*possibly upsetting for some*
DH and I were excited when we found out we were expecting but were also very nervous as I had miscarried only 3 months before. I had been doing HPTs but they had come up negative so when a friend who has a real sixth sense about pregnancy told me that she thought I was pregnant I decided to get a blood test. At 31 days past my LMP I received a neg BT but it showed a trace amt of HCG so my doc said to come back for another in 2 days if AF hadn't showed up. 2 days later I went in and got an equivocal result and had to go for another BT 2 days after that. At 5 weeks pg I finally got my pos result and was referred to get a scan. The first scan showed a sack but no heart beat which was unusual for 6 1/2 weeks pg but after having an upsetting week thinking I was going to m/c again, we went back and I finally saw my little bubba's heart beating strongly. It was one of the happiest but also nerve racking moments of my life!
The next few weeks were filled with severe morning sickness and acid reflux which made the nausea even worse. I tried every over the counter medicine as well as changed my diet to try and stop the constant burning but nothing worked. I was prescribed anti reflux meds but they didn't work and so I had to put up with the burning and nausea until 22 weeks when I decided to try another drug (not recommended in preg) to stop it. I had 8 days of feeling well before it all went down hill. At 24 weeks I developed athsma and my already squished up lungs found it very hard to cope so I became quite ill with that. When that passed at 26 weeks I had a craving for smarties and ate a whole bag which caused a sugar crash. I woke up in a haze 4 hours later and went back to my doc who sent me for a GTT which picked up I had GDM. Well, I had had it with being pregnant at that stage and was very depressed that nothing was going to plan and I couldn't enjoy anything to do with my pregnancy. The GDM got worse and worse and i was hardly eating anything and coming up with high sugar readings so I knew I would have to go on injections. I had the appointment scheduled with the endocrinologist for Monday but started feeling a little ill on Friday (I wasn't aware of it but my blood pressure was dangerously high and my kidneys were starting to show signs of damage). At 8.50pm Friday night (33 weeks and 6 days pg), while watching "Undercover Boss" on tv I rolled over and heard a "pop". I had a PPROM which I later found out was completely unrelated to any of my conditions but probably saved my life. DH immediately called his mum, a midwife, who told us to go immediately to the hospital. I hastily packed a bag with the most useless items (my GHD, breast pads and a tshirt), grabbed a towel and hoped in the car to go to the hospital.
When we arrived I was put on monitors and checked by the midwives and an ob who told me that my waters had broken and my blood pressure was dangerously high but that I wasn't showing signs of labour. They left my husband and I for a while so that the reality would sink in.
I will never forget how I felt that night. Neither of us knew what it would mean if our baby was born that prem and were quite upset. We called our parents to tell them that I was in hospital and would probably have to stay there for 3 weeks until I reached 37 weeks and would be induced. We also called our best friends (who were due to have their baby 4 days after us and who had been on their way to stay with us in Sydney (they live in Canberra). When they arrived we enjoyed laughing about E bringing some cigars to smoke when J specifically told him not to incase it jinxed one of us into going into labour.
Midnight came and went and we were all getting tired so E and DH went back home to get a few things for me since I packed my bag so poorly and had been told I was staying in hospital for 3 weeks. J stayed with me and at about 1am I started getting back pain. She had the good sense to time it as it was on and off and when we worked out it was regular pain we told the mid. She looked at the monitors and said that it was just a little prelabour and that there was a chance I might go into labour in the next few days but I needed to take some sleeping pills and go to sleep. I refused them.
At 1.50 I felt my first proper contraction but was so convinced that I wasn't in labour that I didn't realised it ( only found out the time by reading my hospy records). I remember saying to J that if that was prelabour then I'm getting an epidural!
The pain intensified and DH had finally returned with my bag so I asked a student midwife if I could go into the shower for some pain relief. I still didn't realise I was in proper labour. I had read that first labours usually take 16 hours or so and I guess that and the midwife saying i wasn't in labour so often, plus fear of having a prem baby, convinced me I wasn't. I was delirious with pain having no break between contractions and remember thinking at one point that I was dying (a little over dramatic I know)!
In the shower I felt like I desperately needed to poo and that that would make me feel better so I sat on the toilet, stark naked, while dh and the student mid watched me straining. I was actually in transition at that point. Something clicked to the mid then and she went running out of the bathroom while i got dressed (into a $200 Decjuba dress of all things, which might give you some idea of how unprepared I was for what came next).
Next minute 12 people rushed into the room, I was pushed on the bed, feet put up in stirrups and told to push. I was so confused. Why were all these people here and why was I being told to push when only an hour before I was being told I wasn't in labour?! Being half naked with my feet in stirrups in front of 13 other people (12 I didn't know) was the most vulnerable I have ever felt in my life and I still get anxiety attacks and nightmares about it.
Following orders I started pushing and all of a sudden I saw the head mid and the senior ob give each other a knowing look when they looked at the monitors. My BP had risen to over 200/120 and bub's heart rate had dropped below 50bpm. The look on their faces was sheer concern and I was so frightened. The ob told me that it was imperative that I pushed with everything I had because bub and I were in danger and there wasnt time to get a spinal for an emergency cs but he'd give me 2 mins to push bub out before rushing me to theatre under a general. He gave me a local and a HUGE episiotomy (I hadn't had any pain meds at all apart from the local) and I pushed DS out in 2 more pushes. DS was born at 3.12am after 1hr 20mins natural labour weighing 2650g. (5 pound 13).
DS was taken away to be resuscitated straight away and I got a fleeting look as they took him out of the room to the NICU. I sent DH with him under instructions not to let him out of his sight while I delivered the placenta and got stitched up.
Getting those stitches was the most horrific part of the whole thing. I was emotional because I had just had my baby taken away and didn't even know if he was alive, I was in pain from a natural birth, I was in shock because it was SO fast and i was high on gas (they gave it to me for the stitches). I basically flipped out on the ob and the mid had to hold me to stop me moving while he finished.
I had to stay still in the delivery room for 6 hours while the meds kicked in to lower my blood pressure and I decided not to have anything stronger than 2 panadol for the pain. Thankfully I have an incredibly high pain threshold!
My first meeting with my new little son was bitter sweet. He was in a humidy crib and I wasn't allowed to hold him. I was told I could touch him but was told off for stroking him because "he needs sleep to grow". This, after the shock of what happened during the birth, left me so frightened that I hardly touched him for 6 weeks, even once he was home and perfectly healthy.
I finally got to hold him for a few mins when he was 14 hours old but I didn't feel like he was really mine. I felt that he belonged to the hospital and I was on a supervised visit. Needless to say this lack of bonding had a profound effect on my milk supply and was the start of a torturous 6 months of breastfeeding issues.
There were a lot of ups and downs while we were in the NICU and it was one of the most emotional times in my life. Thankfully we were only there for 16 days.
My recovery after the birth was fast pain wise and I was walking a few km/day to and from the NICU once I was released from hospital on day 5. My blood pressure took 2 weeks to go down and I had to report to the birth suite for checks every day for the 16 days that DS was in hospital and then my GP for a week once we went home.
A year later and life couldn't be better. I am SOOO in love with DS and thank God every day for my baby and wonderful husband. Surprisingly I can't wait to do it all again even if it's just as bad or even worse next time.
Watching the little man, that DH and I lovingly made, grow and thrive makes me feel like I was destined to be a mother and that my life has meaning. DS is the light of my life and I couldn't be happier