Mum defies the odds with miracle babies
THE odds weren't in their favour, but Amy Slapp and her family are proof miracles do happen.
The mum-of-five knows better than most the strain placed on a family when a baby is born with complications.
Amy's two youngest children were born prematurely at less than 26 weeks gestation.
The youngest, Lochlan, is now almost five months old but if born on his due date, would only be five weeks old.
Daughter Olivia is now seven, in school and doing well.
But Amy knows the struggles an unexpected early birth can place on not only the parents, but the rest of the family.
In her situation, there was no history of premature births and nothing to indicate it could be a problem.
"It was an emotional time when each of them were born," she said.
"It wasn't supposed to happen again."
Between the births of Olivia and Lochlan, Amy also lost a little girl, Charlotte, 16 weeks into the pregnancy.
"Because of this I was put at a higher risk pregnancy for Lochlan, but they still had no cause," she said.
"I was put on different meds to sustain the pregnancy with him but was flown to Brisbane and he was born at 25 weeks six days and weighed just 944 grams."
Olivia was born at 25 weeks and one day and weighed 754 grams.
After the birth of both children Amy stayed in Brisbane for months while the babies were monitored by specialist doctors.
She said there were a number of families in the same situation.
"In Brisbane there is a lot of support and help," Amy said.
"I'd been through it once before with Olivia so this time wasn't as daunting."
The 33-year-old said she was emotionally okay now that she was back home with all her children but going through something so unexpected took a toll on everyone.
The bills still needed to be paid and the older children still needed to go to school, she said.
"Hubby works away and it's hard being away from your children and you become emotionally torn," she said.
"I had experienced premature birth before but it was a first for my husband.
"We needed him to go back to work west of Dubbo because we had to pay the bills and mortgage."