"My baby was born prematurely because of my fibroids"
Nobody expects to have a premature baby. However it is not something that happens out of the norm. Here's little Corwynn's story.
Mrs Yeong’s first delivery with her daughter Eldrida was smooth, and hence, she expected no complications with her second either.
She remembers making no amends to her daily routine of her life despite being pregnant. She did the housework, went on with her part time job, played with Eldrida, took her to the library, etc.
However, on June 17th Mrs Yeong started having contractions. A visit to her gynaecologist on the same day found Mrs Yeong being admitted at Thomson Medical Centre for observation. “My gynae warned me of a possible premature birth which I was a little tense about but not too worried. When I was admitted, I started to mentally prepare for it,” she remembers.
Nobody expects to have a premature baby. However it is not something that happens out of the norm. In a recent study conducted in the United States, the results showed that premature births are up by 30%. Though it is not uncommon, parents still find it difficult to accept.
However Mrs Yeong differs from that set of parents. She took it in stride. She muses “I think I was more prepared because my sister had a premature baby around the late 90s.
My nephew was so tiny when he was born. But growing up, he had no problems and by the time I was admitted to deliver Corwynn, the image of my nephew was in my mind but so was his progressive development. That thought alone kept me from worrying and the image of him as a baby also prepared me to see my baby with tubes attached.”
As the contractions carried on during the week, Mrs Yeong was medicated, monitored, injected and advised to eat more. Finally around the 20th, Mrs Yeong’s doctor advised her to deliver the following day as the baby was not getting any bigger.
However a new twist emerged along with the rushed delivery. Mrs Yeong’s baby’s position had turned because of a fibroid that had grown alongside the baby in her womb. “I was aware of the fibroid when I was expecting Eldrida but I was never forced to have it operated as the doctors never felt it was a threat in any way.
It subsided after she was born but started growing again slightly before Corwynn was conceived. The doctor again assured me it was not something to worry about. After a while, both baby and fibroid were growing simultaneously and perhaps my fibroid was digesting more food than my baby!” laughs Mrs Yeong
Corwynn was born the next day via c-section. At birth he was 1.79kg, almost half of the expected weight of a newborn which is 3.4kg. However, Corwynn’s weight was actually something to rejoice about as the expected weight the doctors had for him was 1.5kg.
Mrs Yeong held him for a few minutes on the first day. When she saw him again after 3 days, it was better than what she had expected. Mrs Yeong was discharged after a week but Corwynn stayed on for three more weeks. “I wasn’t too concerned about his extended stay because I knew he was in good hands and it also gave me a bit of time to prepare the room and just about everything else before his arrival home,” Mrs Yeong explains.
Premature babies usually face complications such as chronic lung disease and gastrointestinal problems. However Corwynn sailed through his first month with just a large amount of phlegm in his lungs. Usually there are many factors contributing to a baby being born prematurely such as anxiety, maternal diabetes, and even stress.
However Mrs Yeong does not attribute Corwynn’s early arrival to any of these. “I believe it had more to do with the large amount of walking I did during the couple of months before his birth. Slightly before delivering him, my sisters and I spent some time together.
As it was during the SARS period, hotels were giving discounts and we decided to book a room and stay for the fun of it. We checked into Swissotel The Stamford and did a lot of shopping and walking. Also my part time accounting job involved a considerable amount of walking as well. It must be the walking,” reflects Mrs Yeong.
Mrs Yeong’s husband, a reverend at a Church, helped Mrs Yeong many nights by staying up with the baby as Mrs Yeong clocked in sleep hours. Eldrida also played mother’s little helper and helped with the little tasks. Mrs Yeong not only received support from her husband and family members but also from the church members.
Today, Corwynn is a healthy and active little boy who attends art lessons and enjoys watching cartoons and taking the MRT to explore the island. His physical mobility and learning ability are developing at a right pace.
Mrs Yeong’s advice to parents of premature babies is, “Treat them as you would any normal newborn. Do not worry and do read too much into the complications because every baby is different from the next, even premature babies.”