Rory O’Driscoll: Born 22 August 2014, 28 weeks, 685g
We were told that Rory was likely to need to be born early at 24 weeks. A blood flow problem across the placenta meant that Rory’s growth was being restricted. At that point he weighed less than 500g so every extra day inside was precious.
After three weeks of rest at home and a week in the Royal under the close watch of the Maternal Fetal Medicine team, the decision was made that it was better for Rory to be delivered.
Despite all the stress associated with premature delivery, the actual day of his arrival was one of the happiest of our lives. The staff at the Royal looked after us so well.
As soon as Rory was delivered, he gave a little cry no louder than a lamb. He was immediately passed over to the NICU team and they started carefully and calmly looking after him.
We knew he was in the best of hands.
From there our 13 weeks in the NICU began. It was a rollercoaster from beginning to end with Rory facing many of the challenges of being so small and premature.
While Rory was not ventilated for too long, he spent a total of ten weeks on CPAP breathing support as we waited for him to put on weight and grow more lung tissue.
He also battled off a staph infection, a couple of bad episodes of fluid retention, fluctuating blood sugar levels and dealt with all sorts of medical interventions with just a drop of sucrose and a dummy.
Throughout, the NICU staff were so caring to Rory and us. We were involved in the Family Integrated Care trial running at the NICU.
We were encouraged to provide all non-medical care for Rory under the guidance of nursing staff and we provided the update on his care each day during ward rounds.
We really felt part of the team caring for Rory. We all celebrated with a kilo of cake when after six weeks he finally crashed through the kilo mark. Immediately the book opened on when he would reach two kilos!
Eventually, one week after his due date, Rory weighed in just over two kilos. In that same week, he made a big jump forward with breastfeeding and was ready to come home. Rory left the Royal weighing 2.02kg and requiring low flow oxygen.
We knew we wanted to give something back to the NICU and when we found out that Rory’s first humidicrib in the NICU was a Giraffe donated by Running for Premature Babies, we knew it was time to run!
On the eve of the 2015 half marathon, we got the news that Rory was strong enough to come off oxygen altogether and he is now a typical 2.5 year old toddler, chatty, bossy and full of fun!
Since 2015, two half marathons and the 2016 NYC marathon later with RFPB, we've raised over $90,000 running for Rory.