A pregnant mother whose waters broke at just 23 weeks refused to abort her unborn child despite suffering three serious hard sex setbacks, with doctors warning that each time that the baby would not survive.Medics offered Leanne Duffield, 29, a termination because they feared her baby would suffer fatal abnormalities caused by a lack of amniotic fluid, which protects and helps the escort woman babys development in the womb.When her waters broke a fortnight later, they were so convinced the babys lungs would be too small for her to breathe they called in a specialist bereavement midwife to comfort the couple.
Mrs Duffield, 29, gave birth to daughter Willow despite three complications so serious doctors warned her unborn baby would not survive
After being born at 24 weeks – the legal abortion limit- Willow Duffield spent 100 days in hospitalMrs Duffield, from Pontcymmer in Wales then suffered a placental abruption, a serious complication where bleeding is found in the placenta as it comes away from the womb, which could have killed both her and the baby.But incredibly Mrs Duffield and husband Chriss miracle daughter Willow survived and now at nine-months-old is hitting all her developmental targets.She had so many different things that were stacking up against her. She is our miracle baby. said Mrs Duffield, who lives with her husband and their four other children Ashlea, eight, Deacon, six, Neraya, three, and Ayelah, two.Mrs Duffields pregnancy appeared to be progressing normally until a routine scan at the Princess of Wales (POW) Hospital in Bridgend last Halloween revealed a terrifying complication.
Willow was sent home with an oxygen tank. Although she was born with chronic lung disease, doctors hope that as her lungs grow the diseased part will be minimised and she will suffer nothing more than asthmaMrs Duffield said: When we went for the 20-week scan we found there was no fluid around her and they thought there was some sort of abnormality causing the lack of fluid.During pregnancy, a baby is cushioned inside a bag filled with amniotic fluid in the womb, which protects the baby from being hurt from a blow to the stomach, helps the babys lungs and digestive system to mature and protects against infection.Doctors were not able to say what caused the lack of fluid in Mrs Duffields womb, although they believe the stress of her fathers death the previous month could have been a contributing factor.A week later the foetal medicine unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff offered her a termination.
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Doctors said that a lack of amniotic fluid usually means the baby has suffered abnormalities that would make survival impossible.But the couple refused an abortion.We didnt even have to talk about it, said Mrs Duffield.It was one of those things we would never have even considered. It didnt even enter our thoughts.She was for another appointment a fortnight later, but she did not make it as her waters broke inexplicably at 23 weeks and she was admitted to the POW Hospital.When we had been for the scan there was no fluid at all. But when my waters broke at 23 weeks it was just like it was with the others. It was a gush and I couldnt understand. she said.Babies born before the 24 week legal limit for abortion do not usually survive, and doctors feared Willows lungs would be too small and stiff for her to breathe on her own or even for medics to ventilate her.
Mrs Duffield and her husband Chris call Willow their miracle baby and are fundraising for the family support group at the hospitals baby unitMrs Duffield said doctors started to prepare her for her babys death.She said: They thought I would deliver the baby and we had the bereavement midwife come and talk to us. It was a bit overwhelming.But her labour did not progress as expected and as her pregnancy neared 24 weeks she was transferred to Singleton Hospital in Swansea.She was put on complete bed rest and received steroid injections to help reduce the severity of Willows lung problems.A scan in mid-December revealed Willow had all her limbs, but doctors could still not be certain she would not have any of the serious problems with muscles and bones that can be caused by a lack of amniotic fluid.After eating their Christmas dinner on the hospital ward as it was too dangerous for Mrs Duffield to leave, the family had to face yet another problem with the pregnancy.
Now, at nine-months-old, Willow is thriving and is even hitting all her developmental targetsOn January 13 Mrs Duffield suffered placental abruption, a potentially-fatal complication where the placenta comes away from the inside of the womb, causing bleeding.Doctors carried out an emergency caesarean section and Willow was born weighing just 2lb 6oz.Despite being born with chronic lung disease, Willow did not have any of the problems with her limbs or spine which medics had feared.After almost 100 days in the special care baby units in both Singleton and then the POW hospitals she was allowed home in April with an oxygen tank.Since then her oxygen support has been reduced, although she still needs it at night, and Willow has continued to go from strength to strength.Mrs Duffield said doctors hope that as her lungs grow the diseased part will be minimised and Willow will suffer nothing more than asthma.She said: The amount of hospital appointments is getting less and less.And at the moment she is hitting all the targets she should be. With premature babies they should have caught up with their peers by two years.
We call her the happy wheezer and considering what she has been through, she is so happy said Mr DuffyShe her husband have now begun fundraising for a support group set up by the special care baby nurses who looked after Willow.She said: There are so many bad stories and so much negative press, but if it wasnt for them myself and Willow wouldnt be here today.We will never be able to repay them for what they have done for us, but its just something to say thank you and that their work is appreciated.Mr Duffield – who works for Harvester in Bridgend and has recently completed the Swansea 10K race to raise more than £300 for the family support group at the POW Hospital special care baby unit.Mr Duffield said: A couple of oxygen tubes are nothing compared to what we were prepared for. We didnt know what to expect, but we had prepared ourselves for the worst case scenario.We call her the happy wheezer and considering what she has been through, she is so happy.Mrs Duffield added: One of the nurses said that she has seen some defects in similar situations where they are incompatible with life, so we are really lucky.