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PPROM 21 weeks and 4 days by Sarah Craig

PPROM at 21 weeks and 4 days, whilst sat at my desk at work


PPROM confirmed by Queen Alexandra hospital, Portsmouth. I had to drive myself there as was unable to reach my husband or parents or twin sister. My sister worked at the hospital in the maternity ward and she had spotted my name on the board with the acronym PPROM and was extremely worried so came to find me. My parents had also turned up by then. I was so grateful to have my family with me but so so scared for my baby.


I was told that there was over 80% chance I would go into labour within 48 hours so was kept on the labour ward and given an IV drip and antibiotics. I had infection markers indicating sepsis. They said this could have caused me to PPROM.

I can remember asking the Dr if I would miscarry and it's all I could think of at the time. The Dr assured me that it didn't mean I would lose our baby but that it was a possibility given how early I experienced PPROM.


I had a mobile scan of the baby that evening and they confirmed there was very little fluid surrounding baby. The lady scanning me was very negative about my situation, even saying that it may be the best for the baby if I do miscarry as there could be so many issues with the health of the baby and I can remember her saying that I could always have a stitch put in for the next time. This was the most awful thing to hear as our baby was very much planned and wanted. I couldn't even bear to think about a next time. This was our baby and I wanted more than anything for my baby to be okay.


A lovely nurse told me that she had seen another lady PPROM early in pregnancy and continue to over 30 weeks before delivering. This gave me some much needed hope.


Nothing happened at all within those 48 hours. I had regular observations throughout.


The day after experiencing PPROM, a lovely consultant spoke with my husband and I. She was extremely honest in telling us the risks with continuing with our pregnancy and possible health issues with our baby, including lung issues, eyesight and hearing issues, risks of cerebral palsy and more. We were told that we could opt for a termination if that's what we decided but that we would also be supported if we continued with the pregnancy. There was no pressure at all for us to terminate the pregnancy, just the option. We discussed how we both felt and as scared as we were for our baby, we wanted to fight for our baby and we chose to continue with our pregnancy. I can remember saying that I wanted our baby to make the decision to live.


After the 48 hours I was then given oral antibiotics to take at home for another 8 days. It was explained that the biggest risk for me and my baby was getting an infection, given that my waters had already broken. Nothing much was explained to me other than not to do anything to strenuous that could pull on my tummy as baby has no protection. I was told what to look out for that indicated an infection and was told to take my temperature every few hours and to ring the assessment ward if I had a high temperature.


I was then asked to come back at 24 weeks pregnant, where they consider a pregnancy viable. We saw a consultant at 24 weeks who explained the risks of giving birth to a premature baby and it was decided that they would let me go no further than 34 weeks pregnant before delivering the baby. We had 2 weekly scans for the baby and I had weekly blood tests to check for infection.

After researching online, I looked into everything to protect my baby and after speaking to a friend, she told me about someone she knew who had also experienced the same in their pregnancy and put me in touch. I lt was then that I was recommended the amazing support charity Little Heartbeats. This is where I learnt things such as only showering and not having a bath to reduce the risk of infections and the risks such as placenta abruption and cord prolapse following PPROM. The little Heartbeats page gave me so much hope at the scariest time in my life and helped me to remain positive throughout. I was also sent a support pack from them with an adorable heartbeat bear, where I recorded my baby's heartbeat.

I had bleeding on and off and had a few hospital admissions. One admission I was given steroid shots to reduce the risk of brain bleeds for the baby and to help lung development at 27 weeks, should I go into labour. Each time baby stayed put and my cervix remained closed.

I had been in hospital with bleeding for 7 days when everything got pretty scary and it was thought that my placenta could be beginning to come away. At this point I requested a C Section as I remember felling like my body could no longer keep my baby safe and I was so scared of experiencing a full placwnta abruption. A C Section was planned that evening at exactly 31 weeks where it was confirmed I had some placenta abruption.


Our beautiful baby boy Jax Austin Craig arrived at 9.51pm on 21st Sept 2018, weighing 4lb 3. He let out a very reassuring scream but then had to be resuscitated twice in theatre then intubated. He had a chest drain inserted for one of his lungs and was extremely poorly. We were unable to see him whilst they stabilised him and were told that he was very poorly. 7 hours after he was born, we were told we could see him but were told he was very poorly still. I waited another 4 hours after this for my husband to arrive back to the hospital as was extremely nervous going alone, having not visited a NICU before. I still feel guilty for not going to see him straight away, as i think of him laying there alone.


Jax was on the oscillator ventilator and intubated for 8 days. He had 3 blood transfusions and came home after 60 days. He had the usual antibiotics and caffeine and surficant and nitric oxide. We are extremely lucky to have him in our lives and I can't thank Ciara and Little Heartbeats enough for their support and advice. He really is our miracle PPROM baby. We never have up home and continue to believe that


"Where there are heartbeats there is hope"


Sarah and Nathan


xxx


Meet our son Jax....





Fluid levels at the start and during my PPROM pregnancy were very low throughout.

They ranged from 2cm pockets to 6cm. I think once I may have had 7/8 cm measured.

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