My pregnancy had been far from easy.

From 6 weeks I suffered from debilitating Hyperemesis Gravidarum and was being sick up to 30 times a day. I was admitted to hospital ten times up until 19 weeks, when things finally started to improve. This was really difficult during the pandemic and I felt terrible that my partner was not only having to care for me, but also having to look after our 3 year old son.

My care was consultant-led because of concerns about how having HG would affect the baby's growth. I was referred for a growth scan at 28 weeks. Though baby’s growth looked fine, extra fluid was noted around her, so I was told I'd need a scan every two weeks.

At 31+ 5 weeks the fluid had increased and the consultant warned me I was high risk for pre-term delivery. We discussed signs of labour and I was advised to be extra cautious when keeping an eye on my baby’s movements.

A week later, I started to notice that my baby wasn’t moving as much. I rang my Maternity Unit who advised me to go and get checked out. On that occasion, my baby did the typical thing of moving lots on the CTG, so I felt happy and went home. However, two days later, the same thing happened. I went in again and the monitor was picking up more movements than I was feeling. I was told that this was because of the large amount of fluid I had. The midwives and doctors were happy with the movements, but told me not to hesitate to come in again if I had any further concerns.

I went home again. The next morning, I had this feeling that something was wrong. I rang my midwife and said I just didn’t feel happy - baby was not moving as much as a week ago and I had barely felt any movements that morning. She told me to go and be checked out straight away, so my partner drove me to hospital.

I told him to take our son home and I’d call him with an update as he wasn't allowed in. The doctors noted that baby did not meet the required movements in the hour period on my CTG. I strongly voiced I was concerned and wanted to be kept in for observations, which they agreed to. I was placed on CTG again around midnight and doctors were happy with the readings but said they would do another at 6am. At 4:30am, I was still wide awake worrying. I hadn’t felt any movements. I asked the midwife to put me back on the CTG.

I will always remember the next few minutes of panic.

The room filled with midwives and doctors and I was told baby was in distress and I had to go straight to theatre for my baby to be delivered. I started crying and hysterically rang my partner to tell him while my bed was being rushed down the corridor. I had my caesarean completely on my own, luckily I was awake throughout the whole thing, and the theatre staff were fantastic in looking after me.

Baby Mali was born at 33 weeks at 5.29am weighing 4lbs exactly.

She was in SCBU for 4 weeks before we could finally bring her home. I was informed at a follow up appointment that I had a “true knot” in the umbilical cord which is extremely rare, meaning that the blood flow to the placenta was severely limited, causing the reduced movements.

If I hadn’t of stayed in that night, Mali would not be here today. I’m so thankful Mali was born safe and well, she is truly my miracle baby.

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