It wasn’t the most pleasant pregnancy. Being my first, I had no basis of comparison, but I knew I wasn’t enjoying it.
I was sick, uncomfortable, in pain. I was scared and stressed. But I was also thrilled and excited. All in all, it was a pretty boring pregnancy to start with.
At 30 weeks, I went for my usual check up. Everything appeared normal, though the doctor told me my blood pressure was a little high and to rest until my next appointment in a fortnight. I didn’t think much of it. I had already stopped working, being a pregnant waitress is hard on the hips! Hubby and I were living with his elderly, legally blind father, who insisted on cooking and had a cleaner come through weekly. I really wasn’t doing much so didn’t think I needed to rest any further.
Hubby was working weekends at the time, so we were using his days off to get the final things done. So, naturally, at 32 weeks, we had plans for after my doctors appointment. The first thing the doctor did was check my blood pressure.
“You’re blood pressure is too high.” he tells me, “You need to go up to the hospital and get it lowered.”
Since he made it sound like taking the car for an oil change, I replied “Oh. Okay. When?”
“But, I’ve got shopping to do!”
I kid you not. That’s what I said.
He eventually convinced me that this had to happen and that once my blood pressure came down I could go home. I was immediately admitted to hospital and after the first 24 hours it became apparent I wasn’t going home any time soon.
It turned out that I had pre-eclampsia…
and the medication to lower my blood pressure was only stopping it from getting any higher. After a few days of close monitoring, and much testing, I was told my boy was going to be early. The plan was to let him grow for as long as possible while making sure I didn’t get too sick. Strangely, I wasn’t too worried.
It was on a Friday that I had to change hospitals. Upon arrival at the second hospital, which was only half an hour drive from home, I was informed that they had no available beds in NICU, so unless my boy stayed put until the following Monday, I’d have to go to another hospital, around 4 hours away. I had been rushed from one hospital to another because my baby was in distress, just to be told there was nothing more they could do for me for days.
It was then I started to worry.
Luckily, my boy was ready to prove what an awesome kid he is!
He stayed put all weekend with no more signs of distress. I, on the other hand, spent the weekend being an anxious mess. Monday morning rolled around, and after my morning obs at around 6am, I was once again hooked up to the ECG.
Over the last couple of weeks, I had spent many an hour listening to my sons heart rate. It was always pleasant and reassuring. Not long after that, I was on the phone to Mum. She lived about 12 hours drive away, and had kept me sane with many a long conversation in that time. It was around 10am – yes, after 4 hours stuck on the bed – that I noticed my boys heart rate jumping around all over the place. One moment it was 90 bpm and the next 200! Naturally I was concerned. Mum kept telling me to relax and that stressing was going to make things worse. Not too long later, a nurse came in, looked at the read out, and rushed out of the room. I got really nervous.
She returned with a doctor, who also looked at the read out, and promptly told me to get off the phone.
“You’re going to have a baby today” the doctor told me.
“Okay. When? ” I reply.
“As soon as possible “
“Can I call my partner?” I ask. Of course they say it’s ok – as long as I kept it quick.
“Hey babe?” my then boyfriend, now Hubby says blearily.
“Hey babe. The baby’s coming today, you need to get in here.”
“Oh. Okay. When?” he half yawns.
“As soon as possible.” I reply a little frantically.
Assured that he would be with me as soon as he could, I allowed myself to be wheeled away for surgery preparations. What followed was a blur of washing, shaving, changing, and driving the nurses nuts asking if Hubby was there yet. That question was finally met with a positive response while I was getting my spinal and he was changing into some scrubs. By the time he was allowed into the operating theatre, I was ready for surgery. I relaxed as soon as I saw him.
“What took you so long?” I ask out of curiosity, rather than annoyance.
“Dad made me breakfast, and I had a shower.”
Ummmm… The annoyance crept in a bit then.
Luckily, he managed to make me giggle through the whole procedure. The nurse standing beside me said she had never seen that before.
At 11.48 am, my son was born 6 weeks early.
Like most new mums, I held my breath until he cried. I was briefly shown a mucky baby, then a clean baby, who was suddenly whisked away to NICU. Hubby didn’t know what to do, stay with me, or follow our boy. I sent him with our boy. Half way through the stitching up procedure, I regretted that decision. It seemed to take forever!
Afterwards, I was sent to recovery then back to my ward. I was exhausted and in pain and relieved to be reassured my boy was okay.
Due to a lack of wheelchairs, I didn’t get to meet my son properly until he was 22 hours old, but I have been in love with him ever since!