A story of an extra special baby

Posted March 8, 2018

Jawaher Faris, a 39-year-old woman from Madinah in Saudi Arabia was surprised to find out she was pregnant. She had been on dialysis for six years and did not think it would be possible to become pregnant again. After 28 weeks and four days, she delivered a healthy baby boy.

The cause of Jawaher’s kidney failure is unknown, but her list of diagnoses includes hypertension, epilepsy and cerebrovascular accident. Since starting on dialysis, pregnancy was never on her mind. Most women on dialysis become infertile and she thought that this was true also in her case. To her great surprise, she found out that she was pregnant and on 27 December in 2017, after 28 weeks and four days, she delivered a healthy baby boy called Meteb through C-section. And yes, his kidneys were healthy too. Jawaher was thrilled to become a mother again, with this baby being her sixth child. She describes how the birth of her son has given her joy and a new confidence and how she feels her son is a true blessing and a gift from God.

Pregnancy in women on dialysis needs to be handled with extreme caution and is generally not recommended until after the woman has received a transplant. So it came as no surprise that Jawaher had mixed feelings of happiness and worries when finding out she was pregnant. She also worried that her baby would have health problems because of her own illness. Her dialysis treatment had to be adjusted from three times per week to daily sessions. She explains how she was very motivated to face any challenges coming her way for the sake of her baby’s health. She explains how her baby gave her a new kind of strength.

She also describes how it had not been possible without the support and competence of her medical team at Diaverum. The moment she shared the news that she was pregnant, plans were put in motion including education on the following: (1) effects of dialysis on pregnancy, (2) possible complications such as premature delivery and elective C-section delivery, (3) importance of daily dialysis and (4) close monitoring of her weight and review of her medication list adjusting dosing and/or change medications to ones more suitable to her pregnant state. It was also crucial that an aligned care plan was in place involving all concerned doctors, so she was referred to an Obstetrician and a Neurologist. She experienced bleeding during the pregnancy and when this occurred she was immediately transferred to a hospital where she was well taken care of.

Jawaher’s doctor explains how her case was particularly challenging since she is epileptic and taking anti-convulsion medications. Therefore, managing her condition during pregnancy required very close care from the whole Diaverum team. She received daily support from team members at the centre including the medical director, doctors, a dietician, social worker and nurses. It took the immense efforts of this passionate group of people to make it truly a positive journey.

Today, Meteb is doing well and growing fast. Jawaher’s dream for her son is to have a bright future and to grow up believing that anything is possible.

(the text in the image means May God protect you)