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Mum endures 75 day labour to give her babies a chance to live

Triplets’ mum spends last two and a half months of pregnancy upside down to stop her babies being born too premature

Posted: 14 March 2012
by Anna Lewis
pregnancy complications for this baby
Joanna's selflessness saved the lives of her unborn babies

Joanna Krzysztonek spent more than 10 weeks upside down to save the lives of her unborn babies after going into labour at just 21 weeks.

Joanna was pregnant with triplets when she went into premature labour. Her first baby was born at 21 weeks, but was sadly too weak to survive.

Her other babies were in serious danger of suffering the same heartbreaking fate so doctors made the decision to step in and try and stop their delivery.

Doctors gave Joanna, 31, medication to stop her contractions and got her to lie on a bed, tilted at a 30° angle, with her feet pointing up. The umbilical cord was tied and put back inside her uterus. Joanna remained in this position for 24 hours a day for two and a half months.

Selfless mum Joanna has said that she didn’t think of her own discomfort when doctors gave her this option, she was just glad to be helping her unborn babies come into the world safely.

“I was relieved when there was a chance to keep the pregnancy and to give the babies a chance to be born successfully,” she says.

“It would be fair to say that this situation, throughout the 75 days, was like trying not to jog a live bomb,” Joanna’s doctor Professor Mariusz Zimmer explains.

“This started with the premature birth of Mrs Krzysztonek’s first triplet, who had no chance of survival, and ended with the birth of the third triplet. The whole process was very risky,” he adds.

Last month, at 32 weeks into Joanna’s pregnancy, doctors decided to deliver babies Iga and Ignacy by caesarean. Each weighed just under 4lb and are still in incubators, but are expected to head home soon. Joanna spends every day by their sides.

“I am feeling so elated that words can’t describe it,” the proud mum exclaims.

“I’ve been told the labour was a world record,” she continues. “I am amazed by what happened but all I want to do is express my gratitude to the staff of this hospital for their wisdom and helpfulness. I would never have been able to get through this without them.”

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labour, pregnancy, 75 days, premature birth, upside down, triplets, unborn babies, contractions, umbilical cord, uterus, caesarean, incubators, world record
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