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Ryan Sheppard

After suffering a miscarriage in February 2012 me and Jamie were happy to be pregnant again so soon in April and that the pregnancy was going well. We we excited to be going for our 20 week scan and had decided we would like to know whether we were expecting a boy or girl. The scan appeared to be going well the sonographer was pointing out what we were looking at and approaching the end of the scan he turned and said “I think the baby has a hernia – but I will need a second opinion” The second opinion confirmed that out baby had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia – something we had never heard of – very little was said on the matter and we were referred to Birmingham Women’s Hospital. We were confused and scared but happy to learn we were expecting a baby boy. I had regular scans & an  amniocentesis which confirmed the hernia was isolated on the left hand side with no other abnormalities. The hardest conversation I have ever had to have was our options and an abortion was one of them – we decided together that we would give our baby boy a fighting chance. It could never have been an option for us.

Leading up to Christmas and my due date growing ever closer we were starting to get excited about the arrival of our baby boy but terrified of what could happen. My contractions started early on a Monday morning and I was heading to the hospital 13 days late!! Ryan Mark Sheppard arrived on 15.01.13 at 04:14 am weighing 7lb 7oz. We were told not to worry if there was no crying and that this would be a good thing for him so that the lungs have chance to inflate slowly – Ryan arrived screaming and to hear him was such a relief. Ryan was sedated and ventilated before the doctors wheeled him by so we could see our beautiful baby. Ryan was then taken to NICU.

Ryan appeared to be doing well and had his repair at 9 days old at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Ryan had open surgery and we were told that the hernia was quite large and had to be repaired with a patch and that his stomach, bowel and spleen had intruded into the chest cavity.  I finally held my baby when he was 11 days old. Ryan went from strength to strength and came home at 4 weeks. He is so brave and continues to do well. We are so so proud of him