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Sarah’s story

William and a nurseSarah’s story

In May 2020, I found out I was expecting a baby. Having two older children, this was something of a surprise, but a happy one. I waited until my 12 week scan and was delighted when we saw my baby, moving around and heard the little heartbeat pounding away. Following this I excitedly showed pictures of our scan to close family, who were overjoyed at the thought of another little person to complete our family. My next appointment at 16 weeks with the midwife, Hannah, went well. She was lovely and patiently measured, and again I was pleased to hear the heartbeat, strengthening the bond with my baby. Little at this point did I realise how important my relationship would be with Hannah.

At around 19 weeks, I had a small bleed and I went straight to maternity, where I sat in Ward 31 and the midwives put a heartbeat monitor on and was relieved the little drum beat, they took swabs and assured me that it was an old bleed, but that they would like to have an ultrasound. The sonographer said she was having difficulty and called a colleague in, who looked at the screen.  They said that there is problem (at this point, my heart ran cold and I felt frozen) and that I needed to see a consultant. I really wished my partner or my Mum could have been there, but it was during the pandemic, so understandably it wasn’t possible. I just remember sitting in the antenatal appointment feeling alone and concerned.  I saw a foetal medicine consultant that same day, who took time to tell me that they were there to support me and my baby and that sadly my baby was measuring very small and that they wanted to do a full anatomy scan to get a better idea of what was going on.  They booked this in for two days’ time. I left that appointment and made my way to the car park, trying to avoid anyone I may know (I work at the hospital in a different department) and just sat in my car and cried. After a small while, I had a phone call from Hannah, my midwife who rang tell me she was available if I needed to talk through anything or if I needed her. That gesture of kindness and empathy enabled me to get home.

The two days between finding out and my scan were hard and my family were so supportive, but equally the worried look behind their eyes spoke volumes of the worry we shared. Hannah called me to check in and said she would be onsite during my appointment, if I would like to see her after. On the Tuesday, I went in to maternity to see my foetal medicine consultant for my scan. He talked me through what he was seeing on the screen, my baby was measuring 3 weeks behind, there was not a lot of amniotic fluid and his (I found out it was a boy) bowels were showing signs of problems. My consultant was very honest about the likely outcome and gave me some options and tests available to me. We chose to continue and undergo testing. Each week I saw the consultant and every other week I saw Hannah, there was an array of testing and monitoring that took place and I felt relieved and reassured that everything that could be done was being done. I also remember the kindness and empathy throughout.

Beyond hope, we managed to progress the pregnancy to 37 weeks, by which point I think our midwife, foetal medicine consultant and family were all so invested in meeting my little man, that it was the safest option all round to deliver him. I am delighted to share that thanks to all of their support and monitoring, that on Thursday 29th January 2021, we (team effort) delivered a baby boy weighing in at 4lb 12oz, tiny but perfect.

I have no doubt in my mind that without the support of our midwives and foetal medicine team, that we could not have been celebrating and to them I am truly grateful. William is now 2 and I still remember this pregnancy far more than my previous ones. This is why I will be supporting the Little Feet Appeal, to give back to the team who gave me William and help improve the environment for families that are going through similar journeys.