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York mum's amazing fight to have baby
A YORK mum who endured a traumatic pregnancy has celebrated the birthday party she feared she would never see.
Last year, Rochanne Hardstaff became the seventh generation of her family to give birth at 21 to a baby girl, but both she and little Ruby-Leigh Bowman were struggling to survive.
But on Thursday, they celebrated Ruby-Leigh’s first birthday with a family gathering in York.
During her pregnancy, Rochanne was admitted to intensive care three times with a severe kidney infection.
After antibiotics and a kidney operation failed to prevent her condition deteriorating, medics decided to deliver her baby early, at 33 weeks.
Rochanne said: “Ruby-Leigh came early at 33 weeks when the hospital decided there were no more safe antibiotics they could give me and it would be safer for Ruby-Leigh to be born than to go to full-term.
“Originally they wanted to deliver her at 25 weeks, but I said no and asked them to look at other options.
“So they did an operation on my kidney to fit a tube inside to help me cope.
“ I was so ill it had to be one or the other.”
But when Rochanne became seriously ill again, her baby was delivered.
Both mother and baby were treated in intensive care at the James Cook University Hospital at Middlesbrough, and after Ruby-Leigh was born – weighing only 4lb 6oz – she was transferred to the Friarage Hospital, Northallerton, until she was strong enough to go home.
Ruby-Leigh marked her first birthday alongside the four surviving generations of women in the family to give birth to girls at the age of 21.
Ruby-Leigh has her mother, her grandmother Andrea Hardstaff, 44, from Catterick, her great-grandmother, Denise Lowe, 65, from Richmond and her great great grandmother, Margaret Grady, 86, also from Richmond.
They celebrated with a party at Rochanne’s home in York.
“Ruby-Leigh has done amazing, I couldn’t wish for anything better,” said proud Rochanne.
“She’s crawling, her hearing is perfect and her sight is perfect.
“She’s still in three to six month-old-clothes, so she’s still really small, but she’s quite intelligent.
“Considering what she went through and how she came through, she did really well. She’s quite a character now.”
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