A mum has opened up about her unexpected pregnancy after she was diagnosed with a serious complication.
Lucy Varley thought she was on her period when she started suffering stomach pains and excessive bleeding.
But after a few weeks, she discovered she was 20 weeks pregnant with her daughter Nina.
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She went for a scan to reveal she had Placenta Praevia, a high risk pregnancy condition.
Her illness left her fighting for her life, losing almost 80% of her blood and fearing she wouldn't meet her daughter.
She told Liverpool Echo: "What I thought was a menstrual period seemed to roll into the next without a break.
"A couple of days would pass before my bleeding started again, but it was only when I lost my appetite that I really began to worry."
Lucy, who also has a two-year-old son Theo, booked a smear test and was advised to take a pregnancy test.
Still unconvinced after a positive test, Lucy booked a private scan which showed she was 20 weeks pregnant with a healthy girl.
Lucy was booked in for a scan at Whiston Hospital days later having missed antenatal appointments earlier in her pregnancy.
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Despite a healthy baby, Lucy had a low-lying placenta, known as Placenta Praevia, and was referred to a specialist.
The doctor said the condition occurs when the placenta grows deeply into the wall of the uterus.
She was also told she could need a planned C-section and require a full hysterectomy to save her life at the time of birth.
Four weeks later, Lucy was out when she began bleeding and was taken to hospital where they told her it wasn't a concern.
And a week later, she was rushed back to the ward when she started bleeding fresh red blood.
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Just 26 weeks in, it dawned Lucy she could have a premature birth when she was given steroid injections to help Nina's lungs.
The following day, she began bleeding more heavily and was "absolutely petrified" at the thought of not seeing her son again.
She was monitored and had surgery to remove several blood clots to ease her pain and given further injections.
Lucy's hands turned yellow due to severe blood loss and she was rushed off to theatre for a cesarean.
After surgery, Lucy was taken to meet Nina before the newborn was transferred from intensive care to Liverpool Women's Hospital.
At just 2lbs and 2oz, born at 27 weeks and one day, Nina weighed the same as a bag of sugar.
The baby had sepsis, chronic lung disease and respiratory distress syndrome while Lucy could not breathe without oxygen.
She said: "The pain across my fresh C-section wound was excruciating, and I had extreme post-traumatic stress disorder.
"It broke my heart that I was so far from Nina, unable to cuddle and feed my baby, bonding like I should have been.
"So, I began to express breastmilk for her, which was transferred to her hospital and given to her via a feeding tube."
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Lucy continued her recovery in hospital where her son Theo was brought to visit with a "wonderful cuddle".
The mum was discharged from hospital after five days while Nina remained on the neonatal ward where she grew stronger each day.
Throughout her stay, the baby had six blood transfusions, countless scans and tests then eventually came off oxygen.
She was finally united with her big brother Theo who was unable to contain his joy in a "magical moment" at their home.
Now six months old, Nina weighs just 11lbs but is thriving while Lucy has been told she does not require a hysterectomy after all.
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