Like many expectant parents, we excitedly (and nervously) went along to our 20 week scan completely oblivious to the devastating news we were about to be told.
The sonographer had ‘found something that wasn’t quite right’. The consultant looked at the scan and said he thought it could be CDH but we’d need to be referred to St Mary’s in Manchester for further investigations.
An agonising week later, the diagnosis was confirmed. Our little baby had a left side diaphragmatic hernia.
We were then referred to a cardiologist who assessed how well our baby’s heart was functioning which allowed the Fetal Medicine Unit to give us the chances of survival (75%).
The rest of the pregnancy was a blur. One minute, picturing my baby in my arms, the best possible outcome. And the next, considering the worst and imagining how we’d ever move forward with life if that did happen.
After further tests, a stint in Nottingham with suspected early labour and a whole lot of sleepless nights, I was induced 2 weeks early, and our baby boy, Louis arrived the following day.
I was allowed a very quick kiss before he was intubated and then we ‘watched and waited’ until he was ready for surgery, which he was (thankfully) at 4 days old.
His surgery went well and, miraculously we were allowed to hold him after just one week.
We couldn’t believe our luck when we were told that after just 2 weeks in hospital, we were able to go home.
Like any parents in our situation, you just don’t know what to expect. We are very aware that Louis was one of the lucky ones and we continue to feel so blessed every single day.
I hope our story gives others hope and strength.