A MUM has spoken of her joy that her “miracle” baby survived against the odds during the coronavirus lockdown.

Kimberley James gave birth to daughter Penelope Grace James at Worcestershire Royal Hospital on May 9 at 7.11pm. The baby weighed in at 7lb 6oz and the labour took 12 hours and 51 minutes.

Mrs James said her “pregnancy was not an easy one,” as her baby girl was diagnosed with two serious conditions - hydrops fetalis and a cystic hygroma.

The first-time mum was offered an abortion as the chances were so low of her baby surviving.

Mrs James, from Worcester, said: “Penelope defied all odds and the hydrops disappeared at 16 weeks and the cystic hygroma also disappeared after 20 weeks.

“We are so in love with her and so thankful that we continued with the pregnancy despite the extremely poor prognosis at the start. She really is a little miracle. The doctors all said it was unheard of for the hydrops to disappear and we still to this day don’t know what caused it or why it went away.”

Just 20 per cent of babies diagnosed with hydrops fetalis prior to birth survive to delivery. The condition causes severe swelling in an unborn infant.

Cystic hygroma is a fluid-filled sac that results from a blockage in the lymphatic system. The overall survival rate for this condition is just 10 per cent of unborn babies.

She added: “We had a very rocky start to our pregnancy but had the most wonderful outcome and we couldn’t be more in love with our little girl. It was a huge relief when Penelope arrived safe and sound. Due to such a difficult pregnancy there were extra staff in the room.

“It was a very surreal experience to give birth during lockdown. I wasn’t allowed visitors whilst I was on the antenatal ward so I couldn’t see my husband until I was moved to the delivery ward, which was four days after being admitted for induction.

“I did feel a little apprehensive about this, however I felt that all the women stuck together and interacted more due to this. Everyone had their curtains open and were chatting to one another. The staff said that this wouldn’t normally be the case if visitors were allowed as everyone usually keeps themself to themself, so it was refreshing that we were all supporting each other through this bizarre time.

"Despite Covid-19, all staff were so attentive and made us feel that they weren’t rushed in any way and we were their sole focus.”


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