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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2006, 15:42 GMT
Baby found minutes before womb op
Jeremy, Natasha and Henry Hill-Cannan
The Hill-Cannan family celebrated Henry's christening recently
A woman who was minutes away from having a hysterectomy after years of failing to conceive discovered she was pregnant after a routine test.

Natasha Hill-Cannan, 33, had attempted to start a family for eight years, and had tried IVF without success.

The mother from Ebbw Vale suffered from endometriosis, an agonising condition affecting the womb, and agreed to a hysterectomy to try to end the pain.

Her son Henry was born seven months after the cancelled operation.

Mrs Hill-Cannan has spoken for the first time about the birth last August after what she calls her "miracle".

She had agreed to the hysterectomy at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny following advice from her consultant.

She had been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome in 1994, which caused her to have an irregular menstrual cycle, and with endometriosis in 2000.

When we were told that was our baby, he fell off the bed and I started crying
Natasha Hill-Cannan

Mrs Hill-Cannan had been told the chances of having a baby would be very low, as her husband Jeremy, 36, also had a low sperm count.

Initially, she did not think the test result meant anything, as she had had false positive results in the past.

She said: "I had psyched myself for the operation and had been in pain for many years. We had been told we could not have children and I just wanted to be free of pain.

"I was devastated when the operation was postponed because positive pregnancy results had been part of the health problems I was suffering and nothing had ever come of it.

"Even the consultant said there was only a slim chance I was actually pregnant even though the result was positive."

She was sent for a scan three hours later, which revealed she was 10 weeks pregnant.

"I had rung my husband when the result came back positive, and he said, 'don't be silly'.

"He was sitting on my bed when an image came up on the screen and he said 'What is that?'

We think he truly is a miracle and have to pinch ourselves every day to make sure we are not dreaming
Natasha Hill-Cannan

"When we were told that was our baby, he fell off the bed and I started crying. Even the radiographer was stunned," she said.


"You could hear [the baby's] heart beating and it gives me goose bumps to talk about it now."

Doctors believe drugs she was given to thin the lining of the womb prior to the operation helped her to conceive.

The couple's son Henry was born after just 23 minutes of labour.

Mrs Hill-Cannan said: "Henry is doing extremely well. We think he truly is a miracle and have to pinch ourselves every day to make sure we are not dreaming."

The pregnancy has had a beneficial effect on her condition. "The pain isn't half as bad as it was," she added.

As to having another child, Mrs Hill-Cannan remarked: "How do you build on perfection? If it happens it would be great but I think we're more than happy with Henry."

28 Feb 03 |  Medical notes



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