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Kent's 'miracle' baby survives against the odds

Baby Lennon born at DVH on April 15

by Mary Graham

Meet Lennon - a true miracle baby - who so easily might not have been here today.

The tot has battled huge odds to be born, as mum Paula Rivett  believed she could not fall pregnant after having an operation to remove the lining of her womb.

Not only did she fall pregnant but she went onto give birth to Lennon, who is now safely home with his loving family.

Baby Lennon born at DVH on April 15Paula, 38, of Maritime Gate, Gravesend , said: “People keep calling him a miracle baby, especially everyone in the hospital who heard about him.”

Paula has suffered from endometriosis - a condition that causes very painful and heavy periods - for most of her life.

In May 2010, she opted for an endometrial ablation, an operation to remove the womb lining, to cure the problem.

It meant Beatles fan Paula, who is also mum to eight-year-old Harrison, did not have any periods.

She said: “I was told it was extremely rare to fall pregnant and I just accepted that I would not have any more children, even though I always wanted one.”

Over Christmas she began noticing changes to her body.

She said: “I started feeling tired and just put that to feeling run down.

"My bipolar medication had recently been changed, so I just thought that was making me feel lethargic and, of course, I had no periods.

“I remember lying in the bath - it was now January - and looking at my stomach and I really did look like I was pregnant. I still looked pregnant when I tried to suck my tummy in.

“I also had heartburn and the only time I had heartburn before was when I was pregnant with Harrison.

“A friend who had recently had a pregnancy scare had left one of the kits at my home, so to remove all doubt, I took the test.”

Paula Rivett has had miracle baby Lennon

What followed was a rush to see medics at Darent Valley Hospital, who confirmed Paula was six months pregnant.

“When they found out I was six months gone and had the endometrial ablation, their first reaction was: “oh bugger” before they formed a plan of action.

“I didn’t want to look at the screen when they took the first scan; I was so nervous it would all go wrong, but he was perfect and fully formed.

“I found out later that if the pregnancy had been discovered earlier, all the advice would have been to terminate it.

“I was told that Lennon had attached himself to a muscle in my womb.”

Paula Rivett has had miracle baby Lennon.

Without a womb lining, the danger facing Lennon was that he would not get enough oxygen. The risks to Paula included bleeding to death, her womb collapsing and her placenta rupturing.

After popping into Gravesend town centre after a regular check up on March 24, Paula began to experience contractions and rushed back to hospital.

She was admitted and stayed there until the day Lennon arrived - 4.30pm on Friday, April 15 - around six weeks earlier than his due date of May 29.

On April 15, Paula began bleeding heavily and doctors decided to deliver Lennon immediately.

Paula was anaesthetised and had a cesarean section. As she gave birth, her womb and placenta collapsed and doctors performed a hysterectomy.

Lennon, who was born weighing 5lb 8oz, spent several weeks in the Special Care baby unit. Finally on Sunday, May 1, mum and baby were reunited at home.

Consultant obstetrician Mark Waterstone, who looked after Paula said: “All safe births are wonderful, but it was particularly pleasing to hear Paula and Lennon were fine.

“Statistics on endometrial ablation show only around three to five women out of every 1,000 who have the operation get pregnant but the odds of having a live birth are even less.”

Paula, who works at Sainsbury’s at Pepper Hill, said: “Everyone at Darent Valley deserves a huge thank you as I was really well looked after.

“Perhaps it was fate I did not discover I was pregnant earlier, as Lennon might not be here today. He really is a miracle.”

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