Kent's 'miracle' baby survives against the odds
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.
Paula, 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
"My bipolar medication had recently been changed, so I just
thought that was making me feel lethargic and, of course, I had no
“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.”
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
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
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
“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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