A determined young mother who was advised 14 times to abort her daughter took the advice of a doctor and took a healthy girl with her.
Kiera Meldrum, 20, from York, was offered an abortion every week of her pregnancy after her 21-week scan showed that her child had grade 3 severe ascites to the gut.
This accumulation of fluid caused a series of complications, but Kiera – who had suffered four previous miscarriages – refused to break down her daughter.
Kiera gave birth after 34 weeks and was terrified of losing daughter Lillee-Rose while she was taken away for emergency surgery a few minutes after birth.
Kiera Meldrum, 20, from York, was offered an abortion every week of her pregnancy after her 21-week scan showed that her child had grade 3 severe ascites to the gut (photo: Kiera and daughter Lillee-Rose)
But after several life-saving operations and eight long weeks in the hospital, Kiera has now finally been able to take her daughter home.
Six months later, Lillee-Rose is home and happy, and although she has a delicate gut, doctors expect no problems in the future.
Kiera said: & I refused to terminate Lillee-Rose every time they told me, and I am so happy that I listened to my heart instead of the doctors.
& # 39; When I started giving birth six weeks earlier, I was terrified of losing her. Watching how they immediately waved her away from me and ended up in an operation broke my heart.
Kiera gave birth after 34 weeks and was terrified of losing her daughter Lillee-Rose while she was taken away after the birth for emergency operations (photo: Lillee-Rose in the hospital)
Six months later Lillee-Rose is home and happy, and although she has a delicate gut, doctors expect no problems in the future (photo: Kiera and Lillee-Rose at home in York)
& # 39; I always felt that she was doing well, and when I see her grow up healthy and strong, it shows that a mother always knows best. & # 39;
Kiera was delighted to discover that she was pregnant in July 2018, after four miscarriages over a two-year period.
Her 12-week scan at Leeds Hospital confirmed that everything was okay, but the first signs of trouble appeared eight weeks later when doctors saw her baby's belly full of fluid.
Doctors realized that Kiera & # 39; s unborn child had grade 3 severe ascites up to the gut – an accumulation of fluid between the two layers along the stomach.
Kiera was advised to end her baby during her 21-week scan, but she could not give up her little miracle and decided to continue the pregnancy.
She said: “I felt sick when they told me she wasn't good, but I just knew that my little girl was a hunter and she could make it.
In the 21-week scan of Kiera, doctors noted that her unborn child had grade 3 severe ascites to the gut – an accumulation of fluid between the two layers along the stomach (photo: Lillee-Rose)
& # 39; There was no question of terminating my pregnancy – I had waited so long to become a mother and I was determined to do everything I could to protect my baby. & # 39;
Kiera went looking for a scan every week for the rest of her pregnancy and her heart broke every time doctors told her to stop.
During her 28-week scan, doctors told Kiera that her baby's gut had been torn and told her to stop again.
Doctors advised Kiera to empty her stomach as amniotic fluid built up, but she was too scared to endanger the life of Lillee-Rose and refused.
Kiera said: & # 39; My stomach swelled enormously and it felt like I was carrying a huge sore water balloon against my belly.
& # 39; Doctors said that draining the fluid could injure my baby, and after I heard how bad she already was, I knew I couldn't do anything risky.
Kiera went for a scan every week for the rest of her pregnancy and her heart broke every time doctors told her to stop (Photo: Lillee-Rose in the hospital)
& # 39; I was in constant pain, but I had to do everything I could to protect my baby, otherwise I would never forgive myself. & # 39;
Kiera struggled with fluid retention for the remainder of her pregnancy, unable to move properly and with terrible pain.
The mother who stayed at home gave birth six weeks earlier on 26 February.
Just half an hour after arriving at the York Hospital, Kiera of Lillee-Rose gave birth after a natural and rapid delivery.
But when no cry filled the room, the sad mother feared the worst.
She said: “I waited for what felt forever before that first cry, and when I heard nothing, I just closed my eyes with fear, not wanting to see what had happened.
Once she was born, doctors had to act quickly to save the life of Lillee-Rose and open her stomach to discover that her gut was completely split in two, with one side wrapped around a blood vessel
& # 39; Finally this little scream broke out and I felt this huge wave of relief and emotion wash over me.
& # 39; They gave me Lillee-Rose and she was simply the most beautiful baby I have ever seen in my entire life. She was perfect. & # 39;
She weighed just under 4 pounds 3oz, and after a few precious minutes with her mother, she was taken away for life-saving surgery.
Doctors had to take her to Leeds hospital and had to act quickly to save her life. She had to open her stomach to discover that her gut was completely split in two, with one side dangerously wrapped around a blood vessel.
They combined the two halves in combination with nasal tubes and fitted a stoma bag, and doctors followed Lillee-Rose for eight weeks in an incubator.
Kiera said: & # 39; She looked so small in the incubator, with all these wires and monitors around her.
& # 39; I knew this was the best place for her, but I just wanted to hold my baby.
& # 39; I had waited months to meet her and now I couldn't even hold her in my arms. It was devastating. & # 39;
Doctors connected the two halves of her gut with nasal snakes and fitted a stoma bag, and doctors followed Lillee-Rose for eight weeks in an incubator
Lillee-Rose was operated on for the second time at six weeks so that doctors could check whether the first operation had been successful and remove the stoma bag.
With the intestine of Lillee-Rose fused together again, Kiera was finally able to take her baby girl home.
Her condition is so rare that doctors write research papers about Lillee-Rose – who is lactose intolerant – to help for future cases.
Dr. Kelly Cohen, fetal medicine and obstetrics consultant and clinical director, CSU Ladies at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: & We are very happy to hear that Lillee-Rose is doing well and has recovered from her operation.
WHAT ARE ASCITES?
Ascites are an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the lining of the abdominal cavity.
They are divided into three classes:
- Grade 1 ascites are mild and can only be detected by ultrasound.
- Ascites grade 2 is moderate and is easier to detect during physical examination.
- Grade 3 ascites are severe and can be detected by enlargement of the abdomen.
Kiera & # 39; s daughter Lillee-Rose had a rare birth defect called jejunal atresia with ascites.
This affects between 1-3 babies & out of every 10,000 born and requires a complex specialized operation to correct.
& # 39; Lillee-Rose had a rare birth defect called jejunal atresia with ascites that affects between 1-3 babies in every 10,000 born and requires complex surgical procedures to correct.
& # 39; Her mother Kiera was scanned four times in the Fetal Medicine Unit of Leeds, and she was also scanned weekly at her local hospital. Thanks to the scans we were able to follow the progress and any improvements in the condition of the baby.
& # 39; At Leeds, our specialists care for thousands of poor babies every year, and we support parents in making difficult decisions when a life-threatening problem is discovered, as in this case.
& # 39; It is our responsibility to ensure that all our patients receive accurate information about possible outcomes and the range of options available, and the offer of termination may in some cases be an option. & # 39;
Lillee-Rose is now being checked every three months because the lower part of her gut is still very vulnerable, but as she gets older, her gut becomes stronger.
With Lillee-Rose finally home, Kiera is amazed every day at the strength of her daughter, and the young mother never wastes a moment with her little miracle.
She said: “Doctors told me every week to end my pregnancy, and hearing that advice over and over again was terrible, but something told me that Lillee-Rose would make it.
& # 39; She has been diagnosed with an intolerance to lactose, but otherwise she grows up healthily and gets bigger and stronger every day.
& # 39; My little girl never stopped fighting and in the end it is a blessing to have her at my house. She is my little miracle. & # 39;
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