Since November 2017, Borne has been running ProgrAm, a clinical study of the use of aminophylline with progesterone to delay the onset of preterm labour. Currently ProgrAm is testing the tolerability of the drug. Charlotte, one of the women who took part in ProgrAm, was kind enough to share her story and that of her daughter Molly.
Late in 2017, my husband Jamie and I lost our first baby, only 17 weeks into the pregnancy. My cervix opened and then closed. I stayed in hospital for 3 weeks with the hope of saving our baby. Sadly, I had a premature rupture of the membrane and had to wait for our baby to die before enduring a terrible 7-hour labour. The event was traumatic, and I was unsure I would ever get over it.
No one could tell me why it had happened or give me any solution. Eventually I was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix and I lost all hope that I would ever be a mother. At 41 I didn’t have time on my side.
Amazingly, I became pregnant again. But I was terrified of losing the baby. It’s all I could think about. Because of my experience, my physician referred me to Borne to take part in a trial for a new drug to prolong pregnancy.
Being part of the study was a great experience. Being part of a medical trial, I knew I was doing something that gave our baby the very best chance and that had the potential to help other families.
The support we received was incredible and gave us hope throughout my pregnancy. I had a cervical stitch put in at 12 weeks and then started with the medication.
Being part of a medical trial, I knew I was doing something that gave our baby the very best chance and that had the potential to help other families.
Most importantly, I got to see Natasha (Borne-funded obstetrician) as well as Maria and Layla (Borne-funded research midwives) every couple of weeks. Without that regular check-in and reassurance, I would have been in pieces. Every time I had a wobble (and I had many) they would put my mind at rest.
Natasha told me, “we’ll be happy to get you to 28 weeks.” 28 weeks came, and we increased the aim to 34 weeks. Helping me focus on these milestones really helped me manage my anxiety.
Our adorable Molly was born at 37 weeks, days after my cervical stitch was removed. As soon as I held her safely in my arms it was such a relief. An end to nine months of panic and the beginning of our new chapter as a family.
To the donors, clinicians and scientists who have helped make ProgrAm happen – it’s impossible to put our gratitude into words. I cannot believe that there hasn’t been more research into preterm birth before, and I am so glad it is happening now through Borne.
Because of their unfailing support we have realised our dream of welcoming our baby safely into the world. Our hope is that more families can receive the treatment and support they need to minimise the risk of pre-term birth. I hope that, like Molly, many more babies are helped to reach the milestones that can ensure their safe arrival.
I feel so privileged to have been able to play a part in supporting Borne, preventing premature birth and to be a mother to our wonderful baby girl. Dreams really do come true.