After the trauma of three miscarriages, Louise Neate was desperate for a positive sign when she became pregnant again.
It came from her unborn son himself.
Her 21-week ultrasound scan clearly showed the baby making a V for victory gesture in the womb.
‘Somehow I just knew then that everything was going to be all right,’ said 30-year-old Mrs Neate. ‘It was extremely comforting.’
Everything's alright: The baby's gesture from inside Louise's womb can clearly be seen on the 21-week ultrasound scan
True to his Churchillian gesture, baby Owen arrived safe and healthy and is now doing fine.
Mrs Neate, a recruitment consultant, and her husband Daniel, a project manager, were unaware that she might have fertility problems.
Their first son Samuel had arrived in June 2007, weighing a healthy 8lb 6oz.
After the three tragic miscarriages, however, Mrs Neate was referred for tests to Southmead Hospital, near the family home in Bristol. Specialists diagnosed her with polycystic ovaries, which is a common cause of fertility problems and is associated with a greater miscarriage risk.
She was given medication and became pregnant again last March, but was immediately worried.
Happy and healthy: Baby Owen was born at the end of November and weighed in at 6lb 14oz
‘Every day I just kept expecting to lose him, just like I’d lost the other three babies,’ she said.
In August she went for her 21-week scan. ‘It really was remarkable,’ she said. ‘I was lying on the table and the baby just held up his hand and made the victory sign. The sonographer couldn’t believe it.
‘She zoomed in on his hand and showed me what he was doing. She said she had never come across a baby doing that in the womb before.
‘Dan was with me and when we saw what the baby was doing, we just couldn’t stop laughing. And it really did reassure me. It was as if he was telling us not to worry.
‘We took the scan picture home with us and showed our family and friends. Everyone thought it was hilarious.’
‘After that I started to relax and enjoy the pregnancy more.’ At the end of November she gave birth to Owen, a healthy 6lb 14oz.
‘We were really relieved when he was born safely after everything that had happened,’ she said.
‘He is such a good baby and very relaxed too. He hardly kicked at all whilst he was in the womb.
‘And he’s still really laid-back now he’s been born. He just lies there with his hands behind his head. He’s a really peaceful baby.
‘When he’s old enough we’ll show him that remarkable scan picture and tell him how he managed to reassure us from the womb that everything was going to be all right.’
Professor Kypros Nicolaides, director of the Fetal Medicine Centre in London, said: ‘The baby is extending and exploring its environment, flexing and extending its fingers into a V-sign which must have been very exciting for the parents. It’s a lovely sign for them.’
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