Rebecca's Story

When I was 18 I became very ill. I went to my Doctors several times to be told there was nothing wrong with me.I was bleeding all the time and did not know why.I had 3 pregnancy tests and an internal and was told I was not pregnant.In the end I had to do something about the way I was feeling.I went to a well woman clinic.This was in 1989. I went with my
Mum and my then boyfriend. The Doctor was an older lady with I guess lots of experience.She did an internal and said I'm glad to tell you that you are at least 3 1/2 months pregnant.I was so shocked I said I can't be! I have been told that I'm not. She just smiled and said if there was anymore to bleeding to go to the hospital.

It was only a day and I had to go to the hospital I was kept in and told that my placenta was low and thats why I was bleeding. They kept me in.That was at the beginning of October. On the 20th of December they let me home for Christmas. I was told to take things easy but then on the 22ndI went into labour. I called my Mum from her room and she
called for an ambulance.I was taken to the labour room but because the scans put me at 23 weeks pregnant they had no equipment in the room.15 years ago they did not try to save these babies.I was in labour for 19 hours
and was told I had had a little girl.They asked if I would like to hold her andI said yes. No-one had told me she had died. I should have known but at 18 I did not.I held her in my arms and she was the most perfect little girl. They asked me if I had a name for her and I answered Yes, Leila Jade .I was so shocked when I was told I was pregnant and if I am honest I think at one point I said I did not want (it). Oh how thing change when you know that your baby is fighting for it's life.
Your mothers instincts kick in and all you want to do is save your baby And if anything the want and need is so much more. I saw Leila every day until her funeral. One day I went to see her and Nody the morgue manager had people there already and he let me sit with her in his kitchen.I was so happy that we could sit together in a normal surrounding.That sounds really strange but it was really nice because the radio was on and it was a nice strange word to use but it was. I have not mentioned my then
boyfriend much.Thats because he was not around much. Not because of what was happening but because he was horrible! When he came to visit me in the hospital he would leave whatever girl he had picked up in the car outside,
and when I was in labour I could not get in touch with him. He saw Leila once but did not come to her funeral. About a 10 months later I was with a new boyfriend and things were going well but all I ever wanted is to be a mum again and it wasnt very long before we were trying for a baby. I'd say a year.I was in and out of hospital having every test you can imagine to find out why I was not falling pregnant. I was told that I had a funny shaped womb but that it would not stop me getting pregnant so keep trying. I suffered quite badly with depression and it was hard. After 5 1/2 years we split up.

Then I met Chris. He is great we are now married, but we have been through so much. We were together a while before we started trying for a baby. I went to a private hospital and had a detailed scan done they also told me that I had a funny shaped womb but it would have no affect on me getting pregnant.

We went to St. Marys Hospital and after a long time was offered IUI which is like IVF but the eggs are not taken out. We has 3 lots of treatment over the course of a year and they all failed. We decided to go on holiday and got married while we were there. It was a break. When we got back we went back to St. Marys to find out where we go from here. They said they would refer us for IVF at Kings. Another long wait. We got our appointment andwent to Kings. I took the scan results from the private hospital and the Doctor looked at them and said thats your problem: you have a double womb.
We were told that they could do IVF treatment but the chances are that if I did fall pregnant I would probably spend most of my pregnancy in hospital and may not be able to hang on long enough to have the baby, as the baby only grows in half of the womb and when thats half full my body would think that I was at full term. This was the only option we were
given and after trying for so long we grabbed at the chance of IVF. I dont know why but I really thought that because I had lost Leila it would not happen again. It just doesnt happen.

We started IVF and we were lucky it worked 1st time. We were so, so happy but very scared. But at 5 weeks I started to bleed. We were devastated. Chris took me to the hospital but they said that I was to early to scan and that I should go back to the IVF clinic where I had an appointment booked in a weeks time . We went for the scan and they said there are 2
sacs but it was to early to tell if there were any heartbeats we had to wait another week for our next scan and it was the longest weeks wait. I was still bleeding when I went back to the hospital and we were expecting the worst, so when the Doctor said there is only one heartbeat we were overjoyed. That sounds really heartless but we did not care, we were still in with a chance. Thats how we felt, I felt lucky. There were little problems all the way through and the due date they gave me for this baby was the same due date as I had had for Leila which was really horrible as I had kept a diary and things were happening on the same days as before. It wasreally hard. Most of my pregnancy was spent on bedrest. When December came I got really scared but then Christmas came and went and I got past the 23rd of December (Leila's Birthday) and I felt safe, happy.

When I hit 24 weeks I was over the moon because in all the books this is a viable baby(great!) . Two days later I had a stomach ache. I told Chris that I wanted to go to the Doctors so he took me. I told her how I felt and she told me to go
to the hospital and be prepared to stay there. Me and Chris went to the labour ward we were laughing and saying we would be home for lunch. They kept us waiting for a while before a nurse came in and took my details.She did an internal and said we have a are 8 centimetres dilated. I could not take it in! How could this be happening? I only had a
tummy ache! Chris called my mum she came down. They put me on a drip totry and stop the labour but it did not agree with me and all my veins seemed to be bouncing. It was really scary. They kept telling me I had tohold on for as long as I could so that they could get the steroid injection into me. I really tried my hardest and they kept leaving me on my own with Chris because they knew that I would hold on for longer if there was no help in the room. The next morning I gave birth to my little girl, Thaila Hope. She weighed 1lb 1oz and was so beautiful. I stayed with her everyday for as long as I could. I would get to the hospital at around 10 - 10.30am and stay until 8.30 - 9pm. She seemed to have a little personality. I would go in in the morning and say Hello Darling. Mummy is here and she would open her eyes as if to look at me and she always raised her
eyebrows at me when I would talk. She had good days and really bad days I went in one day and her Doctor said she wanted to talk to me. My mum and sister were with me so she said she would catch me later. Then later she came back and I asked if it was important? She said right there in front of everyone, we want to discuss withdrawing Thaila's care. I could not
believe that she had said that to me. Not in a side room with my Husband but there in the middle of the room. We went into her office and she went on about the bled on Thailas brain and that if she lived she may have difficulties and I said I didnt care, we will dedicate our lives to her. I asked her to stay and tell Chris what she had told me and she said no I'm going home now.

When Chris came he walked out of the lift and I fell in his arms sobbing, he thought she had died. I told him what she had said and he was not happy that she could not wait the 10 minutes to tell him or us together. The next day Thaila seemed better. Another Doctor came and said he thinks she had turned a corner. I felt really proud, like Thaila was sticking her fingers up at them for upsetting her Mum and Dad.

The day after things got worse and sadly the next day we were told that she was going to die. We had to make the decision whether to let her die in her incubator or to turn off the ventilator and hold her in our arms. We knew by this time there was no turning back. She was so ill and had been through so much we had to let her go. She died in Chris's arms I had to let him hold her as I had been there before and I thought this would help him to understand how it feels (that sounds really horrible but I mean that in a good way). They let us take her into a side room and bathe and dress her and this really helped me. In the next few days I also had castings made of her hand and foot. I needed every memory to hang onto. I kept my diary every day from day 1 of IVF until the day she died. I needed that. The Nurses used to laugh at me, always writing, but I used to sit there saying one day I want to help other people. Thanks To Thaila here I am!

A while later one of Thaila's consultants said that he would get me an appointment to discuss my double womb to see if anything could be done. In September 2001 I had an operation to remove the middle from by double womb. It was simple but it is not done very often so why couldnt someone have helped me sooner? 2003: and I had IVF again. This time they could only put 1 egg back and told me that they could not even give me a percentage of it working. We were gutted but we went back after the 2 week wait and yep it had worked! When I was 13 weeks pregnant they took me in and put a stitch in to
hold the baby in. I stayed in for a week and was then sent home. A week later I got an infection and was back in for another week. My due date for this baby was just 9 days before my Girls due date so yet again it was scary every moment, because of what had happened before. The hospital took me in before Christmas just to keep me near. The plan was to try and get me to 26 weeks. They gave me the steroid injections at 24 weeks soI was ready if anything was going to go wrong. I held on and on until I was 34 weeks and eventually had a little girl. We named her Layla Mai after my 1st Leila but we spelt it differently. Layla was 3lb 11oz and spent a month in the Neonatal Unit but she is brilliant now. She is 10 months old. I never thought this would happen to me. All I ever say to anyone is Never Give Up.