I planned baby’s funeral

My boy proved them all wrong

Chat - - Come On In! - By Lucy Jones, 31, from Tre­de­gar

Ly­ing in bed, I felt a trickle be­tween my legs. Nooo… I thought. At 18 weeks preg­nant with my sec­ond baby, I seemed to be hav­ing some, er, wee is­sues.

I’d read that it could be my uterus press­ing on my blad­der.

Bet­ter wear a pad to­mor­row, then! I thought. Good job I did. At my maths teach­ing job, the lit­tle leaks con­tin­ued.

I’d had pre-eclamp­sia with my first son Leo, now 9, so that was my main worry for this preg­nancy, too.

And com­pared to preeclamp­sia, I wasn’t about to let a bit of wee bother me.

But when I went for my 21-week scan not long af­ter, ev­ery­thing changed.

‘There isn’t much fluid around your baby,’ the sono­g­ra­pher told me.

It was known as PPROM – preterm pre-labour rup­ture of the mem­branes. The leak­ing… I re­alised it hadn’t been wee leak­ing out, but my wa­ters grad­u­ally break­ing. It was June 2015, and my due date nowhere in sight.

And my wa­ters had bro­ken?!

‘You need to con­sider whether you want a ter­mi­na­tion,’ the doc­tors told me.

Be­cause of los­ing the fluid, it was un­likely I’d go to full term.

My poor baby could be brain dam­aged or still­born.

Shocked, I went back home with my part­ner Karl, spent the night in tears. But at the same time, I had an­other over­whelm­ing feel­ing...

‘I’m not giv­ing up on our baby,’ I vowed, and Karl agreed.

Yes, the chances were slim. But my baby could sur­vive.

As a maths teacher, I deal in sta­tis­tics.

This time, though, I de­cided I had to ig­nore the ob­vi­ous one, and hang onto hope.

Mean­while, I was signed off work, stayed at home to rest.

Try­ing to stay calm, I went on Face­book, where I found a group called Lit­tle Heart­beats who sup­ported PPROM mums. I posted my story. And back came a flurry of com­ments. Women who’d been through this and had healthy, happy ba­bies. ‘Who’s to say mine won’t be one of the ba­bies that makes it?’ I rea­soned. I read all the tips that had been shared. Drink as much wa­ter as you can! came up a lot. It wasn’t med­i­cally proven, but it was worth a try. I sent Karl to the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket to buy loads of two-litre bot­tles of wa­ter, so I could keep a check on how much I was drink­ing. In my darker mo­ments, that group kept me go­ing. The woman who ran it was called Ciara. She was a rock to me dur­ing the ner­vous times. At check-ups, doc­tors said over and over that I could go into labour or de­liver a still­born baby. Never giv­ing up hope, I also knew I had to be prac­ti­cal. Most mums would be plan­ning the colour of the nurs­ery walls, or their hospi­tal bag. In­stead, I steeled my nerves, phoned the

It hadn’t been wee. It’d been my wa­ters break­ing...

vicar at my lo­cal church, who came to see me.

‘I might need to plan a funeral for my baby,’ I sobbed.

Con­sol­ing me, he said they’d do what­ever they could if it came to that.

I knew I wanted a song called See You Again by Wiz Khal­ifa, from the film Fu­ri­ous 7.

But I tried not to think about it too much, tried to stay strong for my baby.

Our lit­tle one was cling­ing on, though the warn­ings at check-ups never got any eas­ier to hear.

Then on 29 De­cem­ber 2015, I ar­rived for my booked Cae­sarean sec­tion at 35 weeks.

Would my baby be alive?

Doc­tors were still warn­ing me of the worst-case sce­nario.

And when our baby boy ar­rived, there was no cry.

Oh God, oh Godé

But as the doc­tors took him out to the In­ten­sive Care Unit, I heard a lit­tle echo down the cor­ri­dor.

The hope­ful mew of a new­born baby. He was alive! I still couldn’t meet him, as I needed to rest from the op.

But the next day, against doc­tors’ or­ders, I snuck down to the NICU ward with Karl to meet our boy.

We called him Josh.

It was over­whelm­ing.

Our baby was so tiny and frail, he’d weighed 4lb 12oz at birth.

‘You’ve proved ev­ery­one wrong,’ I whis­pered into his lit­tle in­cu­ba­tor.

We had to wait to see if he had suf­fered brain dam­age. But the days turned to weeks and months.

Josh was dis­charged, met all his mile­stones. I still like odds and sta­tis­tics. Af­ter all, once a maths teacher, al­ways a maths teacher.

But some­times mir­a­cles can hap­pen. Lit­tle Josh is proof of that.

Doc­tors said over and over that my baby could be still­born

Alive and kick­ing Josh was tiny, but he was full of fight­ing spirit I’m so proud of my boy

Lit­tle Josh beat the odds!

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