An Australian schoolgirl, who became a mum at 17, has opened up about how she felt to discover her unborn son had Down syndrome.
Brodee gave birth to baby Elijah on October 30, after falling pregnant just before she turned 17.
She went on to finish Year 12 before her adorable little boy was born, weighing just 2.63 kilos.
As the young mum missed her school formal, she held her own celebration in hospital – dressing up in a gown while Elijah wore a tiny tux for the emotional occasion.
Brodee was induced two weeks before her due date – because of Elijah’s Down syndrome diagnosis.
‘I didn’t think my little boy deserved to die just for being a little different,’ she says, of the moment she discovered he had the condition – which causes developmental delays.
Brodee, who has drawn support from T21 Mum Australia and writes about her journey on Facebook, shared the story of Elijah’s birth with New Idea.
‘On the 30th of October I packed my hospital bags and a big bag filled with every piece of clothing I owned as I was told our stay in Sydney was going to be very lengthy,’ she wrote.
‘Sitting at the dinner table that night I started to feel little pains that I barely noticed so I ignored,went the rest of my day normally and went to bed.’
But the next day, Brodee said she woke at 2.30am in terrible pain in her stomach and lower back.
‘I thought nothing of it as I had no signs of labour or anything so I jumped into the shower to see if hot water would soothe my pain but it didn’t,’ she continued.
‘I sat on my bathroom floor in a towel for about 10 minutes sobbing. I honestly thought I was losing my baby as I was still showing no signs of labour.’
By the time it was 4.30am she couldn’t bear it any more.
‘I woke mum up and she jumped onto the phone to Sydney hospital and they told us to head into Wollongong hospital to get checked out,’ she wrote.
At hospital it turned out the baby was coming – and soon.
‘I burst into tears!’ Brodee admitted. ‘He was meant to be born in Sydney on the 1st November not here, not today!’
At 8am, Brodee was told to push – something she was ‘terrified’ to do.
'I had no urge at all to push so I was highly confused and told everyone in the room that I couldn’t do it. I refused to. I was terrified, terrified about the pain but also the unknown,’ she admitted.
Having been told her baby would have a higher chance of suffering complications during birth because of his Down syndrome diagnosis, Brodee couldn’t stop thinking about it.
‘”Please come out pink and crying” I kept telling myself,’ Brodee shared.
‘Then I felt the contraction as the midwife yelled “Brodee push!” And I did just that, through tears not from pain but from the fear of the unknown I pushed my baby boy Elijah, out at 8:13am.
‘He did in fact come out pink and crying… He was and still is so perfect and ever since I first laid eyes on him I’ve kicked myself in the butt for ever thinking the bad things I did throughout my pregnancy.
‘Yes I’m a young mum but Elijah is the best thing to ever happen in my life and everything I do is for him - nobody else.’