Cradling her newborn baby in her arms, first-time mum Holly Coppins had no idea of the nightmare that lay ahead. With her husband Oliver by her side, the couple were devastated when just hours after the birth, their daughter Ava was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia.
“We were beside ourselves... straight away your fairytale is over,” says Holly, choking back tears.
“If you have a normal pregnancy, a normal birth, you’d think you’d have a healthy baby.”
It was a world away from the “dream pregnancy” Holly had experienced. The couple were thrilled to discover they were expecting just weeks before tying the knot, sharing the happy news with family and friends on the big day.
“We planned to have kids but she was a little surprise,” says Holly, 28, who spends her days delivering babies as a midwife at the Royal Hobart Hospital. “We were excited – we felt as ready as we could be.”
After 17-hour labor they welcomed baby girl Ava Coppins, weighing 3.24kg, on August 30, 2019.
“I’ll never forget holding her in my arms for the first time – it was instant love,” says Holly. “I was speechless. There are no words for the feeling.”
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