Suzannah was born at 32 weeks via emergency caesarian after I hadn't felt much movement from her for about 24 hours.
Having already had one healthy pregnancy resulting in our older son, we certainly were not expecting Suzannah 8 weeks early and we certainly didn't expect the challenging journey ahead!
Not only was she early, she also had some health issues relating to her heart, kidneys, blood clotting and she had a bloated and distended tummy that no one could explain. The first few days were touch and go. I don't think we realised just how serious things were until months after.
Suzannah has pulmonary stenosis which is the narrowing of the valve that lets blood flow from the right ventricle of the heart into the lungs. At 6 months old she underwent a cardiac catheter in Melbourne and she may need further surgery when she is older. She also has a kidney obstruction that is being monitored, and she has 'failed to thrive' - not that you would know it if you saw her now!
Feeding issues and growth problems required Suzannah to have a feeding tube for the first year of her life. We finally weaned her off the tube just after her 1st birthday and today she eats more than her 4 year old brother!
Recently Suzannah was diagnosed with Noonan's Syndrome, which explains all of her ongoing health problems and will see her quite small in stature as an adult.
Now 18months old she is doing very well with a feisty attitude and a cheeky smile. She is petite but is moving around well and is a happy bright little girl. She has met all of her developmental milestones within the 'normal' time frame.
I now work as a family support coordinator with HeartKids SA supporting parents of children and babies with congenital heart disease. My journey with Suzannah was my motivation in taking on this role and it's so rewarding to be able to help others going through a similar experience.