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Awareness for Kody: One Journey of Four Pregnancies

January 13, 2023 By Brooke Saunders

Awareness for Kody: One Journey of Four Pregnancies

I am a mum of 4.

My first pregnancy was quite straightforward with me only suffering from low iron. My son was born at 38 weeks. I had my second baby at 20 years old. My pregnancy felt so different from my first pregnancy, I didn’t feel pregnant. During my pregnancy I started suffering with headaches and heartburn, but no heartburn tablets were helping. My nan started to tell me I looked like I had slept heavy and that my eyes were puffy. I started to swell. I thought maybe it was as I was having a girl and my baby before was a boy. I had read you can get different pregnancy symptoms. My nan kept mentioning toxaemia to me, but I dismissed her concerns as I had had a normal pregnancy previously. I had an appointment with my midwife but i refused to go as I was so swollen. I googled my symptoms and mentioned it to my mum who booked me an appointment with a GP. Once I got there the GP took my blood pressure and phoned an ambulance. I was blue lighted by ambulance to the hospital where I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I had a magnesium drip and was given a steroid injection. I had a short hospital stay until my daughter was born at 33 weeks gestation; she weighed 3lb 1oz. I didn’t see my baby for a few days- they took her straight to the neonatal unit. She stayed in the neonatal unit for 7 weeks, she needed to be tube fed. I struggled to bond with my baby for years. She’s now 10.

My third baby, Kody, was born at 27 weeks plus one day, again due to me suffering with preeclampsia. I had all the symptoms except for the less frequent urine output. I think I was in denial. In hospital I had a magnesium drip, a steroid injection and I was put on tablets to help with the preeclampsia. Kody spent his whole life in hospital. He spent most of his time on the NICU... he spent a few days on the high dependency unit until he would be back to the NICU. Kody could not breath on his own, he was tried on bipap, CPAP, & high flow. He had steroid injections twice. Kody needed to be fed by a tube as he would get too tired feeding via a bottle. Kody had ROP and needed eye treatment. Kody went to a childrens hospital to see if there was an underlying problem as to why he needed so much breathing support, there wasn’t. The doctor said Kodys lungs were on the ‘worst end of the worst scale.' Kody was then transferred to a heart and lung specialist hospital, where Kody was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Kody had a tracheostomy to see if he could come home on portable ventilation. Kody's lungs were so undeveloped and at 7 months old Kody passed away.

My last baby Destiny was born in 2018. Kody's consultant told my new consultant to put me on 150mg of aspirin but my consultant told me to have 75mg. When Kody's consultant spoke to my new consultant, he then told me to do what I wanted to do. I kept an eye on my blood pressure at home and when I noticed it was rising, I spoke to a GP who told me ‘it’s normal during pregnancy’. At my 20 week pregnancy scan I found out Destiny has a rare heart condition, cctga. I was diagnosed with preeclampsia again andhospitalised during my pregnancy at 28 weeks. I was put on tablets to try to control the preeclampsia. Destiny was born at 36 weeks and 3 days as there was nothing else the doctors could do to control the preeclampsia except deliver. Destiny spent one week in the neonatal unit so the doctors could monitor her heart condition.