patches and drips hooked up to her. 

For 12 weeks I would spend my days at KEMH sitting next to my baby, Molly, expressing breast milk, touching her skin and when well enough having skin to skin cuddles. 

What stays with me about this awful experience is when I was well enough myself to go home I couldn’t take my baby with me. I stood at the automatic doors feeling as though an elephant was standing on my chest trying to walk out of the door with tears streaming down my face. 

It is the most unnatural feeling to have a baby and leave hospital without it, leaving it in the care of people you don’t know. You really have no idea how incredibly tiring mentally, physically and emotionally the journey will be.

Eventually after 11 weeks of spending up to 16-hour days at the hospital and coming and going and trying to spend time with my other 2 children at home, we were able to take our precious Molly home. It was an amazing feeling of relief and gratitude that our baby girl had survived and was going to be a part of our family. 

Unfortunately for so many preterm babies once you take them home that is not where it ends, our beautiful girl Molly was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and will live with this for the rest of her life.

After many tests and reassurance that having another preterm baby was extremely unlikely to happen to me again, we decided to complete our family with a 4th child.

The pregnancy was smooth sailing until at 28 weeks I fell incredibly sick and was rushed to KEMH. I had contracted an antibiotic resistant bug and my body was trying to dispel whatever it could to help me. Oscar was born a few hours later weighing just over 1kg and very unwell himself having contracted the infection.

At one stage his infection levels were so high we were told he may not survive. Once again, we had a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs over the next 12 weeks never really sure of whether our baby would survive and if he did what his future would look like.

In 2018, myself and my husband were asked if we would be interested in becoming Ambassadors for WIRF. It was an easy decision to make. The work Women & Infants Research Foundation does in the field of preterm birth prevention is incredibly important. We need to find out why babies are born too soon and develop ways of preventing this happening.

WIRF’s Telethon-funded studies are working towards a future where no baby is born too soon and families can have healthy full term babies that allowed to enjoy the best possible start to life. For a preterm mother, there is no work more important than this.

Despite our experience, we are the lucky ones. We were able to take our babies home. So many families lose babies born prematurely. With Telethon’s support, WIRF can remain steadfast in its commitment to achieving a future where no baby is born too soon.

Ambassador of the Women & Infants Research Foundation, Amy Hussey.

The true face of our work to prevent preterm birth

3 families. 3 stories. 1 clear message - we must do everything we can to stop our babies being born too soon.

WIRF Ambassadors, Amy and Mike Hussey, join two other families that have walked a preterm birth journey for this very powerful production.

To support our critical work on behalf of thousand of Australian families you can donate here.


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Women and Infants Research Foundation
Carson House, King Edward Memorial Hospital
374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, WA 6008

Telephone: 08 6458 1437
Fax: 08 6458 1642
Email: info@wirf.com.au

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