I had suffered many years of endometriosis, along with ovarian cysts to the point I had over 5cm of scar tissue from so many operations to remove the endometriosis and only half an ovary left when my partner (now husband) and I first started talking about having a baby. We visited the specialist and were told we had less than 5% chance of me falling pregnant naturally. I left in tears so you can imagine our delight when only a few months later & 9 pregnancy tests confirmed I was pregnant with our baby. With all calculations correct the baby would be born April 20, 2005. I suffered the usual sickness and tiredness that goes with being pregnant but I also suffered a very low lying placenta and a baby who was breach, knowing what I know now I am pleased I was so naive about these two conditions and how they may affect my baby and the water birth I was planning.
At 31 weeks and 6 days my partner and I were sitting on the couch at home when I stood up and felt a horrid dampness. I looked down to see my PJ’s covered in blood, I remember holding on so tight to the arm rest on the car door as Steve & I drove to the hospital. The hospital midwives we called and spoke to had advised us to come straight in. It was after 9at night and we pulled up at the front of the hospital, there was an orderly there to meet us who took me straight up to the delivery rooms where they strapped monitors on to me and told me they could hear the baby’s heart beat, and to stay calm. I felt the most scared I had ever felt in my life at that moment. I was given a drug called surfactant to help develop my baby’s lungs and told to rest. When morning came around my obstetrician came into see me, and advised me I would need to stay in a few days for monitoring. Those few days became 7 long weeks.
Saturday morning came around and we felt confident I would be ok to go home on Monday. They were doing “trace reports” every few hours, but the babies heart beat was strong at this point. I was aware I would need a caesarean but that did not bother me. Some time after 9.00 the nurse came in to let me know she would need to do a trace report, I asked if I could be given 30minutes as I wanted to have a shower and could I wait to have the report, she said ok. I hopped on the phone to give my friends Larissa and Abi the daily update that all was looking good and I should be home on Monday. The next thing, the nurse was at the door again and I explained I had not had my shower and could I possibly wait till she had done the next lady before doing my trace? she left, but before she closed the door she opened it again? and said no she would do it now. I am forever grateful that she came back in. As I lay there with the belt strapped on listening to my babies heart beat, I knew something was wrong before she asked Steve to push the alarm button. The next few hours are a blur, the bed was lowered and I was given oxygen, and I recall hearing a clutter of conversation from nurses and Doctors asking who was on duty, was I allergic to anything, and those words “you are having your baby now” I was more scared now than I have ever been. I shook all the way down to theatre (I do have a phobia about theatre).
Zachary Harry Robert was born by emergency caesarean at 11.42 at on the 21st of February 2005. My beautiful boy weighed 2.3kg and was 41cm long, and by no means was the experience enjoyable. I shook out of fear, I dry reached from the anaesthetic, and cried for my premmie baby that I wanted to hold so much, yet was whisked away from me to the special care nursery. Within a few hours Zac was taken to the Specialty Children’s Hospital up the road who had a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who could look after him; I still had not seen my baby. I arrived at the hospital after hours of back and forth with nurses and Doctors regarding my epidural being removed. I expected to meet my baby but he was in theatre as he had burst his lung and it had collapsed. I met him a few hours later; he was so tiny and frail. The following weeks remain a blur in my memory, the hours sitting by his bed willing him to get better, of sadly watching another baby, Emma, who will always stay with me, lose her battle.
The birth of my miracle boy Zac, who is now a cheeky and very healthy three year old, will always remain in my memory as a moment in time that still brings me to tears with the memories of emotions I felt at the time of fear/excitement/scared/longing and the weeks in the hospital with him as he fought for his life. I feel his entry into the world is what makes him so much more special and I love him with all my heart and so much more, as any mother who has given birth to a child, in what ever birthing circumstances