HAPPY FAMILY: Carmita Valverde and Jackson Kennedy with Gabriella, Tatiana and Tamaki Randle and baby Mila Kennedy.
HAPPY FAMILY: Carmita Valverde and Jackson Kennedy with Gabriella, Tatiana and Tamaki Randle and baby Mila Kennedy. Rob Williams

Mum reveals heartbreak, challenges of premature birth

CARMITA Valverde had to wait two days to hold her fourth child for the first time.

Little Mila was born prematurely at 33 weeks and two days in June, weighing just 2.37kg.

After crashing her car close to home in November, a week later she found out she was expecting.

"That caused a bit of a complicated pregnancy," Ms Valverde said.

"At about 28 weeks, I went into premature labour for the first time. I had steroid shots and a whole heap of medication to try and stop labour."

Then again, at 33 weeks, she presented back to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane where she ended up delivering by caesarean.

Not being able to immediately hold her newborn close and having to watch her through glass hooked up to wires and monitors just added to the pain for the 28-year-old.

"With my other children I had them and they were placed on me straight away and we got to have that instant bond, that instant connection," she said.

"I felt I was a bit robbed of that but we have made up for it."

Mila lost more than 13 per cent of her body weight in the first week of life and spent 16 days in the special care unit before Ms Valverde and partner Jackson could take her home to Bellbird Park in mid-July.

"We became very anxious and, like germophobes, not wanting to take her out anywhere," she said.

"We did our best to keep her home and away from everyone but she still got sick. She contracted (respiratory syncytial virus).

"She was admitted to hospital for a few days but since then she's been doing really good. She's eating well, putting on weight and meeting all her milestones."

The bub, who weighs 5.67kg, is well looked after by siblings Gabriella, Tatiana and Tamaki.

The family will join others from across Australia in taking part in the Walk For Prems 2019 in support of the 48,000 premature or sick babies born every year.

It will be held in Brisbane on October 27 at 9am. Register by visiting www.walkforprems.org.au.