Little Maggie's safe arrival

Here is a letter from Barrett Brownlee who recently wrote about her high-risk pregnancy and hope for a healthy baby.  

My first child, Alexandra, had arrived two months early and spent six long weeks in the Newborn ICU. After going through this difficult time and knowing that my pregnancy with my second daughter was high-risk,  I worried that she too would also be premature. But I had faith in my team of specialists at BC Women's Hospital.

I knew they were monitoring me and my baby carefully and doing everything within their power to help me carry her to term.

I am so pleased to tell you that I gave birth to our little Maggie, a healthy, full-term little girl on February 12. Here she is pictured in the hospital, barely one day old!

Maggie entered the world crying vigorously, weighing seven and a half pounds.  She spent her first few hours snuggled in our arms. It was a peaceful contrast to the drama after her big sister’s birth - Alexandra was immediately whisked away to the Newborn ICU.

We’re so grateful that Maggie is a healthy little baby! This is because the BC Women’s team was with us every step of the way.

Early in my pregnancy I received a special suture designed to help stop my uterus from going into labour too soon.  

Despite this, on Christmas Day I went into pre-term labour.  It was eight weeks too early and seemed it like history was repeating itself.  Thanks to advances in high-risk maternity care at BC Women’s, my doctors were prepared.  They administered a drug therapy to stop the contractions, as well as medication to help our baby's lungs mature in case they were unable to stop my labour. Fortunately, the contractions ended after three days, and I was sent home on bed rest. Monitored closely all the way, I made it to full-term!

Right after she was born, and they placed her on my tummy, I had a wave of relief that we'd done it. I had visualized that moment since the beginning of my pregnancy - that moment was when she was with me and she was OK - everything was over and done and she was safe.

I recognize that our medical team did everything within their power to prevent Maggie from being born too early. The expertise and tender loving care provided at BC Women's made a critical difference for our family. 

Now we are home six weeks and settling into our new family routine. Alexandra loves to stand over Maggie's swing singing songs to her and tells everyone she meets that she is a big sister now. A few days ago, we packed up all of Alexandra's preemie clothes to donate to the NICU, happy we didn’t need them a second time.

Now as we enjoy first coo's and smiles, I am so grateful to Women's for helping to make this wonderful outcome possible for my family, and for all the women and babies that depend on BC Women's.

Preterm labour and why it happens is a growing area of research at BC Women's Hospital. Our hope for the future is that new knowledge from research will lead to simple tests to detect the women at risk of preterm labour, and then new strategies to prevent preterm birth from occurring.

Please make a donation to BC Women's to support this important area of work.