November is Premature Awareness Month.
In South Africa 1 in 7 babies are born prematurely (and this number is on the rise). Premature babies are born before they are fully developed inside the womb and physically ready for the world. Therefore, they are highly vulnerable after birth. Conditions such as underdeveloped lungs, extremely thin skin, demand extra support. As a result, intensive care is required.
Now, I would like to introduce the story of Belinda, a mom of two. Belinda suffered a life threatening condition, placenta accreta, and her little one was born at 33 weeks.
I was diagnosed with Placenta Accreta and had to deliver prematurely early at 33 weeks. My baby and I were both facing a life threatening situations. Through prayers, we were granted two miracles and we both survived. Here is my story.
Two Miracles: Surviving Placenta Accreta and Having a Healthy Preemie Baby
I survived being part of two miracles. God’s love never fails.
God is in control. He never starts something that cannot be finished.
On 3rd May 2019, 12:30, I was admitted with bleeding at 33 weeks pregnant. The doctor monitored my bleeding and baby Anke’s heartbeat for 48 hours. The bleeding stopped and started again on 4th May.
5th May 14:00, the doctor declared that we need to take this little bundle out. We were shocked, scared and excited. Mixed feelings overwhelmed us.
What were we going to do with a small baby weighing 1.9 kgs? I have not even finished packing. I wasn’t prepared at all. Meanwhile, God was preparing miracles that would change and touch so many lives without us knowing.
Baby Anke was born at 33 weeks, healthy, and weighing 2.2kg.
Baby Anke was attached to a ventilator, however her lungs were developed enough for her to breath on her own.
I was informed that I had placenta accreta.
Which means that my placenta grew too deeply into the wall of the uterus.
Placenta accreta is a serious condition that could lead to life-threatening amounts of vaginal bleeding (hemorrhage) after you give birth.
Hemorrhaging (heavy blood loss) occurred as soon as the first surgery started. The surgical team started ordering emergency blood during the surgery. During that time, I received a total of 24 blood transfusions.
I was in an extremely critical situation. My family, friends, church, the hospital staff and visitors all prayed for me. As a result of the placenta accreta, I also had to undergo a hysterectomy.
I was in ICU for two weeks, and it was hell. I had to learn how to walk and breathe on my own again. All of this while my little Anke was in NICU getting stronger. I only met her when she was one week old.
After the first seven days in ICU, I was infected by a virus called the Cdif virus. I was put in a single room where I could start thinking and talking to God. Why did this happen? Why me? Why did God pull me through?
Through my faith, I managed to understand that it was not about me, but it was about God. I was going through this to show that there are still miracles in this world.
Let me tell you our God is big, faithful, and miracles still happen. I was healed and was able to go home with little Anke after everything.
I want to thank my husband Hein Van Wyk, 7-year-old daughter Miane, my parents Linda Fivaz and Boet Fivaz for standing strong through this tough time and all their love. I also want to thank all the staff Netcare Linmed Hospital for their service, dedication, and prayers. Thank you to Mari and Ferdi Steinmann for praying in their church.
Tell us about your little preemie?
My baby, Anke, was born at 33 weeks of pregnancy and spent a month in NICU.
She was on a ventilator for a day. We were fortunate as Anke started breathing on her own once removed from the womb. After the brain and organ scans, Anke was declared healthy and normal. Again, God is great in more than one way.
The doctor warned us repeatedly that Anke was a sick baby. However, she pulled through and is a healthy baby girl.
Again, God is great in more than one way.
Anything else that you want to share with us?
Never give up. God does not put something on your path that you are not able to work through.
Further support for parents or family members of a preterm infant, please visit Little Steps Premmies.
The neonatal intensive care unit can be a very scary and overwhelming place and to help you cope with this frightening situation, this website (Facebook page) intends to provide you with the most recent information on how to nurture your premmie(s) to help her grow and reach optimal development.
Share this story with a mom who need to hear this message right now.