Vanessa's motherhood story - My baby arrived 10 weeks early
When we found out #2 was on the way, due the 27th of January 2018, we were pretty calm, cool and collected. After all, we’ve done it before, so it all should run pretty similar right? WRONG!
My first, Solomon, came 4 weeks early. No major shock, my waters broke in the morning and he was in my arms by 9.45pm that evening. I told people I wanted a similar birth with #2. We had an annual family holiday planned for the end of January, and I was desperate to make it, so 2-4 weeks early would have been perfect!
In September 2017 I became ill with what I thought was just a general cold. Fast-forward 3 months and I was still sick. Between September to November I was in and out of the doctors office or calling the amazing midwives at the hospital, not really knowing what I had or why I was so ill. It ended up being the ‘Australian Flu’ combined with a sinus infection and a chronic cough– being pregnant I was unable to take anything and every time I coughed, I'd end up over the toilet bowl … charming huh?
Around 8.30pm on Thursday the 23rd of November, my husband and I were sitting watching River Cottage on SBS and I coughed. Having already had one baby, and not being super strict on my pelvic floor exercises, my initial thought was “meh, may have just peed myself a little”. About 45 minutes later, when waters were still flowing, I called my husband into the bathroom to let him know, it was all systems go. Or so I thought.
Off to the hospital we went, with my tribe of villagers pitching in to look after my toddler. In the rush, I packed my hair straightener and three swaddles … that was all! My waters had broke, I was vomiting, coughing and all the other glorious things that happen. Although my waters were broken, I was not in active labour. I was monitored and then on Sunday evening was discharged. As baby was head down, I was on strict bed rest and ordered to come in for monitoring every Wednesday just to ensure things were all on track.
Of course, as soon as I got home I went into panic mode. I hadn’t gotten anything ready for Christmas – my son's first ‘real’ Christmas where he actually knew what was happening. I hadn’t packed my bags for the hospital; I didn't have anything ready at all. Yet again, I had an amazing tribe around me who came over and went through tubs and tubs of clothing for baby and helped me get myself organised.
On the Wednesday off to Sunshine Hospital I went to get my first weekly monitoring. I was shattered when I was told bubs had managed to turn in whatever fluid was left for him to do so, so therefore I was admitted again in fear that the cord may fall out. To say I was devastated was an understatement. The Doctors aim was to keep me pregnant until week 34 – the 27th of December, a whole month. I wouldn’t be allowed to hold my son Solomon, I’d miss his first Wiggles concert, I wouldn’t be able to work, to have any freedom.
Thursday evening, after my dinner, I started to feel a little blah (for a better word). At 10pm I took a Panadol thinking I had just had a dodgy dinner, but at 3am on Friday the 1st of December it escalated. I was taken to be monitored with contractions starting and already being around 2 minutes apart for 30 seconds or so. They gave me something to try and stop or slow down the pain and the contractions, but nothing was working. They were getting more and more intense and I already had the urge to push. The Doctor came in to tell me that I’d be meeting my baby later on that afternoon and we signed all the necessary paper work for the Caesarean. At this point I was examined and I was not dilated in the slightest.
20 minutes later, with pain at peak levels, everything processing too quickly for any sort of pain relief, I was breathing into the gas tube that was actually not connected to the gas (hello placebo), and being wheeled into theatre for an emergency Caesarean. My husband was waiting outside while I was taken to the operating table to be prepped, I was turned onto my side for the epidural to be administered, and then, yet again I told the Doctor (screamed to whoever was listening), that I had to push. Only being examined about 20 minutes prior, he humoured me and told me he’d check me one last time. I could tell by the tone in his voice he was just playing along to get me to relax.
The next thing I saw, was the Doctors face right next to mine, telling me bubs foot was already out, and it would now be a vaginal birth. I was pulled down by the sheet, legs thrust into the stirrups with my husband suddenly by my side clutching my hand. An additional 5-6 people walked into the theatre room and I was instructed to give one huge push. Out came the little guy’s body (footling breech and posterior) and then another push to get his head out and to ensure he was breathing and all ok. At 8.22am on the 1st of December 2017, I finally got to meet my boy, a whole 10 weeks ahead of time.
He was taken straight away for some oxygen and then brought over to me for a quick kiss and straight to special care and into the islet. I was able to see him 5 hours later and finally got to hold my Otis Power Cross, 16 hours after he was born.
The next month, I travelled back and forth to Special Care. The first few weeks were a whirlwind of medical terms and action plans. Because I was so ill before Otis arrived, he had high infection levels and suspected Meningitis. He had a pic line inserted and had three weeks on antibiotics.
Otis was fortunate enough to come into this world rather unscathed. The nurses called him a feeder and a grower, which meant his job was rather easy. We spent Otis’ first Christmas in Special Care with the incredible Nurses and Doctors who looked after him 24 hours a day for 28 days.
Finally the day came when we were discharged from Special Care and able to take our boy home and start our life as a family. Looking back on my experience, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I was able to get up and walk to go see my boy the day he was born. I was able to come home and tickle Solomon without worrying about anything at all. I was a new mum who was able to get 8 hours of sleep a night to be fit enough to trek back and forth to see my newborn. None of which, would have been possible without the tribe behind me, full of support and more importantly, without the incredible staff within the Special Care team at Sunshine Hospital.
Beyoncé LOVER, Event Executive, Extremely outspoken, brutally honest, Coffee addict, Food/Cook lover, Family orientated
Children: 2 – Solomon (3yrs), Otis (16 Weeks, 8 Weeks Corrected).
Motherhood in 5 words: Bonkers, Exhausting, Hilarious, Rollercoaster, Loving.
Fav family friendly place: Backyard, Newport | Altona Beach
Coffee order: Soy Latte with Honey … yes I’m one of those people.
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