‘ Miracle’ baby brings joy
DESPITE tragically losing five babies though miscarriages over the past decade, a Sydenham woman refused to give up on becoming a mother.
Now, after groundbreaking surgery, Jaishni Naidu has become one, after recently giving birth to a healthy baby boy.
Naidu, 42, underwent KwaZulu-Natal’s first laparoscopic abdominal cerclage, a delicate procedure to help reinforce the cervix – fully aware that she and her baby could die.
But they both defied the odds and Naidu gave birth on September 14.
Her son, who is yet to be officially named, weighed 2.2kg.
The laparoscopic abdominal cerclage is a high risk procedure and is usually performed in the first or second trimester.
In a fearless effort to save baby and mother, surgeon Dr Abdul Karim Ismail went ahead with the unpredictable procedure in Naidu’s 22nd week of pregnancy.
“I performed a few small 1cm cuts on her tummy and a stitch was placed around the lower part of the uterus, keeping it closed and thereby strengthening the cervix.
“The ultrasound before the operation showed the cervix being open and two days after the operation a repeat ultrasound showed the cervix was now closed,” said Ismail.
The operation took three and a half hours.
“The first question I asked was if my baby was okay and when the nurse said yes, I cried. Joy was surging through my body,” said Naidu.
She said Ismail was a rare find.
“Without him baby would not be here. He is a gifted, incredible doctor.”
To this, he said Naidu was determined not to give up on her dream of having a child.
The New West Secondary School teacher, who has been married to her husband Kiruban for 10 years, said prior to meeting Ismail she did not know why she was unable to carry to full term.
“The gynaecologists could not explain the reasons for the miscarriages. My water used to break and I would bleed from weeks 12 to 20. In 2012 was my worst experience. I lost my boy at 20 weeks. My water broke and I went into full labour with an epidural. He was born at 600g and lived for 45 minutes.”
Not wanting to go through another traumatic ordeal, the Naidus decided to adopt and in 2016 completed all the necessary paperwork.
But in February last year, the adoption had to be put on hold when Naidu fell sick during a Valentine’s Day concert.
Believing it was the flu, she went to her local GP for a flu vaccine only to discover she was pregnant.
“I simply couldn’t believe it. It was a great shock because my previous gynaecologist did not do a D&C (a procedure to remove tissue from inside the uterus) and merely advised me not to try for another pregnancy.”
Doctors perform D&C to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.
In March, Naidu was referred to Ismail, who picked up that she had an incompetent cervix. He also discovered that pressure of the fluid around the baby was increasing, causing the cervix to thin.
Ismail admitted Naidu to hospital for 94 days.
Twelve weeks into her pregnancy, he performed a Shirodkar Stitch.
It is a stitch that is applied to the cervix to keep it closed, preventing a miscarriage and allowing the mother to carry her pregnancy to term.
According to Ismail this was usually the safest treatment.
But when Naidu was 21 weeks, he noticed that the cervix was opening despite the procedure. He referred her to foetal specialist Dr Ismail Bhorat, who confirmed this finding.
Bhorat was impressed that the baby was in great health but had his doubts.
Naidu then returned to Ismail, who considered every medical option before turning to the laparoscopic abdominal cerclage procedure.
“This procedure has not been done previously in a patient that was so advanced in her pregnancy in KZN and there are no reports or documentation of it being done anywhere in South Africa after 16 to 18 weeks of pregnancy. I read up on case reports of the procedure in other countries and decided this would be the ideal operation and the best chance for Mrs Naidu at this stage in her pregnancy.”
After gaining consent from Naidu and Bhorat, Ismail made the necessary arrangements for the operation.
The beaming mommy is now safely at home with her husband and her little bundle of joy, who is fondly referred to as “Baby Naidu” until a special naming prayer on October 6.
Her advice to women going through similar situations: “God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggles and and a reward for your faithfulness. Don’t give up. God also sends people to help you accomplish your dreams. He sent me to Dr Ismail, a professional with a gift in his hands. God sent to me friends and family who never stopped encouraging me, and gave me a supportive, loving husband.”
Jaishnu Naidu’s miracle baby boy.
Dr AK Ismail