A pregnant mum who should have been preparing to welcome her newborn into the world has been told she has cancer.
Durham mum Emma Baker already has three other children, and now she must battle leukaemia as she prepares to give birth to her fourth.
The brave 30-year-old is preparing to deliver her baby early so she can start chemotherapy.
Now, Emma has told of her heartache as she embarks on the biggest battle of her life with boyfriend Jack Donald by her side.
“I am devastated, my emotions are up and down,” Emma, who also has children Emily, 12, Lucy ,10, and seven-year-old Harry, told the Chronicle Live .
“I found out I was pregnant in June, just two weeks after having a miscarriage.
"We were trying for a child but I didn’t expect to fall pregnant again so soon after having the miscarriage.
“Jack and I were definitely delighted, we got everything in place and planned having our baby together.
"Early on we were told our baby had fluid on her head but that went down and everything else was fine.
“But at 29 weeks into my pregnancy, I had blood tests on January 2.
"The tests were taken at 9am and by the afternoon I had a phone call from the doctor saying I had to go to the surgery.
"It was then I was told that she thought I had leukaemia.
“I had to go to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle the next day, which was on the Friday, and met with my professor.
"I got more blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy and by the Monday it was confirmed I had leukaemia.
“I went from being so happy from expecting our baby to being so devastated. I went from one emotion to another.”
Emma’s boyfriend has been her rock as she struggles to come to terms with what is happening.
“Jack has been with me all the time, he’s my rock and he’s helping me get through this,” said Emma, of Witton Gilbert, County Durham.
“Since they told me, Jack has been in a bit of a daze, he took it worse than me.
“I’ve been trying to stay strong for my other three kids. The two oldest know what is happening but Harry just knows I am poorly.
"I told the girls that I have poorly blood in my body and I need to go to hospital and that I will lose my hair.”
It is planned that medics will induce Emma on January 27 so she can have her baby early when she is just over 32 weeks into her pregnancy.
“We know our baby is a girl and we have chosen the name Paisley," she said.
"She will be delivered at the Royal Victoria Infirmary where she will go to the Special Care Baby Unit and I will be transferred to the Freeman.
"The kids will be at home with Jack and they will come and visit me in one hospital and baby Paisley in another.”
Emma will spend four to six weeks in the Freeman while she undergoes chemotherapy and blood transfusions.
And, if all goes to plan, it is expected that tiny Paisley will spend around three weeks in hospital before being allowed home.
Emma added: “They said I would definitely lose my hair so I will have to wear a wig.
"I don’t want to distress the children, I don’t want them to see me being bald.
“They have said because of my age and the fact they have caught this early then they hope I'll make a full recovery. But we haven’t talked about that in depth.”
Jack, a window engineer, said: “I was over the moon when we found out Emma was pregnant.
"This is my first so I was so excited. But then when we were told she had leukaemia, I felt my heart was ripped out.”
Jack doesn’t drive so he will have to make daily bus journeys with the three children from their County Durham home to Newcastle, where they will catch another bus to the Freeman and then return to the city centre to go to the RVI to visit Paisley.
Jack has set up a GoFundMe page with a £1,000 target to raise enough money to buy Emma a wig and gather cash for bus fares so the family can make regular visits.
He said: "I just looked at her and thought of how she was carry our baby and how she was going through all of this. I just wanted to do something special for her.
“I want to raise enough money to get her a wig and enough money to pay for bus fares to get the kids to and from hospital. The kids need that and it will keep Emma’s morale up.
“I have taken four weeks sick off work but I will have to take longer. I hope she pulls through, I can’t wish that enough.
“There are a lot of mixed emotions going around at the minute. The thought of having a baby with Emma was just amazing and then this happened. It is totally different to how we planned but we will get through it.”
Anyone wanting to donate can visit their GoFundMe page here.
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