AT 21 weeks pregnant, Sarah Craig’s waters broke while she sat at her desk at work.
The 32-year-old was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and treated for possible sepsis.
Sarah, of Portsmouth, said: ‘A midwife called Jackie Davis potentially saved my and my son’s life that day. Her care was exemplary and she had a lovely bedside manner, making me feel as calm as possible, in a very scary situation.’
She was also diagnosed with Preterm Premature Rupture of membranes (PPROM) – when the waters break before 37 weeks and without the amniotic fluid to protect the baby, it leaves mothers and babies at risk of infection.
After 24 hours on the labour ward Sarah was told there was a very high chance she would have a miscarriage and she and husband Nathan had to make a decision between terminating the pregnancy or waiting until the baby was 24 weeks
The Horndean Parish Council employee said: ‘We decided to not give up on our baby and let our baby make the choice to fight.
‘We were scared of the outcome going forward but our baby was very much wanted. I was told to be careful at home and rest as much as possible but also to go for short walks or move around the house to avoid the risk of blood clots.
‘I was told not to let anything pull on my tummy and I had to take my temperature every four hours and was told to look out for signs of infection, which could be fatal to me and my baby.’
During research about her PPROM diagnosis, Sarah stumbled upon charity Little Heartbeats which was founded in 2010 by Ciara Curran who lost her first born baby Sinead because of the condition.
Sarah said: ‘Little Heartbeats gave me hope in continuing with my pregnancy. They say that where there is a heart beat, there is hope and it is something that kept me going throughout my journey.
‘Their advice proved extremely valuable in helping me look after myself, to try and avoid infection to me and my baby and signs to look out for.’
Founder Ciara added: ‘ All too often they are told there is no hope and that their only option is to terminate, but babies can and do survive this, and if women are supported to continue their pregnancy, with good medical management, there is a chance that they will be able to bring home a surviving baby.
‘We are hampered by lack of funds, lack of education about PPROM, and the fact that women do not know what PPROM is until it happens to them, but we are working hard to address all these issues.’
Thanks to care at QA Hospital and the advice from Little Heartbeats, Sarah gave birth to Jax Austin Craig on September 21 last year, named in honour of midwife Jackie who was known as Jax for short.
She said: ‘Our baby fought hard and continued to grow but he was extremely poorly at birth, with a number of complications- ranging from pulmonary hypertension, an air leak on one of his lungs, underdeveloped lungs and a talipes calcaneus.
‘We were unable to hold him for eight days, which was very hard.
‘Our son is now doing amazing well and I am extremely grateful for the fantastic staff at QA hospital and Little Heartbeats and I want other mums to know about their amazing work.’
For more information on the charity visit little-heartbeats.org.uk/