WHAT should have been a joyous occasion welcoming their twins into the world became a terrifying experience for Redcliffe parents Katrina Prodger and Dave Kinder.
At 23 weeks pregnant, Ms Prodger was admitted to hospital and eight days later, when it was “just considered viable”, she gave birth to Olivia and Kyle.
Weighing just 600 grams each, the premature bubs were rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where they were treated by a team of physicians at King Edward Hospital.
It wasn’t until hours later that the new parents got to see their precious newborns and were “stunned by how tiny and fragile” they were connected to “wires and tubes”.
It’s that “terrifying” experience why Ms Prodger calls Olivia and Kyle her “miracle babies”, because thanks to doctors and nurses, she has two healthy and happy 10-month-olds.
To mark how far the twins have come, and to support other families with premature babies, the family is taking part in the Walk for Prems in South Perth this month to help raise funds for Lifes’s Little Treasures Foundation.
Ms Prodger said after their “terrifying, extremely emotional and exhausting” experience, they would do anything to help raise awareness and money for organisations supporting premature babies and their families.
“It was nothing like the birth experience I had expected and certainly not how I thought I would view and touch my babies for the first time, through a small window in a plastic incubator,” she said.
“I was able to hold them for the first time when they were seven days old, which is when it really felt like they were ours.
“We saw a poster for the walk up in the parents room in the NICU when our babies were only just born and straight away said ‘next year we’ll do that’.
“Here we are now about to take part and we have our happy and healthy 10-month-old miracle babies with us.”
Ms Prodger said they were lucky to have access to “amazing technology” that allowed Olivia and Kyle, to not only survive, but thrive.
“The nurses and doctors at King Edward were beyond amazing too, they were helpful and supportive when we wanted information or had questions, and took the time to get to know us,” she said.
“They genuinely cared for our babies which made it that little bit easier to leave them when it was time to go home for the night.
“If doing something as simple as going for a walk can raise more money and awareness to keep improvements developing for future premature babies to have an outcome like ours, it’s definitely worth being involved.”
In an effort to support other parents of premature babies, Ms Prodger’s advice was to listen to the doctors and nurses, but also listen to gut instincts and ask questions.
“Speak to professionals like social workers and councillors, even if you think you don’t need to,” she said.
“Be honest with yourself and your partner about how you’re coping.
“Share your experience with others in the same position as you are and celebrate every little milestone your baby achieves.
“But the most essential thing is to cuddle that little miracle as much as you can.”
Walk for Prems
Sunday, October 28 at 9.30am
Sir James Mitchell Park, off Coode Street, South Perth Esplanade
Registration costs $27 for adults, $15 for children and $8 for babies
To register, visit walkforprems.org.au