I returned another week later where Gastroschisis was confirmed.
I continued to have frequent scans throughout my pregnancy,
and despite all the information we were given and numerous
meetings with Paediatricians and Paediatric surgeons, we still
weren't sure what to expect. My pregnancy went well, and each
scan I had the Dr's were happy that the bowels continued to
look healthy and had a good flow of blood through them. We
were fortunate in that our baby only had her bowels out and
no other organs.
I was scanned at around 34 weeks gestation where it was discovered
the baby was lying in the breech position. I was told that
if she didn't turn in 2 weeks, she would be born by C-section.
Despite everything, I was still determined to have a natural
birth. At 36 weeks, the baby had turned and was head down.
I was booked in to be induced on 5th November 2007.
On Sunday 4th November 2007, I realised that it had been
around 20 hours since I had last felt baby move, and went
to hospital expecting to be told to come back the next day.
A scan showed that there appeared to be a twist in baby's
bowels and I was taken to theatre straight away. Baby had
also turned back to breech position. Only 25 minutes later,
my gorgeous baby Ella was born weighing 4lb 12oz. She was
ventilated and wrapped in cling film straight away, and taken
to SCBU while I was taken back to the observation ward to
My husband Paul was able to see Ella around 3-4 hours later
once she was stabilised and settled. Around 6-7 hours after
birth Ella was taken for her operation where they were able
to perform a primary closure. Around 9 hours after she was
born, I finally saw my daughter for the first time. Throughout
my whole pregnancy, my fear was that I would give birth and
not see my baby straight away. Although it was necessary to
take Ella to SCBU immediately, I won't forget the pain of
knowing I was no longer pregnant, yet didn't have my baby
with me either. I didn't even know what she looked like. Seeing
my baby hooked up to all the machines didn't scare me, I just
looked at Ella and willed her to keep strong. I was proud
of my little fighter.
A bit more hot water Dad!
Ella was taken off the ventilator after around 40 hours,
and was introduced to milk after just 4 days (1ml every 2
hours, however this stopped after 1 day as she wasn't tolerating
them), and was moved out of SCBU after just 5 days. Ella went
to the surgical Children's ward where feeds continued very
slowly. Ella slowly managed to tolerate feeds and the quantity
began to increase every feed. Getting Ella to feed from me
was a painstakingly slow process but we persevered. We had
one setback when Ella's TPN line leaked into the tissue around
her groin area and she had to have a procedure where the flesh
was punctured to help drain the fluid out. Luckily it didn't
set Ella back for long. Just 15 days after birth, Ella was
Ella is now 9 weeks old and is weighing 7lb 10oz, so has
really put on weight well. She is a happy, healthy baby with
an odd little belly button which will always remind me of
what a strong, courageous little girl Ella is.
I wish everyone the best of luck and a happy healthy future
for you and all your children.