Miracle baby born size of block of butter after mum caught flight for hen do has life saved by bubble wrap
A miracle baby born the size of a tub of butter after his mum went into early labour when she caught a flight to a hen do was saved by bubble wrap.
Queensland lawyer Coby Foster, 34, had enjoyed a healthy first pregnancy when she jetted to Melbourne for the bachelorette blowout in January at 25 weeks pregnant.
But the mum-of-one couldn’t believe it when she began having mystery stomach pains, which turned out to be contractions, minutes after touching down for the party.
Two days later Coby, from Brisbane, welcomed baby son Jenson into the world three months early, weighing just 760g (27oz) and measuring a tiny 28 centimetres (11in) long– the size of a block of butter.
Her premature miracle boy faced lung disease, jaundice, and numerous blood transfusions but during his four month-long hospital stay quick-thinking medics saved the tiny tot’s life – in part by using bubble wrap to keep him warm.
Coby, who brought Jenson, now seven months, home for good in May this year, said: “I didn’t feel well that night, but it never entered my thought process I was going into labour. My pregnancy was completely normal before the flight.
“I got my friend to take me into the Royal Women’s Hospital because the hen‘s party was the next day at the Australian Open, and I wanted to make sure everything was fine before then.
“It was like a bad dream when they told me it was happening, I was going into labour. I was incredibly scared, not for me but for him. I wasn’t sure Jenson was going to survive.
“The first time I saw him I was in shock. He was so small and fragile. He just didn’t look like the baby you imagine giving birth to. He was only about the size of a block of butter.
“It was scary seeing my baby boy so small and hooked up to so many machines, his skin almost translucent and just so fragile – fighting for his life.
“I was surprised to see the doctors using bubble wrap. I had never seen that before.”
Coby’s flight landed in Melbourne at 5pm on January 20 but within hours she was admitted to hospital – where doctors told her to stay calm as she was likely to go into labour in the next few days.
As medics battled to delay Jenson’s birth, the hen and three friends from the party she thought she had missed out on altered their original plans and came to her ward to keep a bedside vigil.
Partner Dave Kettle, 35, a real estate agent, dropped everything to jet across Australia from Brisbane to be by his partner’s side – and just 20 minutes after he got to the hospital Jenson was born.
Coby said: “On Saturday the hen and all my other girlfriends came in to see me. They were keeping me company.
“When Dave got here the nurse told him told him I was in the birthing suite and he had to hurry.”
But because of his extreme prematurity, Jenson had to fight an uphill battle to stay alive.
He needed an oxygen ventilator and antibiotic drips, a line into his stomach to give him nutrients, steroids and several days of phototherapy treatment for jaundice.
The tot was also given daily caffeine to help him breathe and doctors wrapped his tiny body in bubble wrap to keep him warm when he was first born.
Jenson was nursed back to health in hospital over the course of almost four months, during which Coby stayed in town and Dave caught flights nearly every weekend to see his partner and son.
When the time came for Jenson to be medically transferred home, Coby caught a cold a few days before the flight so her son had to fly back with his father to ensure he didn’t get sick.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service crew bundled Jenson onto the back of their plane and took him and his David to Brisbane’s Mater Hospital, and one week later the family went home for good.
Now seven months old and weighing 5kg, though Jenson is still overcoming health obstacles such as chronic lung disease he is well on the road to recovery.
Coby said: “Jenson is happy and he’s doing very well now. Everyone keeps saying how good he looks.
“We are incredibly proud of him. You don’t realise how resilient little babies are, he’s such a fighter. He’s our little miracle.”