Baby Aurora coming home after 100+ days in intensive care

Chiara Hubber and Danial Cowan with premature Aurora Cowan. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Chiara Hubber and Danial Cowan with premature Aurora Cowan. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily john mccutcheon

SHE may only have been born a "bit bigger than the size of a Coke can", as described by her father Danial Cowen, but she is going from strength to strength.

Aurora was born at 24 weeks, weighing 730 grams.

She is three months old, but her mother's "due date" still has not been reached.

It was a nice surprise for the young couple, Chiara Hubber and Danial, when they found out they were going to have a baby.

Everything was going smoothly and at Chiara's 20-week scan, no "alarm bells" were ringing.

At 24 weeks, she was on the floor screaming.

Chiara was rushed to Caboolture Hospital, where she was put on steroids to try to extend the birth.

After little more than two hours, Chiara had an emergency caesarean when the baby turned.

Aurora is the earliest birth Caboolture Hospital has ever had.

A Caboolture Hospital spokesman said they routinely delivered babies at 32 weeks of gestation.

On the day Caboolture News spoke to Chiara and Danial, little Aurora had reached her 100th day in intensive care.

She has gone through a lot for someone who now only weighs 2.5kg.

Chiara spent just over two months in Ronald McDonald House while Aurora was at the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital.

Aurora has gone through many MRIs, a shunt has been put in her head, four blood transfusions and even a hole in her lung after the ventilator machine proved too strong.

Aurora was described as having a grade four brain bleed. But Chiara said after the shunt, her baby girl was growing stronger daily.

"Parts of her brain are dead, but since the shunt she has got some of her brain back," she said.

"She has passed her hearing and sight tests after we were told she may not see or hear.

"She has got heaps of strength in her legs, but we have been told she may not walk."

They had even been told she might not be able to be bottle-fed until after speech therapy. So far Aurora is proving everyone wrong by feeding four to five times a day and has already had her feeding tubes pulled out.

Aurora is doing so well that she is coming home next week.

The couple is excited, but apprehensive of what lays ahead as Aurora's development is still uncertain.

"Something could happen from today to tomorrow," Chiara said.

"Babies are strong and can go through so much."

According to a Caboolture Hospital spokesman, the survival rates from 28 weeks is 96% and upwards.

Danial said they were scared to take her out of the hospital, but excited about moving forward.

"There is hope, but it is a long road," he said.

"All we can hope for is that she has every chance like all the other kids."

Chiara admitted she blamed herself for Aurora being born prematurely, even though she had no signs of her baby coming early and medical staff still did not know what caused it.

She wants expectant mothers to be aware her situation could happen to anyone.

"It is not your body anymore," she said of pregnancy.

"You are looking after someone else."

Chiara would like to thank Dr Koorts at RBWH and the Ronald McDonald House for all their support.



Prematurity is defined as birth before 37 weeks

Average total births at Caboolture Hospital: 2050/year

Average number of premature births at Caboolture Hospital: 175/year

400 babies admitted to special care nursery every year

Earliest birth at Caboolture Hospital: 24 weeks

Topics:  babies health parenting

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