Monday, 17 July 2017

MY BIRTH STORY


I had a perfect pregnancy up until the last month. I had great test results the entire way along. I wasn't particularly sick in the first trimester and I didn't suffer with exhaustion in the way that I assumed I would. Some days it was tough to drag myself out of bed, but I don't think that's exclusive to being pregnant for me...

At 36 weeks pregnant (the start of the final month) I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes based on the results of a routine test with the midwife. The diagnosis really knocked me for six because I had been feeling really good and everything was progressing exactly as I wanted it to. I was called into the hospital to meet with the diabetes specialists and they gave me a blood glucose monitor. I had to prick my finger 6 times a day (before and after every meal) and perform a quick blood test on myself. The results were sent over to the hospital electronically and the team there would be able to monitor my blood sugar and immediately let me know if there was an issue. The main impact of the gestational diabetes would be the size of my baby. Babies whose mothers have GD are typically larger and born earlier than most other babies. The team started dropping hints that I would likely have the baby early.

I had a week of perfect blood results and was called back into the hospital the following week for a checkup. At this appointment the baby was measured via sonograph and I was told that he was big. Like, full term ready to pop out big. I was also told that I was being induced, which scared the shit out of me. The induction was booked for the following day. It seemed as though the GD Clinic felt strongly that the baby should be evicted from the premises quite urgently which scared me a little. Everything felt quite rushed. I had a night to gather myself, pack my bag and head into the hospital for the induction.

To cut a very VERY long story short, the induction failed. We tried for 2 nights and three days and I contracted hard for 48 hours solid, but my waters refused to break. I was three weeks before my due date and I think that Baby Alex just wasn't ready to see the world yet. I was booked in for a C Section the following day which meant that I was allowed to go home for the night to re-pack my bag and psych myself up for the surgery. The night before the C Section I felt super depressed. I felt as if I'd had the chance to have a natural birth taken away from me by a doctor at the Diabetic Clinic who felt that it was time that I had my baby. I really didn't think it was as urgent as she had made out and I had the diagnosis questioned by a number of doctors and midwives in hospital. Nobody really understood why I had been told that I had to have my baby early, and this made me very frustrated as by that time it was too late to go back; I'd started the induction.

Waking up the next morning on the day of the surgery I felt completely different. I'd had a good night's sleep in my own bed. I wasn't in pain anymore. I'd had some time to actually look forward to meeting my son. I felt really strong mentally and physically; we headed to the hospital feeling a bit nervous but very excited.

The surgery itself was amazing. I know that sounds really odd, but I honestly enjoyed myself. Yes, it was painful (the spinal block was an experience) but actually as soon as each step of the process was complete I knew I was that much closer to meeting my baby and I immediately forgot any anxiety around catheters, spinal taps, nausea and cannulas. Alex was out and in my arms within 3 minutes of the first incision and quite honestly they could have amputated both my legs and I don't think I'd have been interested by that point. I was wheeled out of the operating theatre with my baby in my arms and my husband by my side. That was probably the happiest I'd ever felt in my life and I don't resent the C Section delivery at all. It's part of our story and the surgeons worked hard to get Alex here safely and I appreciate all the care they showed me throughout my hospital stay.

My recovery from the C Section was really good. I was up and about within 2 days and I was walking comfortably by day 5. I was very lucky to have such an easy recovery and I worked hard at making sure everything went as it should so that I didn't have to be away from my boy for a second longer than necessary. I might do a separate post about the C Section and recovery experience as it's such an experience in itself.

Today is exactly 6 weeks since I met my boy and I have enjoyed every minute. It's physically hard, and it's emotionally exhausting, but Alex is such a good baby and I've had amazing support from all of my friends and family which has been absolutely invaluable to me.

Thank you to everybody who has been part of our story so far. We love you <3

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