Womenz Magazine

Mum who lost 9 stone to get pregnant gave birth to a tiny baby 16 weeks early

(Image: Della Shiel / SWNS)

Della Shiel of Rotherham, Yorkshire, faced fertility challenges and took drastic measures to increase her chances of pregnancy. After a year of trying, she underwent gastric bypass surgery, losing nine stone. Her efforts were rewarded when she and her partner Joe Morris discovered they were expecting in October 2022.

However, Della’s pregnancy was far from smooth. Plagued by intense morning sickness, her worries escalated when she experienced significant bleeding in March 2023. A visit to Rotherham General Hospital revealed she was already 5cm dilated. Two days later, amidst the unexpected onset of labor, Della underwent an emergency delivery at Bradford Royal Infirmary due to umbilical cord prolapse.

Her son, Henry Morris, was born weighing just over a pound, and his small size was even more evident when compared to his toy octopus. Due to his premature birth, Henry faced a series of health challenges, including sepsis, acute kidney injury, jaundice, and the need for nine blood transfusions. He remained in the hospital for 100 days, told SWNS.

Henry’s resilient spirit shone through as he battled these early obstacles. Returning home 12 days before his expected due date, he now weighs a healthy 9lbs 6oz. Della, a homeless officer, shared her overwhelming emotions during the journey: “Seeing Henry for the first time was surreal. It was difficult recognizing him as my own. But now, having him home is simply lovely.”

Despite the early trauma, Della and Joe are adapting to parenthood. Henry has undergone laser eye surgery for retinopathy of prematurity and continues to be monitored for a heart condition. Yet, life at home seems relatively normal. Della remarks, “He behaves just like any newborn – he eats, sleeps, and of course, fills up his nappies.”

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