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Callum at birth

Hello everyone my name is Cala, I’m 27 years old, and live in West Yorkshire. My partner is Allan and he's 28. We have two great kids Callum is 5 and Hannah is 2. We also have a dog named Hooch, a cat named Ceefer and 2 guinea pigs named DotDot and Splodge.

I would like to share my son Callum's birth story with you (short version). I had two early miscarriages in a year so when I fell pregnant for the 3rd. time the hospital kept a close eye on me. I had a scan at 8 weeks and everything looked fine we could see this tiny little thing that had a flashing dot which was the baby's heartbeat. I built my hopes up that everything would finally be OK.

At 14 weeks I had another scan I was so excited because I had never got this far in a pregnancy, we went to the hospital full of joy but that was short lived. The hospital found that the baby had a condition called Gastroschisis which is where there is a hole by the cord and the baby's insides come out. Callum's bowels were on the outside so we were told we had to go to Leeds General the next day because it was a bigger hospital and better equipped. We went home in total disbelief I cried all night wishing the baby would die now because I couldn't cope thinking I might lose him when he was born after getting so far.

The next day we went to Leeds I felt so sick and very tired from not sleeping and crying. I had another scan and was told the baby was a boy and had a good chance of surviving after he was born. I felt so happy I couldn't believe babies could actually survive this condition it sounded so painful and nasty but the hospital assured me he was in no pain though and was happy. We went away with so many mixed feelings but I knew I was going to get my baby I couldn't stop looking at the scan photos his little face looked so perfect. I had regular scans at Leeds throughout my pregnancy. I decided to get induced at 36 weeks as part of a trial study because baby's with Gastroschisis that go to term seem to have more problems with the bowel dilating and swelling.

The day soon came for me to get induced I was so excited on the morning I thought it would be so quick and I was going to see my little boy in a few hours but I had 2 lots of pessary gel that day and nothing happened I was told it could take a few days. The next morning I had another pessary but something was wrong Ii was in a lot of pain and was screaming for the nurse I thought my baby was dying inside me she said nothing was wrong but noticed the baby's heartbeat was slowing and he was in distress. I was given pethadine for the pain and was told I needed an emergency caesarean section. I was given a general anesthetic because I was thrashing around with the pain still and I was so scared I couldn't stay still enough for an epidural.

Callum, Dad, Mum and baby Hannah

sAt 14.07pm on 15th September 1999 Callum was born he weighed 5lb 6oz he was doing OK by 16.30pm so he went to theatre for his 1st operation. I was still out of it and only came around for a few seconds I saw a photo of him but couldn't make anything out because I was so drowsy. I finally came too the next day I was in a lot of pain because my morphine had broken down during the night but I managed to see Callum in intensive care for a short time. His bowels had been replaced and he was on a ventilator he looked so small and helpless I just sat there staring at him I couldn't believe he was mine.

My partner had seen Callum after his birth and said it wasn't a very nice sight he nearly passed out. Callum had another small operation on Saturday to put a broviac line into his heart which gives him all the fluids he needs because he couldn't eat he had to wait until his bowel started working again. The next day he had his 1st milk he had it through a tube in his nose he had 0.5ml per hour and was fed on a pump. It was a very slow process putting his milk up the nurses had to aspirate it which means drawing it back up into a syringe to check if he was tolerating it some days he did then some he didn't.

Callum had his 1st real bottle on the 29th it was 6ml I finally felt like a mum up until now all I could do was change him so I felt a bit left out really. Everything was going fine until the 3rd October I was woke early in the morning and was told Callum had a bad night he had stopped breathing 3 times so had been moved to intensive care again. Later that day he seemed OK so was moved back to his usual cot. It looked like he had an infection in his broviac line so was given antibiotics for it. The next day he was back in intensive care again the antibiotics wasn’t working and he had difficulty breathing again so his line was removed and he was put on a machine to help him breathe. He needed a blood transfusion overnight because his hemoglobin was low but he was also moved out of intensive care again.

Callum went from strength to strength after that and on the 1st November we finally brought Callum home, he was still fed by pump and we had to change his tubes but we didn't care because he was all ours. It didn't last long though because on the 11th Callum was very sick and it was bile stained so we had to take him back to Leeds he had an x-ray and it looked like we had put his tube down to far so it was put in right and he stayed in overnight to check he was OK

Callum today!

Callum was unwell all night so the next day he had more x-rays the news wasn't good it looked as though he ad some kind of blockage so at 7.30pm he had his 3rd operation he was out at 10pm. The problem was adhesive bowel obstruction which can happen after any operation. Callum was in a lot of pain for a few days I felt so helpless I wanted to help him but there was nothing I could do. We had to start feeding him slowly all over again but it went quite quickly this time which was good he finally came home again on the 29th November. Everything as gone fine since then and Callum is now 5 years old and in full time school and enjoys horse riding. He has 2 small scars one on his belly button (which is a bit misshapen) and one faint one above so you can hardly tell anything was ever wrong with him.

Hannah wasn't planned because after everything I had gone through with Callum I didn't want to risk it again. Hannah was born perfectly normal after a c-section due to my high blood pressure and I was over the moon I had always wanted a boy and a girl I think that makes the perfect family. We have had a few problems with her due to asthma and her teething. She is now getting to the really naughty stage she is into everything she shouldn't have and loves telling you she's been bad as she pulls everything out. She really enjoys playing with Callum which is good as brothers and sisters usually fight like cat and dog but I suppose there's time for that yet. We have started going swimming which both kids really enjoy and also horse riding which is something we enjoy. Hannah enjoys going to playgroup so she can socialise with children her own age.