Freya Hope Knowles’ Story

LouiseSKFreya under her special lights. LouiseSKFreya and mammy having 'skin to skin' LouiseSKFreyas first Christmas.

Freya was born after a very complicated pregnancy at nearly 33 +5 weeks, weighing only 2lb 7oz, half of what she should have been. From seven weeks of pregnancy through to sixteen weeks I had constant bleeding, I managed to get to my twenty week scan where we found out our daughter was a lot smaller than expected, (her bottom half was smaller than her top half) her bowel looked distended and I only had a two vessel cord.

Within three days I was transferred to Fetal Medicine under the care of a Consultant at the RVI. Our first appointment resulted in me having an amniocentesis, (totally took me by surprise how quickly they wanted it done) we were advised not to wait as from the scan there was a possibility it could be Downs Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome or Turner Syndrome. Three long days later they came back all clear; this was THE most amazing news! However, this then left us with complete uncertainty as we now had to look at other possibilities as to why she wasn’t growing correctly.

Every week I went for a scan checking her facial features, her growth etc. looking out for other genetic disorders that could be the reason why she wasn’t growing. The tricky thing was all the blood flow to her seemed normal so we were really stumped. One doctor said ” This baby is following no trend I have ever seen, we just cant find a reason why.” This uncertainty led to an incredibly difficult time, the darkest time of our lives. A decision was made to keep her in as long as possible as long as she kept putting on at least an oz a week, my C section was booked for 34 weeks exactly ( I’d had four doses of steroids by now) She decided she’d had enough at 33+5 weeks and my waters went…… Freya Hope Knowles was born via emergency c section at 11.08 am on the 13th November 2011…..teeny tiny but she appeared normal!!

I knew instantly it had been my placenta as they had great difficulty removing it. Even though every scan had showed normal blood flow through my placenta it turned out it was very small and so full of blood clots only half was working. It just shows even modern technology cant tell you everything as not a single scan showed any damage to my placenta.  Five weeks and one day later at 3lb 13oz we took her home! Miracles do happen!!

For me this seems to some sum up what to expect whilst having a baby in special care… “Expect the worst and hope for the best.”