It has been said that moms are equipped with a sixth sense when it comes to the welfare of their children. For Karen Slattery this assumption proved to be true when she sensed something wrong with her unborn baby and promptly acted to save his life.
When Karen was 31 weeks pregnant she and her husband Chris were invited to attend a wedding in Adelaide. The couple thought it would be a fun weekend spent together before the baby arrived. But Karen’s instincts said something was not right.
She had not felt the baby move for a couple of days and had experienced rapid growth in her belly, combined with a large fluid buildup.
Just to be safe, Karen headed over to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital during lunchtime for a check up. An extensive scan and examination of the baby’s heart revealed an abnormal heart condition, Supraventricular Tachycardia(SVT).
Chris was immediately called to the hospital. The unborn baby’s heart was beating at an abnormally high rate of 225 beats per minute because of the condition. Normally a baby inside the womb has a heartbeat of 140-150 beats per minute.
Because of the abnormal heartbeat, Karen’s body had an abnormally high quantity of amniotic fluid and the baby was finding it difficult to cope with it.
Doctors decided that an emergency C-section was needed as the baby would not survive another 24 hours in the womb. Baby Nick Joseph Slattery was born at 5.21pm on Saturday afternoon.
Currently, the tiny baby is in the hospital’s neonatal unit and growing stronger every day as his body copes with the strain of the excess fluid. He will need to stay in the hospital for seven weeks and need to take a heart medication every day.
Karen is staying in Adelaide at the Ronald Macdonald House. Back home in Clare, Chris and Nick’s older siblings Jack, Emma and Bridget are waiting eagerly for their mom and baby brother to arrive.