Osinski Finance and Tiny Sparks WA
As a business owner, one of the greatest things you can do is to share your success and give back to the community. At Osinski Finance we have a very special link to a WA organisation known as Tiny Sparks WA.
To celebrate Father’s Day 2017, if you have a meeting with Osinski Finance from August 1st 2017 through to Father’s Day (September 3rd 2017) and we can successfully get you a new loan, we will donate up to $250 to Tiny Sparks WA when your loan settles. It doesn’t matter if it takes us 2 weeks or 2 months to get the loan approved, as long as your first meeting takes place in that period we will make the donation.
So why is Tiny Sparks WA so important to us? Well let me tell you a little story about how our son Harrison George Osinski came into this world.
Our story started on January 27th 2015. My wife Amy had been at a work dinner in the city that night and after some trouble getting home due to a number of bush fires in the area she finally made it home at 9pm and promptly went to bed complaining of a sore back but not thinking much of it.
The next morning, I awoke to find Amy not having slept all night due to her ‘back pain’ coming and going in waves. I gave her a look to which she replied, “Don’t be silly, I’m only 29 weeks and this pain isn’t how labour is described in the books”. Being her first pregnancy we decided to call Rockingham Maternity ward for some advice on what she could take to relieve the pain.
The midwife on duty, whilst not concerned, suggested that we should come in for a check-up sometime that morning. So we took our time, ate breakfast, watered the garden then headed to the hospital about an hour later. Purely by coincidence when we arrived we ran into our obstetrician Dr Bouverie, who after enquiring why we were there, led us into an examination room and said a midwife would be with us shortly.
The midwife came in, attached the monitor to Amy, did a quick examination and said everything appeared to be fine. Just as the midwife was about to leave and confer with Dr Bouverie before letting us go home, Harrison’s heart rate disappeared from the monitor for a couple of seconds. This prompted her to suggest a more thorough examination, part way through this examination she excused herself to get a doctor to ‘have a look’.
At this stage I can say we were both starting to worry. Another doctor on duty came in and examined Amy, again part way through his examination he excused himself to get Dr Bouverie to examine.
Dr Bouverie came in and after a quick examination informed us that we needed to get to King Edward ASAP because Harrison was on his way. The hospital staff sprang into action with our quiet little examination room becoming a hive of activity with 2 doctors, 4 midwives and the Nursing Manager putting in drip lines, giving Amy pills to take and organising an ambulance.
Less than 10 minutes later Amy, a midwife (carrying a fishing tackle box which I later found out was an emergency delivery kit) and a paramedic were being loaded into the back of the ambulance and I was getting into the front with the other paramedic. Next thing we are heading for King Edward under Priority 1 (full lights and sirens) up the Kwinana Freeway in peak hour traffic.
Top marks to Jessie and Jackie from St John’s ambulance, not only did they manage to keep me calm during a stressful situation they made it from Rockingham Hospital to King Edward in Wednesday morning peak hour traffic in just over 40 minutes.
The next 3 to 4 hours were full of doctors, nurses and specialists trying to slow down Harrison’s arrival. It started out with trying to delay him 48 hours for the steroids Amy was given to strengthen his lungs, then it was 24 hours, then 12 and so on. Harrison was having none of it and at 12:56pm on January 28th 2015 our son was born weighing in at 1.455kg and 40cm long at 29 weeks and 6 days.
Lucky for us he was breathing on his own and that gave us a precious few minutes for a photo and quick cuddle from Mum before he was whipped off to the NICU with me in tow leaving Amy behind in the maternity ward.
I can safely say that arriving in the NICU with our son was one of the scariest moments of my life. Next came the doctors and nurses all working on getting Harrison hooked up to various monitors, drips, running various tests on him. Whilst I hovered around on the outer they worked at getting him settled into his new home and tried to reassure me that he was doing well.
From there our NICU journey started and at that time we had no idea how long we would be there, when the next time we could hold our son would be and if everything was going to be ok.
I think we were one of the lucky ones, Harrison was a fighter and there was no way he was going to put up with having to spend all his time in the humidicrib. Within hours Harrison was off the ventilator and on CPAP so he was breathing mostly on his own and CPAP was just there to help him along the way. This also meant that we were eligible for kangaroo care early on and both Amy and I took every opportunity to snuggle up with him as often as possible.
Life in the NICU in the early days was tough. You are basically a parent that must leave their newborn in the care of someone else. You have access to your child and you can stay as long as you like but at some point, you have to go home and trust someone else to look after the most precious thing in your life. The first couple of days it was easier to leave because I knew Amy was still there recovering and I could head home at night knowing that she was only a couple of floors away.
Then came the day when Amy was discharged and we had to leave our little boy each night and it was hard. Don’t get me wrong, the nurses that provided round the clock care to Harrison were great, they kept us informed, they told us what each injection or supplement was for, what it was helping with, and what alarms/noises were normal. But it was still hard to leave him each night and travel an hour to our home in Baldivis and wonder if he was going to be ok there without us.
Apart from being small, Harrison was healthy and responding well. He was off the ventilator in a couple of hours and started putting on weight early on; at first it was a couple of grams but with the help of Amy expressing non-stop, every three hours like clockwork, he started putting on more and more. In the first week, a short bout of jaundice was fixed up with a couple of days under the UV lights. Within a week he was off CPAP and could have his IV removed.
Before we knew it, Harrison was upgraded from the Special Care Nursery to another part of the NICU which meant that he shared a nurse with 1 or more other babies rather than having one to himself. It was at this stage that things became a little bit more difficult – life goes on and bills need to be paid so despite being given some time off I needed to go back to work. My employer at the time was great, they gave me flexibility in my work schedule that allowed me to work from home early in the morning, miss the peak hour traffic, take Amy to the hospital and visit with Harrison for an hour or two, have a quick cuddle then head to the office for a couple of hours. Finish work in the afternoon head back to the hospital for some more time with Harrison before heading home in the evening again missing the afternoon traffic.
From there things only got better, Harrison was upgraded to different nurseries every week or so. Life in the NICU is all about the small wins, off CPAP, putting on weight, taking 5mls of milk and keeping it down and so on. On my birthday in February Harrison got his first bath from Mum and Dad and we were getting close to being able to take him home.
After what we were told was a short 5-week period he had reached the magical 2kg mark and passed all his tests so he was transferred down to Rockingham Maternity hospital on March 6th 2015 to be closer to home.
Being out of King Edward NICU was great, not only did it cut down our commute to visit Harrison, meaning we could spend more time with him, it also meant that all our friends and family could finally meet him in person to give him all the cuddles they had been hanging out to give him.
Less than 2 weeks later we had finally reached the day we have been waiting for, on March 18th 2015, 1 month and 19 days after he was born, Harrison was released from hospital and could finally come home.
Our journey through the NICU and prematurity was relatively short compared to some people and filled with lots of ups and not many downs. Some families need a lot more support and have much longer journeys than ours and that is why organisations like Tiny Sparks WA are so important.
Tiny Sparks WA not only provide a wealth of easy to understand information for families going through the NICU journey, they also provide real support to the parents of these children.
People always say having kids will change your life and for me Harrison coming into our lives the way he did certainly did. It opened my eyes to some great causes out there that need our support. Having recently started my own business, I now have a way to give back to an organisation that provides such a great service.