Baby Jackson was born prematurely at 26 weeks and three days.
The Noranda family is among more than 45,000 Australian babies and families recognised as part of the national campaign ” Miracle Month of May.
The month-long campaign raises awareness and funds for premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals that care for them.
At birth, Jackson weighed 845 grams and had to be resuscitated before being incubated and hooked up to a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine.
Mrs Cryer said Jackson was dependent on the CPAP for quite a while and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for three months before being sent home around his expected due date, originally August 7.
In the first year of his life, Jackson had two blood transfusions, a double inguinal hernia operation and was admitted to the hospital twice with bronchitis, which Mrs Cryer said can be common among premature babies ” especially boys.
The 34-year-old mother said despite the hemangioma or benign tumour on the side of his head, Jackson was a happy healthy boy.
Mrs Cryer said a year ago she couldn’t see life past the hospital.
‘At the time I couldn’t see the end. It was all so surreal,’ she said. ‘The morning I gave birth I was driving to work and after having an unsettled night, I thought I’d go to the hospital and I never left. I didn’t think I’d have a baby at the end of the day.’
Mrs Cryer said it was all very overwhelming and not a normal experience.
‘You don’t have control,’ she said. It’s not like having a normal baby where everyone is happy and able to touch and visit your new baby.
‘I held him for the first time about a week after he was born.
‘He was hooked up everywhere, there were so many cords.
‘It’s a whole new world with all new medical terms.’
The first-time mother said it was a constant emotional roller coaster.
‘When you are going through it you feel alone.
‘Luckily I had my family and I would call a friend, who had premature twins six months before, who would give me advice and explain some of what the nurses were telling me.’
With prematurity being the number one cause of death in children, Mrs Cryer said having support was very important and praised the work of Miracle Babies, the only organisation providing care and support specifically geared to the needs of families with premature babies.