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Stranger's post 'saved' new parents' baby

MOTHER'S INTUITION: Baby Odette, born October 31 at 32 weeks, with parents Jasmin and Luke Michiels at Ipswich Hospital Special Care nursery.
MOTHER'S INTUITION: Baby Odette, born October 31 at 32 weeks, with parents Jasmin and Luke Michiels at Ipswich Hospital Special Care nursery. David Nielsen

MOTHER'S intuition and an online comment from a stranger saved the life of Jasmin and Luke Michiels' baby.

Baby Odette was meant to be a Christmas present, expected to arrive on December 25, but as the end of October drew nearer, first time mum Jasmin couldn't shake the feeling something was wrong.

Her pregnancy had been fairly smooth until about week 30, when Jasmin felt something had changed.

The baby girl growing inside her had stopped moving as much and although Jasmin tried to tell herself it was nothing, there was a niggling voice inside her head that said otherwise.

For every 1000 babies born in Australia, eight die inside the uterus.

This is most likely caused by the same problem that almost claimed baby Odette's life.

"It had been building over about a week and a half," Jasmin said.

Baby Odette, born October 31 at 32 weeks with parents Jasmin and Luke Michiels at Ipswich Hospital Special Care nursery.
Baby Odette, born October 31 at 32 weeks with parents Jasmin and Luke Michiels at Ipswich Hospital Special Care nursery. David Nielsen

 

"The night before I went to the hospital it was the same feeling, I was a little worried, but told myself I was overreacting and that it could wait until my next antenatal appointment."

Jasmin woke up and didn't feel the usual morning kick, so she went to the kitchen and drank a tall glass of cold water, hoping that would get her baby moving.

It didn't and an increasingly worried Jasmin began searching online forums for advice.

"Most people were saying not to worry, that the baby was probably just running out of space," she said.

"But there was one post from a woman who said, if she had known her baby was dying inside her belly, she would have gone straight to the doctor.

"It was a horrible thing to read, but that very nearly would have been what saved my baby's life."

Jasmin gave in to the feeling and went straight to the Ipswich Hospital.

Within two hours of medical staff seeing the results of her first scan she was being whisked into surgery.

At 10.40am on October 31, Odette Michiels was born, weighing 1320 grams after just 32 weeks inside her mother's uterus.

"They told me if I had waited any longer she probably wouldn't have made it," Jasmin said.

"When she was out they lifted her over the curtain so I could see her, but it was hours before I got to touch her. When I did it was like magic."

Obstetrician Dr Michael Gordon said it wasn't unusual for women to experience a decrease in movement. Each year, the hospital scans hundreds of women with similar symptoms.

"Usually it's fine. We check that the baby is doing well and the mother goes home," Dr Gordon said.

"That wasn't the case this time, which we were a bit surprised with," Dr Gordon said. "That meant it was time to make a decision. We don't like dragging babies out at 32 weeks, but if she hadn't come in that morning - it might have been a very different outcome."

The problem was the connection between the baby Odette and the placenta - the baby's lifeline.

Baby Odette will spend the next six to eight weeks in special care at the hospital.

"All the midwives, nurses and doctors were spectacular, we're so grateful," Jasmin said.

Topics:  editors picks ipswich ipswich hospital



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