I'm a 42yo online communications & IT consultant, and ex recording artist, from Melbourne, Australia.

After much searching, I finally met the right man. Then I got pregnant at 41 - baby boy was due 20 April 2010.

It was to be quite a journey. We discovered via ultrasound that our baby had some health problems, namely a hole in the heart, hypospadias and IUG growth issues.

Then I became very ill with pre-eclampsia, and was admitted to hospital at 34 weeks gestation.

Our baby Charles was delivered prematurely on 16th March 2010 weighing a tiny 1460g (3.5 pounds). He spent a month in hospital before coming home.

the birth...

So here's the story of my baby's birth. I haven't been able to write it until now, two weeks later, and I'm probably still processing it.


We sat up all night - I in a birth bed in a birth room at my hospital, my partner in the fold-out chair beside me. Nurses took my blood pressure at regular intervals. Despite medication, it kept getting too high. My severe pre-eclampsia was not getting any better.


In the morning at 8am, my obstetrician came and reviewed the results. "Look," she said, taking my hand. "We have to deliver this baby now".


The c-section was scheduled for 11.30am. I was panicked and terrified. The anaesthetist came to see me and I told him to give me something to relax me. Perhaps a mistake, in hindsight - but I was truly frightened. I knew baby would be very small, because we'd been monitoring his growth and he was well behind what he should be. I also knew about his health issues (see earlier blogs). I didn't know what state he'd be in and I didn't know how I'd handle things.


The caesarian, though, was fairly quick and routine. I don't remember feeling anything. I was there, they numbed me, they did their stuff, then I heard the baby cry - thin little cries. A wrapped baby in a blue hat was put in front of me to see, then he was whisked away. People took photos. My partner looked startled and a bit like a deer in the headlights. I was just kind of lying there.


I don't remember what else happened that afternoon. I think I may have been taken to see the baby, who was in the special care nursery in an insolette, but I don't really remember. My partner and my mother tell me I said all sorts of silly things and then slept. I was drugged out of my mind, I guess.


I do remember forgetting at one point that I'd had the baby.


The next morning I was shaky and couldn't get my brain into gear. I remember someone asked me to sign something and I couldn't use the pen. I was taken again to see the baby and this time I remember more - I was frightened by how small he was. But my head was thumping and I couldn't stay long.


It wasn't until that evening that I got myself together and started visiting the nursery and asking questions about my little Charles Alexander Peregrine.


I remember while I was there one of the nurses said "Oh, your poor feet", and I looked down and became aware, for the first time, that my legs and feet were swollen to about three times their normal size - the joys of post-birth oedema. This would make it difficult for me to get about the hospital for the remainder of my stay.


I cried and cried, at the drop of a hat, for days afterwards. With hormones, and with emotion at becoming a mother, with distress at how small my baby was and how I felt I'd failed him at the last hurdle, with love for my baby. Often all three emotions at once. Sometimes I was a tiny bit upset when I saw other mothers in the hospital enjoying their healthy happy newborns, whilst mine was in his isolette being fed through a tube.


And that was my birth experience.


7 comments...:

Knitting Hope said...

What incredible strength you have - I have followed your journey and stunned at how well you have handled the rolling hills on your adventure. I cried reading your post but very happy for you and your son. I look forward to reading that he is healthy enough to go home with you.

41BabyProject said...

Thank you - you are fab to say that. I was nervous as to how my birth story would be received, but I wanted to write about it honestly.

Thea said...

I don't think you should be at all nervous about telling your birth story. Writing honestly helps you and others. x

Anonymous said...

And they all lived happily ever after. Eventually.

It's hard. It is so hard having a baby and have something go wrong, or at least, not according to the plan, not the way it SHOULD be.

And you know what? You and Charles and your husband WILL move on, and you will have great days, and shitty days, and then great days again. And then some scary days, teary days and every other kind of day that can get thrown at you.

But when this happens to you, you are never the same again. Not worse, not better ... but different. And I suspect that difference makes us stronger than we thought we could ever be. Even though you will spend years waking up in the morning and having a small moment of panic if your child has not woken up before you! Or you hear a strange noise from them ...

You are vulnerable now, but you are a mother.

And mothers are INVINCIBLE!

It just takes our friends to remind us of that occasionally.

And lady, I am here for you! And your handsome Charles! Have I told you about my very awesome new niece? They'd make a beautiful couple .... LOL xxx

Carol

41BabyProject said...

Thank you for that lovely comment -
was tearing up as I read it (darn, thought I was over getting teary!)
All that you say is finally becoming meaningful to me, as I start to experience it for myself.

AJannajackson said...

Hi,

My baby girl was born in Jan, at 36 weeks gestation. She was delivered by emergency caesarean due to pre-eclampsia. I found out an hour before she was born that I needed a caesarean. It was a huge shock. She weighed just over 2kg. I was very traumatised after her birth and I am really feeling for you at the moment. My baby stayed for a week in special care.

You will be happy to know that now, only ten weeks later, she weighs five kilos and is absolutely thriving! She is such a joy.

I was so scarred after her birth that I thought I would never have another one (i'm only 21) but i've already come around and would love to have another baby eventually!

I've really empathised with your story and i'm praying for you and Charlie- he will be so big before you know it!

FYI- pumpkin patch does a good premmy range - very cute too. Its so hard to find small clothes for them she was too small for 00000!
My feet were so swollen and disgusting too - I feel your pain..

Best wishes for you and your family,
Anna.

41BabyProject said...

Thank you so much Anna for your lovely comments. Charlie is doing well now and putting on weight, so things are improving for us - and I'm a lot better now and have recovered well.

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