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(by Pauline)
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since May 2004

This is our story......... I was taken into Hospital 3 months before Hannah was born. I was suffering from a condition called Pre Eclampsia. This can be life threatening to Mother and Baby. I was told I would not be allowed out of Hospital until the baby was born.......which was going to be premature .All got a bit scary then. I was given medication and told to Relax !!!!!!! Yeah right!! Anyone that knows me will know I don't do sitting about!!

So on the 14th March 2001 my Blood Pressure went dangerously high and I was transferred to the High Dependency Unit.
I was given steroid injections to improve the baby's lungs and give it a better chance of survival.
Hannah was born at 14:16 on the 16th March by emergency caesarean section. She weighed 3lb.

So that's where the story begins,

They whipped her away and got her breathing. Then the paediatrician took Wayne to one side and pointed out that she had no opening to her Anus. Instead there was this "lumpy" thing. They did not look overly worried at the time, they said it was Imperforate anus and that was all. So off she went to the special care baby unit I was put in to a delivery room until my blood pressure dropped.
A consultant came in to see me at about 8 o'clock that night to explain just how poorly she really was. He thought that she had no Vagina, Urethra or Anus, they all shared a common channel, and this was later confirmed. He was also unsure of her sex as the lumpy thing could have easily been mistaken for something else! At that point my little world was shattered. Why had I had "This" baby? I was not allowed to see her till 10pm that night.......when I saw her my heart broke She was so tiny how would she survive?
She was ventilated at midnight, she was too tiny to manage and too underdeveloped. The next morning me and my morphine drip were wheeled to SCBU to see her, as I went in the Paramedic team with full life support system arrived to take her away to a another hospital. There was no neonatal surgeon where she was born.
That was the hardest thing, having my baby taken away from me and all I could do was watch, I knew it was for the best. I was her mother though and I felt so bloody helpless. I was again put back in my side ward to REST!!! ha ha

Hannah had her stoma and mucus fistula formed as soon as she arrived at the LRI. She was given a very slim chance of making it out of the op, but she made it to everyone's surprise! Her surgeon called me to tell me what he had done and that he had found her ovaries and uterus that was a big relief.

I was transferred to the LRI in a very bumpy ambulance at midnight. I took one look at my poor poor baby and lost the plot! She had wires coming from everywhere and this strange "stoma" thing on her side. I kept looking at her in intensive care all that night and thinking surely it would be kinder for her to not wake up. They wanted us to get her christened but I would not let them. HE made her like that so what could HE do to help her now. All she needed was love nothing else.

Hannah went from strength to strength though and amazed everyone. She was allowed home after nearly a month (that's all) weighing only 4lbs. I dealt with her colostomy and cleaned out her fistula once a week. People used to stare at her cause she was so tiny, and ask what was wrong with her. Sometimes I would ignore them. Other times I would just shock them and say "oh yeah she was born with no bum" ha and watch their face hit the floor!!!!

Hannah was "reconstructed" on the 6th November 2001, where they made all her bits and bobs .She was in theatre for nearly 9 hours, but again she pulled through and amazed everyone. Was the longest day of my life! She was discharged with a catheter for a month and I had to dilate her vagina and anus with some weird instruments to stop it all healing over. Hannah's colostomy was reversed just before she was one. So we celebrated her first birthday and first poo all together!!!

So that's how Hannah's life started out-not the best, that's why she is so special to me.

Where are we now??

Well Hannah can hold her wee 95 % of the time, which they never thought she would be able to.

They see no reason why she will not be able to have babies, but time will tell I guess, I have my doubts.

Hannah's bowels are the bit that she struggles with. Her poo is like water or constipated, can never get the happy medium. She has very little Sphincter Muscle, so very little sensation. Consequently there are lots of accidents. This result in a very frustrated Hannah at times, she's too young to understand. Maybe it would have been better if they just left her stoma where it was, but I guess I trusted the so called experts...But I know she would have a better quality of life with It.!

So that's the story so far as Hannah's little life unfolds! I have been a bit brief in places because I have found this really hard to write. All those emotions and feeling come back .All that is left to be said is:
I am proud of my baby (who is 4!!).She goes through things no 4 year old should have too, but she's proven to me she's strong already and without sounding corny she really is my little miracle.


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