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Minutes read

Natasha Spacie: My Birth Story

A heart defect, a wedding and a miracle baby!

Author Natasha Spacie
Categories   Pregnancy

I first found out I was pregnant the day after Valentine’s Day 2017, after being told in October the previous year we wouldn’t be able to have children. It was surreal. I couldn’t believe how lucky we truly were.

Everything in my pregnancy was perfect up until 20 weeks. Scans are intense as it is, without the sonographer ‘umm-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ over the screen, idly swapping from one view to another. We were sent for a walk and asked to come back. When we returned, there were two ladies in the room talking amongst themselves, agreeing it would be best if we were referred to another hospital for specialist scans as something didn’t look right with baby’s heart.

There it was confirmed Edward, our baby, had a VSD – a ventricular septal defect in his heart. We were ushered into a little family room and left with our own thoughts and fears for what felt like an eternity. After so long the consultant came in with leaflets, diagrams and more technical words than we could ever consider understanding. We were told our baby wasn’t well, but we didn’t get enough time to process this and to go through our emotions.

Within half an hour we were handed organ harvesting leaflets and odds were pushed under our noses. Edward had a high risk of developing further diseases along with his VSD and we were urged to get tested. We were told he wouldn’t survive birth; they were certain his lungs would flood at birth and if he did survive, he wouldn’t live longer than a few weeks. The type of testing came with a huge risk of miscarriage, so we were left to think it through. At this point, we decided to pay for private testing which didn’t give any risk of miscarriage – and it was worth every penny for that exact reason!

The private results came back that Edward wouldn’t suffer with further diseases, but his chances were still slim. Still, it was a little win.

My partner works away, so he came home one night and I told him I’d booked the wedding – we were engaged before I fell pregnant but weren’t in a rush to wed. We got married 89 days later! Between booking the wedding and the day itself we spent a lot of time travelling to and from our two hospitals, continuing to receive specialist guidance and care for Edward.

The date of our next appointment fell on the same day as my husband’s stag do and since every appointment always seemed to be the same, I insisted I didn’t need him there. Instead, myself, my mum and my mother-in-law had a day out on the train and attended the appointment together. I’m not sure who was more scared when we walked in the room. There were at least eight doctors and specialists ready to talk to me, which to me was nothing out of the ordinary, but it was all new to the two women with me! I’d had various bleeding throughout my pregnancy, each time thinking I could be losing my baby.

In this appointment we did the usual of scanning Edward’s heart and received the most amazing news. The hole had closed significantly. This huge hole that threatened my baby’s future was now small, tiny infact, and didn’t oppose any major risk to him. I would be able to give birth closer to home, he wasn’t faced with numerous issues and his odds of surviving birth and living a normal life past three weeks had more than quadrupled. I could do nothing but cry with happiness.

I called Luke straight away but he had little signal, so he rang me back from a pay phone near Snowdon! I dare say he probably drank a little more than he should have that night, in celebration! Our wedding day was perfect, it wasn’t extravagant or anything, but it was special to us. It was a moment for us to appreciate one another and to remember in all of this, we had each other.

Here’s a funny story: my husband has two middle names and I was so scared of getting them both wrong, that during the entire time my vows were being read to me for me to repeat, I was saying to myself “Luke Edward James Spacie, Luke Edward James Spacie.” Then when the time came to speak out loud, I completely missed his first name off and called my husband Edward! Later that evening when we cut our wedding cake it was blue inside, to tell us we were having a little boy. It was at the moment we knew his name had to be Edward! It was fate.

A few weeks later and my waters broke naturally, around a week before I eventually gave birth. Baby and I were closely monitored in hospital for a few days until we decided being at home to rest was the best place for us. My husband took me home on the agreement I came back every day for monitoring until I gave birth. I had one day of monitoring before Edward decided enough was enough and he was coming!

The contractions started just as my partner came home from work. In the hospital I was hooked up to monitors again and told it was slow. So, we did what again we thought was best and came home. If I was going to give birth, I at least needed to sleep peacefully for a while. I was back in the house less than ten minutes before starting to lose blood, so back I went.

I was taken straight to a delivery room and again, Edward and I were both monitored. With every contraction his heart rate plummeted. He was struggling. The decision was made that I needed emergency surgery. At 5:31am on Wednesday 27th September 2017, six weeks before his due date, our little miracle was born. He was 5lb 6oz of pure squishiness.

After birth he was in the NICU for a week, whilst I was discharged and recovered at home, and he had numerous echoes just to make sure his heart was truly whole.

Edward is perfectly fine now, and he is perfect in every way. I remind myself daily just how lucky we are. I need to remind myself more so when he’s being a typical 4-year-old and pushing the boundaries! We went from the scariest months of our lives to now counting down to celebrate our baby’s 5th birthday!

Author Natasha Spacie
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Natasha Spacie, 27, lives in Derbyshire with her husband, son and two fur babies. After her experience of birth trauma, Natasha now has the confidence to speak about her pregnancy and labour to provide comfort and reassurance to others on similar journeys. 

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