Before I continue with Mr A’s birth story I am well aware that I have strayed slightly from my main subject of ‘my journey with post-natal depression.’ This was the main reason for starting to blog and once this blog post is published I’ll get back on track. I have done a couple of guest blog posts, the reason for doing these and veering off subject, is to join in with projects that new found friends have invited me to be part of. I have had so much support from all of my new found Twitter family that I wanted to fully support them in their projects.
So here Mr A’s surprise birthday story continued.
The journey down to the hospital went well, hardly any traffic and no problem parking. Mainly due to the fact that my brother insisted on parking in the emergency bays right by the front door. He was still fairly adamant that this was an emergency situation, I wasn’t convinced.
We arrived at the Central Delivery Suite where I assumed I would just be monitored for a few hours then sent home. A midwife greeted us and showed us through to a bed at the end of the ward where we waited to be seen.
After being thoroughly examined and hooked up to various monitoring machines it was a waiting game. A sitting and waiting game. I needed to have a continuous stream of monitoring for an hour so they could see if there was any kind pattern to the pains. This would then decide if indeed they were contractions I was experiencing. It became clear quite quickly that I was having a small contraction every ten minutes and a big one every 20 minutes.
It was at this point I sent my brother home, he was reluctant to go but I told him to go anyway. I was still fairly sure nothing major was about to happen.
So off he went under much protest. This gave me a chance to close my eyes and try and get some much needed rest. I felt shattered. The sound of the baby’s heart beat on the monitor was really relaxing and reassuring to hear. I was just drifting off when the midwife came round again to check the readings from the machine. She said she needed a Doctor to come and look at the results as well. I closed my eyes again expecting the usual long wait for the Doctor. But to my surprise two appeared promptly and started looking at the big long stream off paper trailing from the machines. We had a quick discussion and they decided that my uterus seemed ‘agitated’.
I was reassured that it wasn’t necessarily labour, but I would be given a type of drug that is used to stop labour progressing, just to try and calm my uterus down. All made perfect sense given the situation. I still up to this point had no idea of the seriousness of the situation. I put this down to the calmness and reassurance I had from al the medical staff looking after me. That and the fact that the baby wasn’t due for nearly 6 weeks.
Off they both went to get me my drugs, I settled back in for that well needed sleep, and the ‘it’ happened….. The only way to describe the sensation I experienced was as if there had been some kind of explosion. It was a sensation I had never had before and for a few split seconds I had no idea what was going on. Then I looked down and saw the bed covered in blood and immediately hit the emergency call button. I was absolutely terrified. Was this it? Was I really losing the baby this time? Had those other two bleeds been the build up to this one? What the hell was happening to me and my baby?
Within seconds I was surrounded by medical staff, some were stripping me off; some were putting numerous lines into my arms and hands. While the most senior consultant was talking me through a form about emergency sections and its risks. I was supposed to be taking it all in but I couldn’t. So I just signed it. What choice did I have?
It was then explained to me that I had most likely had a placenta abruption. This meant that baby had to be born immediately to save it and myself. Did I have time to call my hubby I asked? Only if you’re very quick was their response..……
Hubby was somewhere on the road between Twickenham and the hospital. There was no way he would make it so I was going it alone with this birth. I pulled myself together and tried to breathe through the incredible pain I was now experiencing. It was as if the bleed had triggered full blown labour. As soon as I got off the phone I was whisked off to the operating theatre to have the baby.
I had been previously very worried about having another section but this situation gave me no choice and no time to worry, it was happening now.
So here I was being prepped for surgery, and now it was time for my spinal. As I sat up I had the most agonising pain and another huge bleed. The midwife looking after me grabbed my head in between her hands and stroked my face to stop me from looking down to the floor. She spoke to me so kindly and calmly which really helped me to concentrate on my breathing. She glanced down at the floor and even though she was trying to avoid me seeing it I could hear the blood pouring onto the floor from the bed.
The spinal had taken effect and everything else was in place to start the operation. Then I noticed a tension in the room. What was the hold up? The surgeon didn’t want to start the operation until the units of blood had arrived. I led for what seemed like hours waiting, by this time there was no monitor on the baby so I didn’t have the reassurance of hearing baby’s heartbeat.
Due to the spinal I had no sensation of the baby moving either; this was a really scary time for me. Eventually after lots of discussion and rushing about the blood arrived and the procedure began. Before I knew it they said they were ready to deliver the baby. It all happened so quickly.
Then I heard the most amazing reassuring sound ever. I heard my baby cry, I was so relieved. This meant that baby was alive at least even if a bit small and poorly. The surgeon put his head over the screen and said ‘Congratulations, you have a son.’
I was over joyed and relieved that he was here. I didn’t get to see him as he was taken straight to NICU to get some help with his breathing. Then the process of putting me back together began. Whether it was the relief, the blood loss or just sheer exhaustion, I don’t know. But I suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired and just wanted to drift off into what felt like the deepest sleep ever. I felt so calm and I couldn’t stop myself drifting off. The nurses kept waking me up though which at the time I remember finding very annoying!!
I don’t really remember much between then and coming round in the recovery room. I do remember feeling very relieved to wake up and see my hubby coming through the doors to see me. But the main feelings in my mind right now were guilt and worry. I had no idea what was going on with our son and if he was going to be ok. It was out of my hands now and absolutely nothing I could do. I felt totally helpless and this was a very unsettling feeling as a Mum.
All I wanted was to cuddle and nurture my new baby. To feel his soft little baby head against my cheek. To offer him his first feed, hold his tiny little hand, tell him how much I loved him already. I didn’t even know what he looked like……..
It seems very appropriate to be writing this now, It couldn’t be better timed really as tomorrow is Mr A’s 1st birthday. I can’t believe my amazing son has been in this world for a whole year. I know its cliché but time has flown by so quickly. I never thought it was possible to be taught so much by a baby in just one year. He has taught me to love and believe in myself as a mother. He has also made me realise I am so much stronger than I ever thought I could be. I can honestly say it has physically and mentally been the hardest year of my life, but I wouldn’t change a second of it.