By Dave Andrusko
Rebecca Shephard, of Dagenham, Essex, England, had not planned to get pregnant again but when the 27-year-old Care home deputy manager discovered she was in 2017, she and her partner Jack Luckings were delighted.
But because Shephard became pregnant even though she was using an IUD contraceptive coil, her GP recommended an early scan at 7 weeks, according to the Daily Mail.
“Seeing her baby for the first time, initially Rebecca was told by the sonographer that she could see no sign of the coil, so it had probably fallen out,” the Daily Mail’s Jessica Rach reported.
However just two weeks later, Shephard started to bleed heavily for the first time. The coil was still in place.
Making her way to Queen’s Hospital, Romford, Essex, she lost so much blood that she collapsed in the hospital waiting room – coming to in a hospital bed, with Jack beside her.
‘I was terrified,’ she said. ‘I felt awful and I was so worried about the baby. They did another scan and they said that the baby was still alive, but they could see that the coil was dangerously close to him.
It was at this juncture that doctors offered her the option of aborting the baby for the first time. “But I wanted to give the baby a chance,” Shephard told Rach. “I wasn’t going to give up hope.”
Adding to her worries, there was a 50-50 chance of miscarriage because the IUD was close to the amniotic sac.
At three different junctures she was rushed to the hospital, because of bleeding. “Luckily, each time, the baby was alright,” Rach wrote.
Then her pregnancy really became iffy. Doctors “discovered that a blood clot had formed around the coil, meaning she would probably suffer a late miscarriage.” The bleeding calmed down momentary and Rebecca was allowed to home temporarily to see her daughter’s dance show.
But, as the performance ended, she began to bleed heavily again and this time it was mixed with some amniotic fluid.
Rushed back to hospital, she was told her waters were leaking, but she was not in active labour.
With such serious complications, Rebecca was offered a termination again – but she refused.
Five days later, after more blood loss, she was given another blood transfusion and told the pregnancy was making her ill.
Doctors decided to transfer to a specialty neonatal intensive care at another hospital. But, as Rach explained,
Rebecca went into labour as she was being transferred and, after just 23 weeks and three days in Rebecca’s womb, little Charlie was born on 17 December 2017, weighing just 1lb 4oz -the same size as a tub of butter.
He spent 116 days in hospital, battling a range of conditions including sepsis – a rare reaction to an infection, causing the body to attack itself,- and breathing difficulties.
After all that, thankfully Charlie improved enough to be taken home for the first time this past April.
Rebecca said: ‘Bringing him home was lovely, but it was hard. He was still on oxygen but he’s such a fighter. He battled his way through all the twists and turns of his neonatal journey and is now slowly coming off oxygen. Charlie weighs 9lb 4oz and is full of fun.
‘We know it might not be the end of the journey but we’re so proud of him.’