Surviving PPROM - Lisa's story

Lisa's Story Hero

A few weeks into my pregnancy I was in the bathroom and passed a blood clot and I thought it was the baby. I phoned NHS direct and the doctor said it sounded like I’d had a miscarriage. He told me to take two paracetamol and phone back if I had any more pain.

My husband was at work but I had to phone him to take me to hospital. I was kept in and told I had a subchorionic hematoma (accumulation of blood within the folds of the outer foetal membrane or within the layers of the placenta itself). I had blood clots again at eight weeks and 13 weeks.

Everything seemed to settle down after that until I was 20 weeks and six days. It was the middle of the night. I woke up to go to the bathroom, but every time I went back to bed I felt as if I need to go again.

Something wasn't right.

When we got to the labour ward my consultant confirmed that I had PPROM (preterm premature rupture of the membranes) which meant that my waters had broken. I was told the inevitable would happen and that I'd miscarry, so I was kept in for observation.

Soon after I had my 20 week scan and was told that there was thickening around the baby’s neck. They wanted to have the baby tested for Downs Syndrome.

I refused. I didn't want anything to happen to the baby.

After that I had to go to the day clinic twice a week. On the morning of the 22 August 2011 I didn't feel well. I was due to visit the day centre so I phoned the labour ward and they told me to go in at 9.00am. I was checked over and told my cervix was closed and that I wasn’t in labour.

I was told go home, so I went home, but I felt worse.

I phoned the labour ward again and was told to go back in. When I was checked I was nine centimetres dilated. Within half an hour I delivered Cameron at 12.28 pm, weighing 2lb 11oz.

My husband and I didn't even get to see him. He was very ill and whisked straight away to special care. We were in total shock. It was not supposed to happen like this. I telephoned everyone to tell them I had a little boy.

Doctors were coming in to update us on what was going on. Every time the news was worse. We were asked if we wanted him blessed.

We had him blessed just before he was transferred to another hospital. It was eight hours before we saw him. I was told he might not survive the short journey.

He had been born with a collapsed lung and a cystic encephalomalacia, which meant that part of his brain had died. He also had a left talipes (his foot was turned inwards). He had three chest drains inserted for his collapsed lung and was ventilated for a while.

I didn’t get to hold him for ten days.

He was transferred again to the original hospital, where he spent another seven weeks. He finally came home on 22 November on oxygen. They didn't start weaning off the oxygen until the following Spring. It took so long to get him off of it because he had seven viral infections that year. Every time we tried he was so poorly.

We finally started again a week after his first birthday. Two weeks later we had the phone call to say he didn't need it anymore, but we had to keep the oxygen in the house until April.

We had to attend physiotherapy for his talipes and to see how the right side of his body moved. We had been told earlier that his cystic encephalomalacia might affect his movement.

We went every month until March 2013 when he started walking. In September he had his two year check-up and he still has to go to the Child Development clinic, but he is a happy healthy three year old.

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