Mum gave birth at 23 weeks, only six months into her pregnancy after her waters broke.
Lauren’s pregnancy problems began when she was 16 weeks pregnant when she developed a kidney infection. Doctors discovered “low lying” placenta previa at 20 weeks, which led to her waters breaking at 23 weeks. When she realized she was going into labor. Doctors prescribed antibiotics and determined that it would not go away but that she could live with it while pregnant.
Lauren Coates was 23 weeks pregnant when she learned her waters had broken. She gave birth more than three months early and had to wait seven agonizing days to see if her baby would survive. The 27-year-old was informed that if the baby arrived early, it would do so within the next seven days. She was “probably safe” if she was not born within that week. The problem was caused by placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta of a pregnant woman lies very low in the uterus.
However, if she arrived early, there was only a 30% chance that the baby, Lauren’s first, would survive. The woman from Seaham, County Durham, then endured an agonizing seven-day wait to see if the baby would arrive. “It was just horrifying,” she remarked. “I was watching the time. Every night at midnight, I knew it was an extra day.” Lauren sat down to eat a takeaway with Simon on the seventh day, but she was in so much pain that she couldn’t eat.The nutritionist was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where Alora, weighing 1lb 2oz, was born four hours later on February 8. She was given a 50% chance of survival at birth. Because she was so small, it took specialist doctors nearly eight hours to fit her with a breathing tube. Alora, on the other hand, has doubled in weight and is thriving after only seven weeks.
“She wouldn’t have made it if it hadn’t been for those seven days,” Lauren said. “It’s critical to get that extra week because babies’ lungs don’t develop, and they can’t breathe for themselves if they are born too soon.”
Lauren Coates did not meet Alora when she was born because the neonatal team came in and took her away. They believe she has defied all odds, sailing through it and doing exceptionally well.
Doctors say she’s not out of the woods until the baby is out the door. Som̾e̾t̾h ̾ing could still go wrong, but they hope it doesn’t. Lauren and Simon have now launched an online fundraising campaign to thank the Sunderland NICU for their lifesaving care. “We were bringing in chocolates for the nurses, but we felt like there was som̾e̾t̾h ̾ing more we could do,” she explained. We wanted to give them som̾e̾t̾h ̾ing that would help the entire unit.