Meeting Gianna



I went into preterm labour at 35wks.

I was referred to have a Health and Growth Scan to check over everything. Never did we expect to hear the words from our radiographer. There were some abnormalities with our baby's bone growth. Hearing this caused us so much pain and worry. We were then referred to the Foetal Medicine Unit. The abnormalities found in the ultrasound at Qld X-ray were consistent with the second opinion at the Wesley Hospital. Our baby's long bones were measuring 8 weeks behind my dates. I was induced on the 16th of July due to Polyhydramnios (extra amniotic fluid). 

This was to reduce the risk of the cord coming down before the baby's head. The birth was very traumatic. After being induced, the labour pains started coming strong and quickly. They called for an emergency caesarean, but there was no time. I desperately needed pain meds, but there was no time. This pain was so intense compared to my other 2 deliveries that I felt like I would pass out. I remember very quickly having 6 midwives and my OB in the room. I was unsure why. I soon realised the cord was wrapped around my baby's neck. My baby was quickly taken away, and all I saw were extremely purple hands and no crying. They told me I had another girl. God blessed us with another daughter. We named her Gianna, which means "God is Gracious". She was rushed to resus and was soon ok. 

Unfortunately, I ended up with an internal haemorrhage and went straight to theatre. So I did the delivery with no pain meds and then needed a spinal tap for surgery. I was in the theatre for nearly 5 hours, where I became tachycardic, and I was scared I wouldn't make it. I hadn't even had the chance to hold my baby. 

I spent the next 7 days in ICU, needing blood transfusions, plasma transfusions and 24/7 monitoring for the first 3 days. My vision was blurry, and I felt horrible. I got to see my daughter on day 3 when they brought her into ICU to visit me. I soon found out Gianna did have suspected Dwarfism. Gianna had Blood Tests, MRI, Ultra Sounds and X-rays and genetic testing, which confirmed a diagnosis of Achondroplasia, which is Dwarfism. We really want to share our story for you to understand. We want Gianna to grow up in a world that excepts and embraces diversity. Everyone is unique, and we are lucky to experience this wonderful thing called life. Gianna is now 2 years old and requires therapies like physio, speech, podiatry and some modifications at home, but she is doing so well. As parents, we are still learning so much about Achondroplasia Dwarfism each and every day. Please follow our journey on Instagram @belliyahgigi

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