After nearly a decade together, we had finally became a family. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I realised that we had done it, after a scary few hours we had made it. Our Little Lord was finally here. But… it was silent. Everyone was silent. He didn’t cry. A rush of bodies engulfed the operating theatre, hushed voices whispered around me. The ebb of tears that flowed down my cheeks became stained with panic. The tears of joy had gone.
Monitor the movements of your baby
I am an avid follower of Kick’s Count– monitoring movements saved my son’s life:
“Remember to report any change in your baby’s regular pattern of movement to your Midwife”
I follow Kick’s Count on facebook which was where I seen that if you have any reduced movements, which aren’t normal for the pattern and routine of your baby, then be safe and get checked. The recommendation of feeling at least 10 movements is OLD and no longer advocated. In my circumstances, my son liked to kick about 50-75 times per day, so only 10 movements for us would have alarm bells ringing.
In early November, his movements had dropped dramatically, even the style of movement, it just wasn’t as powerful. I knew something wasn’t right. I rang my local hospital and I insisted to be seen despite the ‘at least 10 movements’ policy which still operates in some hospitals. My son, the Little Lord would’ve died if we had delayed any longer.
Arrival to Hospital
I had multiple thoughts from a pregnancy laden brain, that I was wasting their time, that everything would be OK, that I was paranoid as it was coming towards the end of my pregnancy. These feelings are irrelevant- any doubt, get seen, be safe, don’t be sorry, you are NOT a burden.
The trace was put on, and it wasn’t reassuring, he was wasn’t moving much. The medical professionals couldn’t pin down or see anything in particular that was wrong at this point, but I was lucky, the consultant trusted my instinct, and kept the monitor on me and decided to begin the induction process. Half an hour after the trace was put on my son’s heart rate would drop dramatically to 50-60 bpm. This happened after every braxton hicks contraction. The normal range is between 110-160 bpm.
I was rushed into theatre for an emergency cesarean. It was suspected that the umbilical cord was wrapped around my son’s neck- and it was, twice, but that wasn’t the end of it.
My Son’s Arrival
My son was born that night. I expected to see my little bundle with pink rosy cheeks, but I didn’t see him. Immediately all the medical professionals knew something was wrong, he was grey, his skin, everything about him, it looked like life had left his little body. I couldn’t breathe, my husband sat next to me and I told him to go to our son, he needed him more than I did.
It was eerily quiet with just the sound of respirators and beeps of machinery. I’ll never forget the look on the anesthetist’s face, I had struck a bond with him just a few moments before, the look he gave me was full of sorrow and pity. That look from a stranger absolutely crushed me. Nobody told me what was happening but I didn’t need to know, I could hear them trying to keep our son alive. The pillow under my head was soaked with the tears I didn’t know were flowing. I completely broke down.
My son eventually cried several minutes later, but the rush and whispers didn’t stop. I got to touch his face once before they took him to intensive care. I shouted at them not to worry about the mother/son bond and that crucial first meeting after birth, just take him and make him better. It was an order, so desperate and filled with panic. I knew I wouldn’t suffer with bonding issues at that very moment, precious and barely breathing, he had captured my heart when he weakly opened his eyes to look up at me. Then he was taken from us to intensive care- so young and alone.
I was wheeled out of theatre, without our baby, I remember being rolled up the corridor and seeing a ‘Congratulations it’s a boy‘ balloon in the neighbouring room. Tears were flowing so fast, I couldn’t breathe. I felt bitter that they had their baby boy and I didn’t even know where my baby was. All I knew was that he was alone. I told my husband that if anything happened to him, it would break me and I would never come back from that. It was the darkest thing I’ve ever thought or said in a moment filled with emotion.
The Road to Recovery
It was 6-7 hours before I got to see my son again, in a tank with wires, oxygen and blood going into him. They told me he shouldn’t have survived. He had lost just over 1/2 of his blood from his tiny 6 Ibs 11 ounce body, later we found out we had suffered with foetal maternal hemorrhage, this is where the blood flow reverses, so instead of the placenta giving my baby blood, my Little Lord was giving me blood.
On most occasions when this occurs, unfortunately Mama’s aren’t as lucky as me and my heart and soul goes out to these women.
I remember telling my husband we shouldn’t cry or be too emotional when we got to see him for the first time since birth, he had to fight and make it, so we had to be strong for him. I didn’t want a negative tear or a worrisome thought disrupt his recovery. I didn’t want him to sense our distress.
He had the bruise marks where they tried to get a vein for 4 weeks. His body had been keeping his vital organs alive and so they found it hard to get a vein to provide a transfusion. He was pale, but looking pinker, he looked like a little boy who needed to cuddle- and cuddle we did.
We were in hospital for just over a week. It was a huge milestone when I got to hold him on the third day and that was a beautiful day and every day since we have held on to him like the little miracle he is. He recovered at a rapid rate.
My son is still anemic 7 months on, but he’s strong, he’s meeting his milestones and he is the most precious and loved little person in our lives. His smiles fill our heart full of love and now the tears that flow are definitely happy, infinitely happy. He is our Little Lord… our fighter and we love you buddy, beyond your wildest dreams.
This post has been submitted to Tots100/WaterWipes Baby Milestones challenge. #waterwipes
If you have been or are effected by still births, depression and issues with bonding, please know that there is a wealth of help and resources available. You are not alone. You may have dark thoughts sometimes, but you are loved and needed so for yourself and everyone in your life please reach out and get the help you deserve (Bonding and post natal depression help is available from a vast array of sources)