Maria Martin from Staveley suffered brain damage at birth and was later diagnosed with Fowler’s Syndrome, a rare condition which makes it difficult or impossible to pass urine.
She has undergone over thirty operations throughout her life, including having a stoma bag and mitronoff catheter fitted, and as such was told she may struggle to conceive.
But, the 32-year-old said she was overjoyed to discover she was pregnant last March.
Now, just over a year after welcoming her ‘little miracle’ Isabella, Maria has heaped praise for the doctors and maternity staff at Chesterfield Royal Hospital who cared for her.
She said: “Only a few weeks after getting pregnant I got an infection and there was concern that I might have ectopic pregnancy. This was the first time I met Dr Alina Vais, who would become my obstetrician.”
Maria said she was apprehensive due to her medical issues, but that Dr Vais made her feel “so at ease” from the moment they met,
Having suffered multiple urinary tract infections (UTIs), Maria was in-and-out of hospital throughout her pregnancy but said she was “very happy” under the care of Dr Vais.
She added: “At 39 weeks I was admitted again due to an infection. I asked if I could be induced and Dr Vais said she was happy to allow that.
"She wanted me to wait until morning to have my waters broken as she was due to be off that night and wanted to be there for the birth but, a few hours in, I was struggling to breath due to Isabella being so tight in my belly because of scar tissue.
"Dr Vais came in and decided to break my waters. When she left she was on phone every hour asking what was happening I had my daughter eight hours later at 2.07am on November 6, 2020.
"I was told she was wouldn't go to sleep until she knew I was safe and my little girl was here.”
Even after giving birth, Maria faced yet more complications such as low iron and was eventually diagnosed with postpartum thyroiditis, an uncommon condition in which the thryoid gland becomes inflamed after having a baby.
She has praised the support network, naming a mental health midwife Jemma Cox and other medical staff, in particular Dr Vais.
"The love, care and concern I got from [Dr Vais] was incredible and I just want to say thank you for giving me the birth I wanted and looking after me throughout,” she added.
"I never thought I could have children and Dr Vais was my miracle. Isabella is doing really well and if it weren’t for her I don’t know if I’d have managed to go through the pregnancy like I did.”
Dr Vais said she is pleased Maria had “such a positive experience of her maternity journey.”
“We strive to achieve personalised care for all our patients, but it is particularly rewarding when the patient’s needs are complex and we manage to achieve a normal pregnancy outcome, as in Maria’s case,” she added.
“Maria has very kindly agreed to allow us to report her case as posters in two upcoming Congresses, I am immensely grateful to her for allowing this as a contribution to professional learning and education.
“When Maria was discharged from the service after her pregnancy care she gave me as a gift a beautiful keyring which I carry with me daily. It reads ‘May you be proud of the work you do, the person you are and the difference you make’.
"It is the most touching ‘Thank you gift’ I have received and it inspires me to continue to deliver high standards of care for our patients.
“I wish Maria, Isabella and Michael all the best for their future family life. I would hope that Maria considers joining the Maternity Voices Partnership and continue to be involved as a stakeholder in our journey to continuously improve our Maternity Service at Chesterfield.”