Jasmine Clapperton loves running around after her very energetic and cheeky two-year-old Lucas – his energy and vivaciousness can be exhausting in the best way possible.
And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
At just 27 weeks pregnant with Lucas, Jasmine started feeling pains in her stomach and back – but was hopeful they were just her body having Braxton Hicks (false labour pains).
At the insistence of her partner, Jasmine, who had been resting and waiting for the pains to subside, headed to Whangarei Hospital to get checked even though she was sure it could not have been labour – it was just too early.
On arrival at the hospital, her worst nightmare was confirmed – she had gone into spontaneous labour. Within a short time, steroids needed to strengthen baby’s lungs had been administered and she was told her was being flown to Auckland by the Northland Rescue Chopper – and it was on its way.
With time of the essence, Jasmine knew she had to get on the chopper – but fear almost held her back.
“Eight years ago, my sister had contracted meningitis and was flown by the rescue chopper – my lasting memory of her being so ill was being bundled into the chopper and flown to Starship.”
Her sister has since made a full recovery – thanks to the time-saving abilities of the rescue chopper.
Regardless of her fear, Jasmine boarded the chopper and credits the crew for keeping her calm under such stressful circumstances.
“I was stressed out, in labour, and worried – and fearful of flying – but they kept me calm and talked to me the whole flight. They were amazing and before long we were landing at Auckland Hospital,” she says.
“Within 30 minutes of landing, Lucas was born. He was just 27 weeks and four days gestation, and weighed in at only 835 grams.”
Lucas was cared for in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Auckland Hospital for six weeks.
Now, you would barely know the young boy had experienced such drama at his premature birth.
“He is a typical fun yet terrible two-year-old who can chase his brother around and be full on. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she says.
“I have no doubt in my mind that without that helicopter flight that day, he would have been in serious trouble. We may have not made it – as it turned out I had a haemorrhage as well which we didn’t know about until he was born. That helicopter kept us safe and got us there quick. Because of that, we are both here today.”