Isabella Paula Oakley arrived into the world 14 weeks early on Monday 26th February 2007 at 2.02pm. She was delivered by emergency caesarean section at the Royal Hobart Hospital after Rita became ill with pre-eclampsia.

Eclampsia was the Latin term for fitting or seizures. In a normal pregnacy and after the baby is delivered, eclampsia is what causes the placenta to be rejected. Untreated, high blood pressure in pregnancy can lead to fitting that will reject the placenta prematurely. That is why this condition came to be called pre-eclampsia.

Rita was diagnosed with this at 23 weeks and was hospitalised until her body decided it was time for Isabella to be brought into the world.

She arrived weighing 800 grams and 33cms in length with dark hair just like her mother. Although born very early, with the help of the amazing Neonatal team at the Hobart Royal hospital, Isabella has proved to be a real fighter and survived.

In her 7 week existence she has managed to get through 2 infections, one of which was serious, 3 blood transfusions, learned to breathe for herself (an episode that saw her unconscious and unable to breathe), as well as the initial problems she had with her heart and lungs. Not to mention the countless blood tests.

Immunisation time in the future should be a breeze as I am sure she is very use to being pricked.

At 7 weeks she is weighing 1340grams and feeding 9mls of milk per hour!!! When she started feeding at a few days old it was only 0.25ml every 4 hours. She is also spending some time off the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure; this keeps the lungs inflated and she does the breathing) and breathing for herself which is a really positive step.

As the weeks go on we will keep you updated with her milestones and her journey, hopefully not as bumpy as it was in the start. Enjoy the photos of the smallest member of the Costa and Oakley family.

2015 Note: I am doing an upgrade of my website and every time I read this text my entire body cringes just to think about what she went through and how stressful these times were for the parents and family

The family together

The horrible CPAP and the first taste of the dummy

Isabella resting from fighting her battle