During my first pregnancy, at 20 weeks, our baby was diagnosed with CDH. We found at our local hospital and were given an appointment at St. Georges in London the next day to confirm the diagnosis.
Once confirmed, we went through a numbers or test and scans – to confirm it was the only condition and no further problems. Luckily, George only had CDH, and was given a 60% chance of survival. Leading up to his birth, we had frequent scans to check the growth of the baby and how CDH was developing – with the same diagnosis till birth.
We had a huge amount of support from St. Georges – seeing various medical professionals who helped us understand the next steps up to birth and after.
Our local hospital (St. Peters & Ashford) also provided support – both for physical checks and mental well-being.
It was a tough pregnancy, knowing that things would not be normal; not holding our baby after birth and the still, relatively high risk of losing him.
We tried to remain hopefully and mentally prepared ourselves for the challenge. George was born at St. Georges on the 4th February 2022, at 39 weeks and 8.7lbs. We had an excellent medical team who took him away straight away to put him onto breathing support. It was difficult in the first few days but the NICU nurses and doctors gave us a huge amount of support, made us feel comfortable and helped us understand the equipment and what was going on.
3 days after he was born, George had his surgery – it went extremely well, and the diagnosis was less severe than originally thought, and they were able to stitch up without an artificial patch. George recovered amazingly – only on drugs for a week or so, out of NICU at St. Georges and moved back to St. Peters within 2 and half weeks.
We were able to. take him home in just under a month. George is now thriving; he loves his milk, now his food and is developing like any other baby. We have to keep in the back of our minds the CDH – but we don’t want him to be defined by it. He is extremely happy and easy going, and we feel forever grateful for our baby boy.