A mum who was told her unborn baby had died in the womb has brought her daughter home for the first time, three months after giving birth.
Shelagh McAlpine, 37, from Glasgow, suffered a placental abruption when she was 28 weeks pregnant - putting her and her unborn daughter's life in danger. She was rushed to hospital and was told she had lost her unborn baby as doctors struggled to find a heartbeat.
But little Mia Rose was still alive, and despite being diagnosed with a life-threatening blood clot on her arm and holes in her lung and heart, she pulled through, weighing just 2lb, 10oz when she was born 12 weeks early.
"It was heartbreaking. It has been a very traumatic and difficult time," says Shelagh. "I started to bleed heavily at 4am on April 25 so called an ambulance straight away and was rushed to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, in Paisley, Renfrewshire.
"My due date was July 15 so I was panicking and I thought I had lost my baby - it was terrifying and I was completely distraught. My partner, Stephen, was working away in London when it happened so I was in hospital alone, leaving my son, Reece, who's two, with family - but he had witnessed everything.
"Doctors couldn't detect Mia Rose's heartbeat for about seven minutes - they were the longest seven minutes of my life. When they found it I was so relieved, but still so scared about what could happen. I was rushed in for an emergency caesarean and my beautiful baby girl, Mia Rose, entered the world. She needed ten blood transfusions, while I needed two.
"But now we are over the moon she's home and our family is complete."
Stephen, 30, made the dash to be at his wife's bedside when he heard what had happened and then followed his daughter to Yorkhill where she underwent life-saving surgery to remove a blood clot from her arm.
Surgeons told him Mia Rose's arm would need to be operated on immediately and he had to sign a consent form giving his permission to amputate if necessary.
Another blood clot was found further up her arm, but both were successfully removed. The next 72 hours were critical as Mia Rose could have lost her arm or foot - which had turned black due to a lack of oxygen
"Surgeons were delighted with her progress and said that no child her age and weight had survived an operation as big as she had," says Shelagh. "Only time would tell what would happen, it was a very nerve-wracking experience."
Mia Rose slowly recovered, although she lost the top of two fingers on her left hand and the tips of three other fingers.
She suffered another setback a few weeks later when doctors discovered a hole in the baby girl's heart and lung, but once more the little girl continued to battle through.
Mia Rose has since made a full recovery and was welcomed to the family home on August 1.
"She has been through so much and has battled everything she's come up against, now she is a healthy wee baby," says Shelagh. "We feel so blessed to have her - she is our little miracle."
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