Jessica Lily’s Story
Our Little Fighter.
The first 5 months of my pregnancy went smoothly with no complications or concerns. Then a routine appointment with my midwife changed everything. She noticed that my blood pressure was unusually high for my stage of pregnancy and sent me straight to the Pregnancy Assessment Unit at the Wansbeck Hospital. My blood pressure was monitored every 20 minutes with no change, it was still high. That’s when we got the news that I was suffering Pre-eclampsia, a potentially life threatening condition for both myself and my unborn baby.
During the next month I had frequent visits to the Unit for blood and urine tests, scans and medication. During this time I had one admission into hospital as my blood pressure became extremely high. During one of my scans (at 25+6 weeks) I could tell something was wrong, the room went very quiet and they wanted a second opinion. The scan had revealed Jessica had stopped growing at 23-24 weeks and my placenta had stopped working effectively. Once again I was back up to the assessment unit where I was told that my baby would be coming much sooner than expected. After this news I rang my partner as he was at work and told him the situation and to come to the hospital. While I was waiting for him I had my mum at my side and my mind was racing, all I keep saying was its too early. While the midwife was on the phone to the RVI, I had my steroid injections to help develop my baby’s lungs.
The next thing I know I was on my way to the RVI thinking that my baby was coming today. Once I arrived I was checked onto the assessment ward and monitored and settled down for the night. The next morning I was sent for another scan and the situation hadn’t changed my placenta still wasn’t working effectively. This carried on for a week. We managed to get Jessica to 27 weeks, which gave her a better chance of survival. Jessica’s birth wasn’t how I had planned it and ended up being an emergency c-section, when I went into liver and kidney failure due to my Pre-eclampsia.
Jessica’s was born at 27+1 week gestation (3 months premature) weighing only 675g, which is 1lb 7oz. She came out kicking and screaming, which is always a good sign. She was rushed off to the SCBU where she was put onto a ventilator as she was unable to breathe on her own. She was diagnosed with Chronic Lung Disease. Within 2 days she had dropped her weight to 1lb 5oz. We were terrified and shocked and just so worried about our little girl. We didn’t know whether she would be able to survive, she was so small and fragile.
However the wonderful staff on the unit gave Jessica all the help and support she needed 24 hours a day. When Jessica was 26 days old and weighing less than a kilo we were told that she needed a heart operation to close a duct. If it hadn’t of been for the staff I’m not sure we would have got through this difficult time. Jessica had many more ups and downs whilst on the unit. It took 8 weeks to get her off her ventilator and a further 4 weeks on CPAP before she could breathe with just low flow oxygen. In total Jessica spent 100 days on the unit and came home on oxygen, weighing 5lb 7oz in March 2007.
Jessica is now a happy and playful 14 month old little girl who wants to be into everything. Jessica still has a few problems but is getting bigger and better all the time. No matter what is thrown at her she fights with all her might. She is our little fighter and we are eternally greatful to all the dedicated staff on Ward 35 for all the care and attention they gave our little girl.
It has been a pleasure to help Ting Lives and share our story and show our appreciation for all the dedicated staff for saving Jessica and looking after her mummy and daddy as well.