Cooper James O’Sullivan, 7.58am 10/2/2015 entered the world via c-section at 38weeks, he was 4kgs  (or 9pounds) all went smooth and off to recovery we went, he had a breast feed then back to the room I just couldn’t stop admiring him!

Within 20 mins of being in the room the nurse was called as Cooper had some stomach retraction that I was concerned about.

Cooper was then taken to Special Care Nursery put on a machine called CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.

St Vincent’s Private is the first private special care to have CPAP in their nursery and Cooper was the very first baby to use it.

Being first time parents it hurt to watch your beautiful helpless baby struggle while your health was fine, a million times over I wished it was me and not Cooper laying there! 

By the 11th Feb Cooper had gone through some serious breathing difficulties over night and was rapidly going downhill. I was whisked down with Nurse Unit Manager of SCN and the doctors to say goodbye when Cooper was taken to Royal Children’s Hospital with my husband as he had a pneumothorax as well as Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS).

I then discharged myself and followed Cooper over to RCH as this was a battle we were all fighting I couldn’t be without him.

We spent 10 nights at RCH / 6 nights special care while Cooper recovered,  his little body was covered in lines and cords for different monitors, lung drainage tubes, ventilation and feeding tubes just to name a few. I was very keen to breastfeed and I spent day and night beside Cooper’s bed pumping every 3 hours leaving hospital with 45 plus bottles. Cooper recovered day by day and we  watched one tube or monitor get removed at a time until we returned back to St Vincent’s Private for another 5 days, Special Care Nursery for four days and then a night where the hospital encourages parents to ‘room in’ in a private room with their baby before you go home. We then left the hospital a very happy family of three.

I remember the pre pregnancy classes at St Vincent’s Private thinking SCN had a good rating (but also thinking that we would ever need it). The nursing care for Cooper was exceptional. As new parents, we were also tested emotionally more than ever, but the nurses not only care for your baby but also the parents. When needed, the nurses are there and they provide the hugs, the shoulder to cry on and nothing was ever too much.

The care didn’t stop when we left either. A week later I received a phone call “How’s Cooper?” and then two weeks later another call, a month later another call. They also advise to call St Vincent’s Private special care at anytime for the first 12 months if you are ever concerned. This was a huge benefit after such a troubled start to Cooper’s life.

It was an emotional roller coaster that you wish no parent to experience and we are forever grateful we had Cooper at St Vincent’s Private the support and care was amazing.

Cooper has recently turned 1 and again thanks to the supporting nurses at St Vincent’s Private we made it 12 months breastfeeding, something I never thought would happen! Cooper is a thriving, loving happy little boy. He has just found his feet now walking, loves chasing our two Maltese x dogs around, swimming lessons, gymbaroo and recently just returned from a 3 week overseas holiday with us.

The worst start, but hopefully something he will never go through again or remember.

Massive thank you to Special Care Nursery nurses working around the clock, paediatricians Dr Liz Hallam and Dr John Mills and  Obstetrician Dr Ken Geier, we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.