Miracle babies: Baby Joshua's journey to life

Miracle babies: Baby Joshua's journey to life

CANDIECE KNIGHT

Monday, August 10, 2020

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GISHELLE Robinson-Brown was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in her late teenage years when she was about to start college. Like many of the estimated 10 per cent of women of childbearing age who suffer from the condition, she did not have any extremely painful symptoms, so she was not bothered by it until 2017 when she was trying to get pregnant.

“It was neither here nor there for me, so I didn't really pay too much attention to the weight gain, or the hair on my chin, or any of that. I figured that's how my family was, so I didn't get treatment for it,” she shared with All Woman.

When she met her spouse in 2013, he would often remark that he wanted two sons, but knowing that her ovaries were compromised, she would brush off his remarks by saying that she did not know if children were in her future.

“But in 2016 when I lost my mother, I decided that I wanted a daughter of my own. I tried for the entire year in 2017 and I didn't get pregnant. I said, 'OK, no baby for me' and left it alone,” she remembered.

But by 2018, after she had got engaged, the young woman was forced to pay attention to her body.

“I was at work one month and I had my period. It was so terrible. My cramps were painful and it was heavier than normal,” she divulged. “So I went to the gynaecologist and he did an ultrasound that I actually got a breakdown of what PCOS is.”

Her gynaecologist, Dr Jordan Hardie, put her on metformin right away to help lower her insulin and blood sugar levels and stimulate ovulation. He also recommended that she make lifestyle changes to begin getting her extra weight (one of the most common symptoms of PCOS) under control.

“I was 245 pounds and two weeks after that when I went back for a second check-up, I was 250 pounds,” she said. “Dr Hardie was surprised that I was gaining instead of losing weight... but little did we know that I was pregnant.”

For the next few weeks, though she was being plagued by terrible nausea and strange cravings, Robinson-Brown did not even for a second think that she was pregnant.

It was not until she was six weeks pregnant that her little trooper made himself known to her.

“When I did that ultrasound and I heard that heartbeat, I felt my life change,” she said happily.

But that euphoria would soon be gone, as the nausea only got worse from there.

“I was vomiting like there was no tomorrow. I could not even take my prenatals or drink water,” she grimaced.

She was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a pregnancy complication that is characterised by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration.

By the 12th week she was admitted to the hospital twice, because her symptoms were so severe

“We just had to accept the vomiting and everything that came with it. I couldn't work the day shift at work, so they allowed me to work on the night which was slow so I could lie down,” the hospital cashier said. “It got a little better around 20 weeks and I started to eat. I felt like I was making up for lost time.”

The slight return of her appetite caused Robinson-Brown to begin rapidly gaining weight, which brought with it a new set of complications.

“After my sixth month, I started to have high pressures. At 32 weeks when we did an ultrasound my belly was huge but the baby just weighed like two pounds, and the doctor was worried that he was too small.”

She was once again admitted and monitored, as the violent nausea had returned.

“I went back at 34 weeks and they admitted me instantly because I was 18 pounds heavier. I could barely go. My feet couldn't fit in anything at all. I was so huge.”

The only silver lining was that the baby now weighed about six pounds. She was sent home on bedrest, and she did everything but rest. She instead decided to get married.

“I wanted to ensure that when my son gets older and he looks at his birth certificate he sees that his mother and father are married,” she shared. “So I stayed in bed one night and sent out the invitations, and within a week I walked down the aisle.”

Not long after she tied the knot, she had to be rushed to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing. Another ultrasound showed that the baby was now weighing on the heavier side, so the doctors scheduled her for a C-section. Her blood pressure soared alarmingly high the following day, but thankfully it dropped right before her operation.

“I heard him come up crying and I fell in love right there and then. It was so good, and although I started to have some complications afterwards, he was healthy and I was happy,” she smiled.

Joshua Michael Brown was born at 37 weeks weighing over eight pounds, and the couple finally had their miracle baby.

But mama was not out of the woods. Robinson-Brown got terribly ill shortly after leaving the hospital, and would later find out that she had developed pneumonia.

“Everybody was so afraid to discharge me,” she remembered of the last time she left the hospital. “When they read my case they were like, 'How are you still alive?'”

But Robinson-Brown knew how. She testified that she knew that she was in God's hand the entire time, and she had the support and prayers of her loving husband and church family as she walked through the valley.

“Motherhood is something else. It's been a journey,” she said, sharing that Joshua is now 16 months old. “I can say to any woman who has been trying, that I am an example to show that hope is still there and it can happen. It's not our timing. It's God's timing. Leave the process alone and allow it to work.”


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