Kate and Nick’s twins, Hudson and Lottie, were born at only 28 weeks.
They spent three long months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Flinders Medical Centre.
Nick had to return to work on their farm in Orroroo almost immediately - a four-hour drive from the hospital.
And after being discharged, although she stayed nearby, Kate couldn’t be at the hospital 24 hours a day. She would call every two hours during the night to check on her tiny babies.
It was the only way she could cope with her fear - and the endless ache in her heart.
We need your help.
Each year in the Flinders’ NICU, doctors and nurses look after approximately 1,300 sick or premature babies.
Tragically, parents have to go home without their babies. They can’t always spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with them.
But in those early days, every moment counts. Premature babies reach important milestones. These moments are so precious.
Parents need to bond with their baby even when they can’t be there. They need to know their little miracles are safe and well.
Your support will help provide a camera that sits at the end of the crib which provides live stream video of the baby to a phone or computer.
It will allow parents, and extended family, to see their baby whenever they want, when they have to leave the hospital.
This revolutionary system will bring comfort to frightened and anxious parents, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In the early days, every moment counts. Premature babies reach important milestones. These moments are so precious.
"Hudson and Lottie were unwell, on breathing support and very fragile. I was recovering from surgery and had to leave hospital without them. It was heart breaking"
Kate and Nick’s story
Hudson and Lottie’s birth started with what Kate and Nick thought was a routine check-up.
Kate was having the most normal of pregnancies. It was Christmas Eve and time for their 24-week check-up.
But Kate never went home for Christmas. She was in danger of going into early labour at any time.
“We were in total shock,” said Kate.“Nick had to head home to the farm without me. I had no warning, no bag packed. I was terrified about what lay ahead.
“I had to stop work, lay in bed all day and change my focus to keeping the babies in as long as I could.”
Kate made it to 28 weeks, but after her waters broke, she was scheduled for an emergency caesarean.
When Nick got the call, he dropped everything and headed to Adelaide.
“Everything was such a blur in the first few hours. The nurses were so calming and reassuring. But looking back we were so naïve about how much the babies’ lives’ were in danger,” said Nick.
Hudson and Lottie arrived on 22 January 2018. They were so tiny and fragile, weighing in at 1130 grams and 1300 grams.
Kate only saw them for 10 minutes before they went to the NICU.
She couldn’t hold them for a week.
Nick had to go straight home to the farm. Kate was alone – not even in the same room as her babies.
“Hudson and Lottie were unwell, on breathing support and very fragile. I was recovering from surgery and had to leave hospital without them. It was heart breaking,” said Kate.
In our Donor Connection Survey last year, many supporters told us that they were particularly interested in supporting the area of children’s health. Premature babies often have a multitude of challenges to overcome, just like Hudson and Lottie. They can be in hospital for days, weeks or even months.
Imagine the difference it would have made if Kate and Nick had been able to see Hudson and Lottie whenever they chose.
Access to see their precious babies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
That’s what the cameras will offer parents of premature babies.
The camera is positioned at the foot of the baby’s crib. It offers live stream video footage. Any family member can log in from anywhere, anytime, day or night, and view baby’s progress.
Providing peace of mind to parents like Kate and Nick is only possible with your help. Will you please send your gift urgently?
Bonding is critical for mums and premature babies. The camera will make a world of difference.
The grief and anxiety of separation is one of the greatest challenges that parents of premature babies’ face.
“Mums like Kate experience a real sense of grief,” said Nicole Gould, Neonatal Nurse Unit Manager.“There is an expectation of a normal birth, special early days with your baby and then taking your baby home. When this doesn’t happen, there is an overwhelming feeling of loss. This can lead to post-natal depression,”
“In normal circumstances when a baby goes home, it’s easy for mum to ‘pop her head in’ when their baby is sleeping to check how they are,” says Nicole.
“The camera will become a virtual version of this experience. It will bring comfort and reassurance that baby is sleeping, breathing well and settled.
“The cameras will make a big impact in helping mums to feel more connected with their baby.”
Can you imagine how much easier it would have been for Kate and Nick to watch a live stream video of Lottie and Hudson when they had to be away from them?
Your generous gift today will make this a reality for other mums and dads.
Discharged from hospital, Kate stayed in nearby accommodation. This way she could be with Hudson and Lottie as much as possible.
“I felt so helpless. When I was away from them, I felt such overwhelming sadness and I worried all the time. It was awful.”
The separation and fear of not being with her babies at night was often too much to bear.
“I would call the NICU every two hours for a report. The nurses were so kind and patient and always took the time to tell me all the vital information I needed.
“It would have been so much easier to look at them through a camera. I wouldn’t have had to call all the time and I would have felt close to them,”Kate said.
Nick was devastated that he had to spend so much time away from his babies.
“Running a farm is a full-time job. I wasn’t able to be with them often enough to watch their progress,” said Nick.
“There are so many major milestones with premmie babies, and I couldn’t witness this. All I had during the week were photos and phone calls. By the time I visited on the weekend, they had changed so much.”
“The cameras would have given me the peace of mind I needed while being away from them. I’d have known that they were breathing ok and their little hearts were still beating, whenever I needed reassurance.”
Your gift today will help relieve the stress that parents must bear. You can ease their fears and help them feel closer to their tiny babies, no matter how far away they are.
There are so many milestones in a premature baby’s early weeks.
As they grow stronger, the frightening tubes and monitors around their cribs disappear. The baby begins breathing alone, IV lines are removed, they wear clothes for the first time.
The camera will bring these moments to life for frightened parents and family members.
“Our beautiful babies are now happy and healthy and have turned one,” says Kate. “The whole experience seems like a horrible dream. I would not want anyone to go through what we did, but sadly it happens all the time.
“These wonderful cameras would mean families could feel connected to their baby and comforted even at the most difficult of times. Will you please help?”
We need your help to make this happen. Please will you support parents like Kate and Nick by making your precious gift today?