John Smith's

A place to place all sorts.

Miracle – the events leading up to her premature birth

Born 3 months premature, in January 1991, weighing just 920gms, this is the true-life story of a miracle.

A little background.

Miracle’s mother had a long history of amenorrhoea (absence of periods) and was told by doctors she might have difficulty getting pregnant, and to do so, may need to go on a course of fertility pills. However, she never had taken any, yet despite this was found to be with child. Whilst most discover their pregnancy through conventional methods this was not to be in our case. We found out, as did the doctors and surgeons, during an operation performed on my wife when already 5 months pregnant, resulting in a premature birth a month later. Miracle was born on 20th January, 13 weeks early. The date of conception would have been around the middle of July yet in August a pregnancy test showed a negative result.

Excerpts from medical notes, her father’s diary, and notes taken at that time prior to Miracle’s birth.

August 17th

I took my wife to the doctor’s surgery concerned about her being ill and feeling sick, tired, and bust tender. Pregnancy test was done. My wife’s mother and sister came to visit and commented on pale she looked.

August 21st

Took my wife back to see Dr S….. her GP, who gave an outward examination and said a virginal examination was necessary and thought possibly ovaries were tender or swollen.

August 23rd

Dr S…… gave a virginal examination and commented that she was more tender on the left side more so than the right. He suggested a hormonal in-balance and prescribed a contraceptive pill (MERCILON) as a medicine for combating the in-balance and thus reducing the side effects, i.e., tender bust.

September 1st

My wife continues being sick.

September 5th

Saw Dr S…… again to say abdominal pain was relieved and bust tenderness had gone but was vomiting a lot. Dr S…….  prescribed some anti-sickness tablets. We continued with Mercilon. It was noted that my wife had suffered from nausea before ever taking Mercilon.

September 8th

Telephoned Dr S…… to say vomiting was continuing and think we ought to stop taking Mercilon. He agreed. The sickness then persisted for about a week and then stopped. Dr S…… suggested going to see a specialist for further examinations.

October 1st

Letter sent from Dr S…… to Dr B…… gynaecologist at the local hospital, referring her for further examinations.

November 11th

Had heard nothing yet from the specialist yet so went again to see Dr S…… our GP, because of problems passing water very frequently. Her stomach had swollen. Dr S…….. prescribed some Fibrogel for getting her bowels working regularly and some Colofac to stimulate intestinal movement. Dr S…….. phoned the specialist to speed up the appointment. He then sent her to Dr H……. (female doctor) for a smear test and examination. Dr H…. examined and took swabs and a sample of water to test for infection. She commented on how tender inwardly my wife was.

November 22nd

Results of swab test was negative for infection but Dr H….. prescribed something for Thrush because she could see something was wrong. Results of smear test were negative for cancer.

December 3rd

Took my wife to the outpatients today – not looking well at all.

Appointment to see Dr B……. (specialist gynaecologist at the hospital). Took a urine sample-tested by the nurse. Seen at 3.30pm. First seen by medical student. He asked about medical history and asked when we had last had intercourse – answered it had been 4-5 months ago. He examined bust and chest and felt all around her stomach. He then left and returned with Dr B……… The student then took swabs from inside which became very painful and Dr B…… asked him to stop. Dr B……. examined her stomach for quite some time, asking where it was painful. He then examined internally, but unsuccessfully, initially saying she was too tense before trying again. He then said it could be a problem with her bowels but was more likely to be a long-standing problem with her ovaries. He suggested having a laparoscopy (cutting a small slit next to the stomach button and placing a camera inside) and said after that they would suggest possible further hormone treatment. My wife asked why her stomach was so swollen. He said that there was a problem but didn’t know what was wrong, it could be your bowels. Dr Bibby then said to the student, ‘I suppose we better do a pregnancy test’ but the medical student replied and said, ‘She hasn’t had intercourse for some 4-5 months.’ My wife said a pregnancy test was done a while ago but was negative. Then asked how long before the laparoscopy could be done, and he replied he would try and get one arranged as soon as possible.

Dr B…….. then sent a letter to Dr S……. our GP. (a copy of the letter is in the notes at the end of this book – see also diary event of January 5th, 1991).

December 17th

Hospital rang and asked if my wife minded going in on Christmas eve as they had difficulty filling that day. She didn’t mind as we were keen to know what might be wrong with her and get her healthy again.

December 24th

What a day! Took my wife to hospital for an operation, a laparoscopy, as ordered by the hospital consultant, Dr B….  to see what was wrong with her. (See copy of NHS letter to our GP in the notes at the end of the book)

So, they made an incision to insert a camera inside and they find a baby! A baby girl! 23 weeks pregnant and we didn’t know, or worse, the hospital didn’t know. No wonder her stomach was swollen. They have really bodged this one up. Now my dear wife is subjected to all this ordeal. They had to cut her open further to ensure everything was okay with the baby. Now she is facing a long term in hospital. It is a shock to find out this way that I am a dad, but Lord, please, please, please let my wife be alright. Please Lord. Cried my eyes out tonight.

We had arrived at the hospital by 8am as instructed. I was to leave my wife there and asked to ring the hospital at 2.30pm so they could inform me at what time later that day I could pick my wife up. On leaving my wife at 8am she was taken into the day care unit. A nurse asked preliminary questions. Then a lady doctor arrived and explained what the operation involved and asked my wife about any previous drug reactions. She examined her chest, took her pulse and her temperature. Then Dr S………… a lady doctor, asked about previous operations and if she could be pregnant. My wife said, ‘If I am I would be 5 months pregnant,’ knowing that it had been 5 months since last having intercourse. Nothing more was said. Then the anaesthetist asked about reactions to anaesthetics, examined her chest again, then the needle and ‘wham’.

From what I’ve been told Dr S…….. (lady doctor) then carried out an internal examination whilst my wife was under the anaesthetic and said she had felt a lump but still carried on with the laparoscopy. She then cut into her and without realising it cut into her womb. When the camera was inserted, she found a baby. Dr S……… (consultant) was then called and he organised for the paediatricians to come down to the theatre. They did a scan and ascertained that the baby was 5 month (23 weeks) into the gestation. Dr S……… (consultant) then cut my wife a further 6 inches in order to see what damage was caused. They said the baby wouldn’t live if they delivered it there and then. They found that the placenta had slipped through the hole in the womb but found that the water bag was intact. Dr S then pushed the placenta back and stitched up the womb. Then stitched up the outside cut. The incision had been made into the wombs weakest area. I understand that this has never happened before so late on in pregnancy, and certainly not in Dr S……’s career. He has since been reading up to find out as much as he can.

My wife was transferred to a High Dependency Unit for observation. She was told that she was pregnant having come round from the anaesthetic and told that things hadn’t quite gone as expected, and that there was a risk of losing the baby. It is worth noting that the doctors at this point, and over the next few hours, were also very worried about my wife’s state of health because of internal bleeding and the shock of what had become a major operation. There was a very high risk of miscarriage, and she was given a drug through a drip to try preventing this. She admitted to the high dependency ward and was given a blood transfusion.

At around 11.15am I was contacted, whilst at work, by Dr S……. (the consultant), who asked if I could go to the hospital as the operation hadn’t gone as they had expected. I left in a hurry arriving at 12 noon and was seen by Dr S………. immediately. He explained that during the laparoscopy they had found my wife to be around 5 months pregnant with a baby girl. He said they had made a grave mistake in operating on my wife and said he thought Dr B……  who was on a skiing holiday in France, had been negligent in not ensuring my wife wasn’t pregnant. He went on to say that he never knew of this ever happening before anywhere, and he certainly had never heard of it during his career. He stated that it was likely that my wife would have to stay in hospital for the duration of her pregnancy, and that, although there is a risk of miscarriage, if the baby does thrive, he would probably recommend a caesarean birth around 34 weeks gestation. But it is too early to tell anything at this stage.

I spent the rest of the day with my very ill wife, worried and concerned about her, and both worried and concerned for our baby daughter. The joy of finding out you are to be proud parents somewhat overshadowed by the events of the day.

Later on, Dr S……… (consultant) visited to explain the situation in more detail. My wife was in a lot of pain and discomfort. She said to Dr S……… ‘I’m disappointed that Dr B……… after his examinations, didn’t pick up that I was 5 months pregnant.’ He replied, ‘So am I.’

December 25th

Went to visit my wife this morning– her mum and sister also arrived. Other friends visited later. Her condition looked very serious at this time. She was having a blood transfusion – her haemoglobin blood count being 8.4gm/dL (normal level in women ranges between 12.3-15.3gm/dL). She was in a lot of pain and was vomiting a lot every time she moved. Also, in a lot of discomfort which doctors said was due to ‘wind’ being pumped into her stomach at the time of the laparoscopy (This was CO).

Dr S……….. (Consultant) visited and in the course of the conversation remarked that they had assaulted the baby in the womb. We asked many questions about the condition of the baby and were told the baby was alive, but they couldn’t say what would have resulted from this ordeal. Dr S……. (lady doctor) also visited and asked how she was saying that finding a baby was quite a shock and should never have happened. Dr B…… also paid a visit, after his holiday break. He apologised and said he had made himself vulnerable. Asked what he meant by that comment, he replied, ‘that he had written a letter to Dr S……..(our G.P.) saying that there was an outside chance of her being pregnant.’

December 26th

Went to see my wife again today (she had been moved from the high dependency ward to W……. ward) and took my mum and dad with me – her mum, dad, and sister also visited. She seems a little better today, only on one drip and sitting up in bed and drinking.

Lots of friends turned up throughout the day.

The whole affair seems incredible. Now I have had time to think about the whole affair I feel really wound up. I have the bit between my teeth and need to demand a few answers.

December 27th

My wife seems loads better today. I am just so glad she has got over the worst of this initial stage. I’m really missing her. I feel heartbroken. Lord whatever please keep her safe. Lord, keep her, protect, and heal her, and Lord let this baby be alright. We dedicate her to the service of the Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Car broke down on the way to the hospital!

December 28th

Spent day in the hospital. The nurses do seem to be making quite a fuss of us and allowing me to stay way beyond normal visiting hours. The hospital have arranged for a free parking pass as well.

December 29th

Spent day in the hospital.

December 30th

Spent day in the hospital.

December 31st

Spent day in the hospital.

Lots of friends visiting.

Heard babies’ heartbeat for the first time.

January 1st, 1991, A NEW YEAR.

Lord keep my wife and our baby safe.

Went to see my wife with a close friend of mine.

January 2nd

Went to see my wife this afternoon – I miss her lots. Well, we are going to be parents. Lord, we just want to follow you. Make us effective. Make us good parents.

January 3rd

Visited my wife.

January 4th

My wife had an Ultrasound scan – which showed our baby alive and very active. It did show though that the placenta had some damage. It was weird seeing our baby on the screen, our baby. Lord, keep my wife safe and our baby, and me! Lord, I am so sensitive inside. It’s like I’m constantly crying inwardly. Lord, keep us all safe.

Also had an appointment with Dr S……… to ask a load of questions and get copies of all the medical notes. He said that if we had any concerns regarding my wife’s health or the babies, we could turn up at the maternity ward any time of the day or night.

January 5th

Went to G.P.’s surgery to copy medical notes as instructed by our solicitor. I found the letter in my wife’s medical notes that Dr B……..(Consultant at the hospital) had written on NHS letterhead to our G.P.  (a copy of the letter is in the notes at the end of this book). This was dated 3rd December 1990. He suggested having a laparoscopy to see what might be causing my wife’s problems. The last sentence though shocked me, as he had written: – ‘I suppose there is an outside chance of pregnancy, but I really can’t tell and she tells me that her pregnancy tests are negative anyway. I just hope that is not the case and I am found with my trousers down.’ Wow! And they still went ahead with the operation!

I was livid to say the least. I took several copies of the letter, left the G.P. surgery and drove straight to the hospital intent on getting an explanation from this Dr B……… (actually I was so angry an explanation was not the first response I had in mind).

Having arrived at the hospital and demanded to see Dr B……. I was told  he was away on holiday (not sure whether this was true or just a ploy to stop me seeing him as the receptionist could see that I was extremely angry.) In the end Dr S……..(consultant) saw me, yet left me none the wiser as to why they operated when there was a chance of pregnancy.

I left Dr S……. and visited my wife again. She looks a lot better, and I didn’t think it wise to show her the letter. The doctors came and said they are happy with her progress. She has been on a drip to stop any contractions but has now been prescribed some tablets instead.

January 6th

My wife came home today – yippee! Wow! Brilliant! I’ve really missed her, at last she’s home! Loads of friends crowded in to see her.

She was discharged with instructions to get plenty of bed rest and to make sure that if she had any queries to ring up and come into the hospital. Especially to come in if she felt any pains at all. She continues to take the anti-contractual drug orally.

January 7th

So nice to have my wife home even though she is in bed all day. She needs to rest to avoid bringing on a premature birth.

January 8th

Had an appointment to see Mr P…., a solicitor, to get some legal advice. He could not believe the contents of the letter Dr B…….. had written.

My wife came down and sat in the lounge with a few of us.

January 9th

Took my wife to the hospital for a check-up with Dr S…….(consultant). Everything seems okay. He did however comment that he never expected my wife to leave the hospital with the baby, but everything does seem okay now.

Some friends of ours went to London today to visit someone in Notting Hill, got stuck in a lift and had to call the fire brigade to get them out!!!

January 10th

My wife’s scar is giving her a lot of discomfort. Laid hands on her stomach and prayed for healing and prayed for the baby.

January 11th

A bit worried as my wife seems in a bit of pain. Going to take her in (to the hospital) if this continues.

January 12th

My wife seems a little better today.

January 13th

Told my wife that if she is concerned in any way to get one of our friends to come and get me straight away. We have several friends on high alert just in case.

January 15th

My wife came down for the meal this evening and later we sat around with a few friends thinking up names for our baby girl, mostly coming up with silly ones. Our favourite though is ‘Zoe’ as it means ‘Life’.

January 16th

Took my wife to the hospital for further check-up and they seem happy with everything. Scar healing nicely. Don’t need to go again for a fortnight.

January 18th

My wife started to feel pains around the area of the scar, particularly a pain which seems to ‘come and go’. She telephoned the hospital and they said that they would have a look at her tomorrow when we go there to collect some more of the anti-contractions’ tablets.

January 19th

The pains behind the scar became more frequent and more apparent, so we decided to go to the hospital early. On arriving at W…….. ward a mid-wife gave an external examination but thought it best to call a doctor. A Dr C…….. came and examined her but said the pains were nothing more than the baby kicking against the inside of the scar. My wife did say that we were told to come to the hospital at the slightest pain as Dr S………(Consultant) had said he didn’t want her to go into labour because of causing stress to the scar. Dr C…….said he was aware of her case but said it was nothing to worry about.

We returned home but, throughout Saturday evening and overnight, the pains grew more and more frequent and were a biting type of pain coming and going quite quickly.

January 20th

My wife thought it best to phone the hospital again. They said to come in immediately. We arrived and made our way to W…… ward. A nurse put my wife in the same room where she had stayed after leaving the high dependency ward. A mid-wife examined her and then called for a doctor. A Dr L…S….. arrived shortly afterwards and examined her. He concluded that she was in labour, fully dilated, and was going to need a caesarean straight away. My wife realised she had been in labour for over a day. At this point I left the room to go and telephone my mother-in-law. Whilst I was away from the room my wife told the nurse she needed to go to the toilet and the nurse fetched a bed pan. As she was trying to relieve herself the pain increased severely, and the nurse suggested crouching by the side of the bed as it might help the pain. Then she felt something moving inside and felt as though something was about to drop. The mid-wife helped her back on to the bed whilst shouting for help. Another mid-wife/nurse appeared and was told ‘she’s giving birth, but I don’t know what to do.’ (This was because the baby was actually coming out in the water bag). Then there was a bit of a panic with doctors and nurses everywhere. The baby half in and half out. My wife asked the doctor ‘is the baby going to be alright’ but he replied, ‘I don’t think so, I’m sorry.’ By this time the baby had been fully born and one of the nurses took the baby away immediately.

The nurses then went about cleaning my wife up.

Meanwhile, a pediatrician had resuscitated the baby and taken her to the special baby care unit. There she was put in an incubator, put on a ventilator machine, and given drips and monitors to register her progress. My wife was bleeding, and this carried on for quite some time, until eventually they took her to be stitched to prevent further bleeding. She was continually sick throughout the day, but this settled down during the evening. The baby was born at 12 noon (we had only arrived at the hospital at 11.15am). A women pediatrician informed us at 12.45pm that the baby was alive and had been put on a ventilator to help her breathe, but there was a risk as the baby was very premature. About 2.30pm another doctor came in, and said the baby was a girl, was breathing with the aid of the ventilator but it would be a miracle if she survived. He asked if the baby could be put on a trial, to give her a ‘surfactant’ substitute which aids breathing in premature babies. We agreed and signed the agreement as this would help although this was never actually administered to her. We needed to put a name on the form of our baby girl, and it was at this point we decided to call her ‘Miracle.’

Born 3 months early weighing less than a bag of sugar!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Recent Posts

About Me

First and foremost a father to a daughter and a son, both, who I love more than dare say. Next a searcher, a gamer, a would-be novelist, a supporter, who loves socialising, the outdoors, and those moments when eternity touches the soul.

%d bloggers like this: