Jaxon Suter is as happy as any five-year-old should be, radiating with joy.
His journey, though, began as a little fighter who arrived prematurely at 26 weeks' gestation.
Stephanie Suter remembers her boy's birth as if it was just yesterday, a difficult time she said she wouldn't wish upon anyone.
Mrs Suter had gone to Melbourne for work that day but, because of Jaxon's early arrival, ended up not being able to return home to the Border for another four months.
The experience has led to Mrs Suter, along with other women, adding their support to Albury Wodonga Health's promotion of a national education program about preterm pregnancies.
Preterm refers to babies born alive before 37 weeks.
To mark World Prematurity Day 2023 on Friday, November 17, Mrs Suter shared her story to help other women understand something she said she had no idea about until she went through it herself.
"We had seven years of infertility and had to do IVF to get Jaxon," she said.
"He was born at Mercy Women's Hospital in Heidelberg in Melbourne and had sepsis of the blood three times. He's had heart surgery and is now on the NDIS, as he's got a few disabilities, but he's just perfect."
Mrs Suter also has a three-year-old daughter, Bonny, who was born at 36 weeks.
The mother-of-two said post-traumatic stress disorder kicked in once she reached 26 weeks with Bonny and she was thankful her girl remained in her womb for those extra weeks.
She said she felt something wasn't right with her unborn son even with the pregnancy having been normal - the scans were clear and she had "felt him kick, which is amazing".
"When I was in Melbourne, I started bleeding," she said.
"I have had procedures done on my cervix previously and it had just started shortening, since it was compromised, but I didn't think that was why."
Mrs Suter said she was a hands-on parent, which made her transition to the Wodonga hospital's special care nursery easy given the doctors didn't need to do much.
"He was 816 grams when he was born," she said.
"When I saw him, I couldn't stop crying. It was the most beautiful thing."
Birth suite nurse unit manager Cameron Littlewood said the awareness day was important, especially for those who were brave enough to share their stories.
"Babies continue to grow and develop right up to 40 weeks' gestation," he said.
"Being born as close to their due date as possible and waiting for labour to start on its own are usually best for both baby and mother.
"Every pregnancy is unique and it's important to speak to your obstetric provider to decide together the safest timing of birth."
Mrs Suter said she wanted parents to know there was support and information available.
"I want people to know it's not just a rare thing," she said.
"I had pains and didn't know what it was, but now I do.
"I should have stuck to my feelings and actually said something to the doctor then maybe I could have prevented it.
"The nurses here are amazing and they're here to help and do everything you need them to be."
It was a similar story for Albury's Rachael Boehm, who birthed her son Oliver at 33 weeks.
"The whole experience was terrifying," she said.
"Having a baby born that early is very scary, and it's also very confronting to see the amount of intervention they require - particularly for something that is so small and precious."
Mrs Boehm said she was excited to support Albury Wodonga Health in talking about both the good parts of the whole experience and those difficult things that needed special consideration.
Preterm birth prevention, she said, was about implementing the strategies required to ensure babies "remain on the inside for as long as they can".
Mrs Boehm said helping promote awareness was something close to her heart, especially given her decision to not have any more children as a direct result of the trauma she experienced.
"Before I got involved with the collaborative, I wasn't aware of the steps that can be taken to help prevent future preterm birth," she said.
"That had a really big impact on my family's decision to try again because I just couldn't go through with having another prem' baby.
"When I was asked to get involved with this program, it was really eye opening to see the things that are in place now to help prevent preterm birth."
To find out more about the National Collaborative, and what care is being recommended to reduce the risk of preterm birth, visit Women's Healthcare Australasia's website.
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