How pre-eclampsia nearly took Sam Squiers’ motherhood
THIS time last year, Sam Squiers was grappling with the possibility that she might not make it to motherhood.
The Channel 9 sports presenter had been told throughout her pregnancy she was at high risk of pre-eclampsia, a condition characterised by high blood pressure.
At just 26 weeks, she and her husband Ben were ushered into a tiny room along with her medical team, where they were told the situation was extremely serious.
They were concerned about the size of her baby, issues with her umbilical cord and she had a "rubbish placenta".
"They told us it wasn't good.
"That was a massive shock for us because we're both really healthy people with fit lifestyles who do everything right, and had never been sick," Squiers said.
The passionate reporter was forced to cut back here days at work, cancel travel plans and try to keep her unborn baby safe inside for as long as possible to give her the best chance at life.
Squiers is now preparing to celebrate her first Mother's Day with a happy and healthy 11-month-old daughter, Imogen Grace - "Immi" as she affectionately calls her.
Having nearly lost her life during her girl's dramatic birth, Squiers was overcome with emotion as she spoke to The Courier-Mail about reaching the milestone.
"We're also approaching Immi's first birthday in June and these are both massive milestones," she said. "We're just enjoying every single moment - every day with her feels like the greatest day ever. She's such a happy baby."
Squiers was 32 weeks into her pregnancy when she suffered a placental abruption and underwent an emergency caesarean at the Mater Private Hospital, while her firefighter husband hurried to board a flight home from work in Sydney.
She suffered kidney failure and loss of vision as a blood clot formed in her uterus and was at risk of seizures and renal failure, as well as bleeding out from the placenta - all of which could have cost Squiers her life.
If she had put off her trip to hospital any longer, Immi - who was born weighing just 1.3kgs and spent 44 days in hospital care - would have died.
"It's all a lottery, whether you fall pregnant and whether it goes well," Squiers said.
"I don't take motherhood for granted and I feel very grateful. I really just don't sweat the small stuff. I know what's important and Immi is the most important thing to me."
Even after her release from hospital, Immi spent months on portable oxygen and she still sees a physiotherapist to ensure her range of movement develops.
"In a way, everything that has happened has just made me appreciate motherhood and having Immi so much more," Squiers said.
"Ben and I made a promise to each other in the last few weeks with Immi in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) that we would never complain about waking up 1200 times a night to change nappies."
With Immi having just learnt to give kisses, all Squiers wants for Mother's Day is a smooch and a cuddle from her little girl ... and maybe a skateboard.