Alex 5 Defender and Goddess of Women and Birth

Photo 2014-07-04, 2 16 58 PMHappy 4th of July . American Independence day but more importantly

Happy Birthday to my miracle baby Alex!!

Every year I have started writing a short article to highlight NEC (Necrotising enterocolitis) and the miracle of premature babies . This year I have added more to remind her of the odds and miracle that is her life. She is my reminder that we do not know our own strength, the value loyalty and our natural will to survive.

Alex – (“man’s defender, warrior, protector”. Title given to Hera, Queen of the Gods
Goddess of Marriage, Women and Birth)

Ironically she was named before we understood half the complications she had. We knew she was strong by the way she gripped your hand as if you needed it more than her. She also managed to remove a tube which was down to her stomach while her hands were tied down (This was in the first few weeks of her life). Favourite number 5 – The number of Viking/Danish #LFC loyal defender  @DanielAgger famous for his tattoos #YNWA on his knuckles and Latin motto “Mors certa, hora incerta” (“death is certain, its hour is uncertain”).

In 2002 Alex was born at 27 (6 Months Weeks) at just under 900g and within a week was close 500g. She could fit in the palm of my cadet fit hand and she still has her first baby blanket today. She developed NEC Necrotising enterocolitis and spent the next three months fighting for her life daily.

Necrotising enterocolitis is the third most common cause of mortality in premature births and has a 95% relative increase in the likelihood of death.We did not take photos initially as we did not know if we could look at them in years to come. The photos we have are just before her final operation a month later. She as one print out which was taken before she was diagnosed with NEC and lost more weight, with her handcuffs and the feeding tube she removed. She was also wearing her “sunglasses”  during her phototherapy which was prolonged, since she could not hold down breast milk. This resulted in her developing Bronze Baby syndrome. The operation and tubes left scars which she will have for life. Its not easy for a you women , but as she grows in to her teenage years and matures over the years , hopefully she understands that these are reminders of her strength.

Some of these facts are not to make less of the efforts made by people like Professor Gert (Who retires this year) from Tygerberg Hospital but to the harsh realities of how we take life down to figures and numbers.

I am thankful for the fact that my daughter was not born in a state hospital. See article for 2002

Tygerberg Children’s Hospital officially a has 1kg, 28-week gestation cut-off guideline for admission to an NICU for ventilation.

Alex carries her scars proudly and is hopefully a symbol of hope to those without a voice. The people we contacted at that time came back from countries which seemingly had better medical facilities with sadly news I did not want to hear at the time. All we had, was hope, a little kid with the grip of a giant and maybe that is what we needed to hear at the time.

I found an interesting quote from Urban Dictionary – Alex, the name for a girl who is well-liked by everyone. She has a great big smile ready for everyone, and loves to be around others. Can be very stubborn and moody at times, but if she considers you as a friend, she will be extremely loyal. In society a very popular person with great leadership potential. Smart, pretty, kind and active.

Alex Thank you for giving us hope .”Mors certa, hora incerta” (“death is certain, its hour is uncertain”).

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