As an endo warrior, Danielle always knew her journey to parenthood would be a difficult one. But even with severe endometriosis, Danielle is proof that natural conception is still possible. The Spring 2023 Due Date Group Grapeviner Mum recently shared her inspiring birth story after welcoming her daughter, Olivia Grace, into the world.
“I have stage 4 endometriosis with a history of five laparoscopies and therefore I froze my eggs in 2020. We had a miscarriage in September 2022 and had been trying to spontaneously fall pregnant for a year before we conceived our little rainbow baby Olivia.
“I had a rather difficult pregnancy. When I was 5 weeks pregnant, I started suffering severe abdominal pain and light bleeding. After having had a miscarriage 4 months before, it was quite disheartening. Following a trip to the emergency room, it was found that I had a large ovarian cyst that was ‘pressing’ against and competing for space with my growing womb. Whilst this resolved with time, it resulted in several emergency trips to the hospital and a change in specialists which was quite unsettling.
“I then developed Hyperemesis Gravidarum and spent the rest of my pregnancy quite unwell. I lost 8kg at the beginning of my pregnancy and spent some time in the hospital on IV fluids and antiemetics (to prevent nausea). I then spent the rest of my pregnancy layering different medications to be able to function in my high-demand career.
As well as battling endometriosis, Danielle also suffers from chronic diverticulitis – which causes extreme abdominal pain – and has previously had Harrington Rods inserted in her spine to correct severe scoliosis (a curving of the spine). Unfortunately due to her complex medical history, she was told a vaginal birth would be too risky.
“Our caesarean went smoothly with no complications and at 7:32 am our beautiful daughter was born.
“Her birth could not have been any more magical and we couldn’t have been happier.”
Diagnosed with hip dysplasia
While their little girl looked perfect, it was discovered during her newborn examination that Olivia had bilateral hip dysplasia – a condition where the baby’s hip joints don’t develop properly.
“We were told she would need an ultrasound that day and a referral to a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon would occur.
“Olivia was put into a Pavlik Harness at 3 days old for the hip dysplasia which broke my heart, but she seems to be coping well.
“Babies who are breech or are twins are far more likely to have hip dysplasia due to their positioning in the womb, but Olivia was neither of these. It is hereditary but neither of our families have it running back through so the specialist isn’t quite sure why it happened. It just does sometimes I guess.
“She’s still in the harness 24/7 at this stage and will hopefully start weaning out next week (9 weeks old). For four weeks, you start with smaller periods per day out of the harness and increase each week and then after that 4 weeks you do another 6 weeks with her just wearing it when she’s sleeping.
“If all goes well and she’s hip healthy after that period, then she’ll just have an x-ray or ultrasound every 6 months until she’s 14 and then yearly until she’s 18.”
We can’t help but think Olivia looks extra cute in her harness, and wish her all the best in her journey ahead!