My baby had a stroke in the womb – and thanks to the quick-thinking of my midwife, was saved!
29-year-old Nikki from Waterlooville had never heard of a baby having a stroke in the womb before, but thanks to her close relationship with QA diabetic midwife Ann, Nikki’s baby was saved.
“I have been type 1 diabetic since I was a child so when myself and my husband decided to try for a baby I met regularly with diabetic midwife Ann Going at Portsmouth Hospitals who monitored my blood sugar level to ensure it was at the correct level before conceiving. After three months I was ecstatic that we could finally start trying, and less than a month later we were elated with the news of my pregnancy,” says dental nurse Nikki Legg.
Ann monitored Nikki’s pregnancy throughout, and because Nikki’s baby was growing at a faster than typical rate, she underwent monthly scans.
At 37 weeks, and just two days after having a scan that showed the baby was fine, Nikki couldn’t feel her baby move so went to QA Hospital for an emergency scan.
“As I sat in the waiting room Ann happened to spot me and asked what was wrong. Anne then carried on with her day job and I had a scan with another midwife to check the baby.”
Throughout the scan Ann decided to check on Nikki, and when she did was not happy with the baby’s lack of movement. “Anne and the midwife were putting me into different positions to see if the baby would move but nothing seemed to work and the next thing I knew Anne was ringing around booking me in for an emergency C-section!”
Nikki says Anne immediately phoned her husband and gave him a window of 30 minutes to arrive and was great at reassuring her and organizing a theatre and team of staff to operate. “It all happened so quickly!” says Nikki. “I was just so grateful to have Anne there.”
Baby Jameson was born 20 minutes after arriving into theatre weighing a whopping 10lb 1oz, but was incredibly unwell and was not breathing. “It took six minutes for the team to resuscitate Jameson, and my heart was in my hands throughout. I felt so powerless as I laid on the operating table watching a huge team of people revive my son.”
Baby Jameson was taken to the neonatal unit where he remained for two weeks.
“Being able to hold my baby for the first time when he was nine-days old was an incredible feeling, and I felt as though I owed Ann so much. If it wasn’t for her quick-thinking then Jameson would have died.”
Two weeks later and it was revealed that when in the womb baby Jameson had endured a bleed on his brain which caused a stroke. It is believed that the stroke could have been caused from a lack of blood flow through the placenta because of Jameson’s large size. The stroke had nothing to do with Nikki’s diabetes.
Jameson is now aged three, has part cerebral palsy and walks with a frame, but despite the odds is thriving in life.
“He was slightly delayed in his development, where he couldn’t sit unaided until 11 months and didn’t crawl until he was two years old.
He has no behavioral problems as they expected he would, his speech is also fine. Jameson’s biggest problem is mobility from his left weak side, but throughout his life has visited QA Hospital for physio to strengthen his muscles which is ongoing. He has limitations – he can’t dress himself for example, but it’s all about training his brain to accept everyday movements so that in the future he will eventually be able to do those everyday things, it’s a gradual thing .”
Last year Nikki decided she wanted another baby so went back to Ann who again monitored her blood sugar level until it was safe for her to conceive.
Anne once again been monitoring her pregnancy throughout and at 38 weeks baby Alice arrived into the world a healthy, happy baby weighing 9lb 6oz.
“I am incredibly grateful to Ann for all of hard work, and nurturing attitude towards me throughout both pregnancies. In my eyes she has gone above and beyond in her role as a midwife and my family will be forever grateful to her. Despite what happened to Jameson I have no fears about this delivery and the same thing happening to this child, and that’s no doubt down to the care and attention I have received from Ann throughout my pregnancy. Being a midwife is more than just a job, and Ann is proof of that!”
The risks to the mum of being diabetic can include an increased risk of miscarriage, problems with their eyes and kidneys, and having a large baby (macrosomia), which can make labour more difficult.
For the baby, risks can include health problems after birth requiring special or intensive care, as well as the possibility of congenital abnormalities including heart problems, spina bifida and other birth defects. There is also an increased risk of stillbirth or the baby dying shortly after birth.
These risks are reduced if women attend for pre pregnancy counselling as Nicola did.