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Louise was our second child and because we had had such a trouble free pregnancy with Jenny our first child we decided to just have regular checkups with our GP. We were living at a residential Bible College called Tahlee and were both students.
At 41.6 weeks I visited the hospital to ask for an induction of labour. As the Midwife palped my belly she had a slight frown on her face and when I asked why she stated I think the baby’s head is up her pointing to my diaphragm. An xray confirmed baby’s position and I was booked for an induction the following day. I went home and read everything I had on breech birth and c/section (just in case).
My induction was started at 9am with an oxytocin IV. I wandered around all day not feeling any pain and then at about 3pm felt a little tired and asked to lie down. Twenty minutes later Louise Ruth Pass entered the world vaginally with a bang! She was covered in vernix and absolutely tiny…..she wasn’t breathing very well so they took her to the small ‘nursery’ and she was placed in an isolette for a short while. All the time we were at the maternity hospital the staff didn’t let on that something was wrong but they wouldn’t let me go home, it was so frustrating. So 7 days after birth I insisted that I wanted to go home and the staff agreed if we went via the large Camperdown Children’s hospital (now Westmead Children’s) to have a Echocardiograph and a hip ultrasound which we just thought was normal for breech births.
We arrived at Camperdown and went straight to the Echo room it was very scary. We thought that was bad but then the USS of her hips and there were several drs in the room and they were very rough with her! After the USS they ordered a complete skeletal survey and she was taped to the table this upset me greatly and she was crying through the whole procedure.
The doctors came to me in the corridor of the hospital and stated that she had significant heart defects and needed to be admitted. They then stated that a geneticist would need to be called. Dr Anthony Lipson was an amazing ,man and the first one to speak to us truthfully and tell us honestly what he thought and although the truth was devastating it was so nice to be told! He ordered a lumbar puncture as he suspected Trisomy 18 and blood tests. The next day we found out that his suspicions were true. Our beautiful baby girl was going to die.
They gave us no hope and when we asked about surgery to correct the heart defects the drs were very adamant that Louise would not survive the surgery and that even if she did she had multiple problems. So we decided to take our baby home and care for her as best we could.
Louise lived a very happy but very short 5 months with us at Tahlee. We have come in contact with some of the most amazing people and their children since learning about SOFT and have attended 3 conferences in the USA (99, 2000 & 2010) and have held our own Aussie conference with Dr John Carey as guest speaker.
Louise may have only been one small, beautiful little girl but she taught us so much about life.