I absolutely love reading birth stories as every experience is so unique, and after sharing my own two very different birth experiences [emergency c-section and natural VBAC] I decided to ask other mums and dads to share their beautiful birth stories with me, too. If you’d like to share your birth story, send me an email or get in touch via Twitter or Facebook.
Like me, Kelly from NatureMumBlog also had two totally different birth experiences: her first baby was born at just 30 weeks by emergency c-section after she developed pre-eclampsia. Her second birth experience was an amazing VBAC. In this post Kelly is sharing the story of her first baby's birth.
My journey as a mother started on the 15th February 2012. I was meant to be having my second lot of wisdom teeth removed. For about a week I had been experiencing quite bad nausea. I took a pregnancy test just incase, as I didn't want to have any medication or anaesthetic if I was in early stages of pregnancy. The test was positive and I now had 37 weeks to get my head around the thought of being a parent. Well I thought I had 37 weeks but my body had other ideas!
When I was around 12 weeks pregnant I started to feel extremely tired and would experience flashes in my vision. I spoke to several midwives who reassured me it was normal in pregnancy (Flashing vision is not normal and should always be looked into). As the weeks went on I became more and more tired, the flashing lights happened more frequently and my feet and hands started to swell. A couple of other mums had mentioned the possibility of pre-eclampsia but the midwives kept reassuring me that this was not the case. My blood pressure was never taken.
At around 27 weeks, I went to see a consultant as I have a blood condition. She checked my blood pressure after I had mentioned my swelling and flashing vision and my blood pressure was a shocking 150/130. She sent me straight to Colchester Hospital. This is where I spent the next three weeks. I was sent home a couple of times but I became so poorly I ended up staying in until my son was born. My blood pressure never decreased, the highest that it went to was around 190/160.
The Thursday night before my son was born I started to feel better and my blood pressure stabilised, it was no longer increasing. We had a lovely evening eating dinner by the river outside the hospital. The next morning, I phoned my parter and told him I would probably be sent home as it was so busy and I was feeling good. Within the next hour I was seen by a wonderful Dr who had seen me 2 weeks previous. She was shocked to see our baby hadn't been born yet. She sent me down for a scan to just check what was going on as I had been having reduced movements for a while. As soon as the sonographer scanned me she called the Drs. My umbilical cord was no longer functioning.
Within the next hour I was in an ambulance on my way to Southend hospital. Colchester hospital didn't have any beds in their special care baby unit. Once I had reached Southend everything happened very quickly and it is all quite a blur. I remember panicking as the catheter was inserted as I wasn't ready for what was about to happen. I was only 30 weeks gone!
The next thing I know I am being wheeled into surgery where the room was full of Drs and nurses. I didn't have time to question anything as I was soon asleep. Once I woke up I realised I was in horrendous pain, they then gave me morphine which reduced the pain. My partner was next to me telling me our son had been born and that he had black hair and he was beautiful, but he only weighed 2lb13oz. I was in and out of consciousness for the next few hours. Once I had come round completely I noticed my partner had left my phone next to me. There was photos and videos of our tiny baby. He was so handsome. My partner had been sent home as it was now getting quite late. When I looked at the photos I didn't quite know how to feel. There was this tiny baby who I knew was mine but wasn't I supposed to love him and want to hold him. I didn't know what I was meant to feel??
My partner came back to the hospital the next morning. Once I had eaten some toast and had a drink I was able to go meet our son. The feeling I got was like when you are excited to meet a puppy that you know you will be taking home. I had no idea what it felt like to be a mum or care for anything other than how you care for a pet.
I don’t quite remember how I felt when I first saw him. My brain wouldn’t allow me to get emotionally attached as I didn’t know if he would make it. The week that we spent in Southend felt like the longest week of my life. My son was treated for meningitis and struggled with oxygen levels and keeping down food. Their digestive systems are so immature it is hard for them to cope with milk.
I was expressing every hour to try and give him ‘The golden milk’. I did this for 6 weeks but would hardly get 1ml and it exhausted me, but I knew I had to try. In the end the nurses advised me to stop as it was too much for me to cope with, as well as looking after a premature baby.
We were moved back to Colchester hospital once my son was stabilised enough to travel. I spent most of my time at hospital on my own. My partner and my family all had work to go to. My partner decided he wanted to take his paternity after our son had come home, although I would rather have had him up the hospital. Some days I would struggle to cope, I would often break down to the nurses as I had no idea what I should be feeling towards my beautiful baby boy. I was exhausted!
One of the hardest days was the day a tiny baby passed away. I was sat holding my son who was surrounded by wires when I heard the mum let out a horrible scream. It was the baby that was in the incubator next to my son. The baby had a genetic disorder which meant it struggled to breathe. The nurses were attending to the baby and its parents so they were unable to take my son from me so I could leave. I had to sit and listen to everything, the Drs trying to resuscitate the baby and the reactions of the parents, it was heart breaking. My thoughts are forever with that family.
My son amazed me every day, he went from strength to strength and was allowed home once he had reached the weight of 3lb10oz. Bringing him home was the happiest day of my life. He still had a long journey ahead of him including nasty eye examinations, breathing difficulties and a hernia op when he was just 6lb in weight. But I knew he would be fine.
The thought of having another baby terrified me for a long time. I couldn’t go through with having another poorly baby, watching them fight with every breath. But my partner thought it would be best to have another as I smothered and protected our son too much. I struggled to let him go or let anyone handle him. The thought of him going to school was just terrifying, what if someone didn’t protect him as well as I did?
We moved from Essex to South Wales when our son was 19 months old. Being in a new place made me realise that I would love to have a bigger family. So we decided to try...
What an incredible birth experience Kelly had; it sounds like it was very scary and traumatic but I'm so glad to hear that her little boy is doing well now. Read on for Kelly's second birth story.
You can read more beautiful birth stories here.