One whole year ago the pob entered the world and I thought it was about time I put my thoughts down here for him to read one day. This
might be is a long post, sorry but it was the most amazing, scary, horrendous and joyful experience of my life to date so it won’t be quick. I’ve so much to say about it that I’ve decided I’ll never get it all down in one post so this one is for the pob, to tell him how he came about…
When we decided to try for a baby we were extremely excited but relaxed about the whole thing. That’s maybe why, luckily for us, it happened pretty much straight away. We found out we were having a baby on bank holiday Monday in August 2010 after a weekend away with my parents in the Lake District, during which time I felt extremely sea sick on a boat ride on a lake. That’s when really I knew. We did a test (or three) when we got home. MrSlender’s initial reaction was ‘Oh f**k’. It was a bit of a shock to happen so quickly! But we were over the moon, as you are, a bit bemused, naive and extremely excited to be a family.
The whole pregnancy was very straightforward. We took part in a study at The Rosie in Cambridge which meant we had four scans. Our nuchal showed one in 830 chance of downs, that was hard, although not a high chance it was the highest I’d heard from my friends. It bought a whole new realm of worry and uncertainty for our unborn pob. But looking back it wasn’t even high and we needn’t have worried. We actually had five scans as our first nuchal we got sent home from with a tiny bean photo as the pob was too small to measure. I was devastated, I wanted a picture to show people and wanted to know everything was ok to actually formally announce the pregnancy. Seems silly now, a week seems like a lifetime at that stage! The next week we returned and got the gorgeous photo we wanted the first time around. The 20 weeker was perfect, we then had two further scans, one at 26 weeks one at 38. During the 26 week scan the person scanning asked if we wanted to know the sex, ‘no’ replied, but as she scanned she went ‘oh did you see that’ and MrSlender was convinced that meant the pob was a boy. I wasn’t sure and in fact spent my whole pregnancy thinking he was a girl as so many people convinced me so.
We attended our antenatal classes and were open minded, I was just excited to meet our baby and didn’t have a birthing plan as such. My sister had had two sections unplanned and I wanted to be prepared for that. So, somewhat hastily, I wrote a birthing plan of sorts at 38 weeks where I said I was open to any pain relief. Gas and air, pethadene, epidural, anything really. Although I did want to get in water at some point. I thought about hypno birthing but somehow never got round to researching it. I just wanted whatever was going to happen to happen and for the pob to be here.
After the pob was born I wrote an account of his birth, what I could remember. This is the transcript, the grand entry for the pob. This is word for word what I wrote:
On Monday 9th May 2011 at 40+2 I got up and went swimming. I did 20 lengths. A lady at the pool asked me when you were due and told me to drink castor oil! Yuk! In the afternoon I went to Lucy’s and walked to preschool to pick up Harry and George. On the way back I felt really tired and had some period pains but I thought they were just braxton hicks. I thought it was a bit funny though as I was going to the loo a lot more and I’d felt you move less. I went home and prepared Daddy chicken and halloumi kebabs which we ate at the table and talked about you. After dinner I had a long bath as I was still having period pains, I thought maybe I was in early labour so I posted on a forum on mumsnet, I got some replies saying it sounded like it could be early signs of labour. I thought about shaving my legs but didn’t want to jinx it and not got in to labour. I got in my pjs and dressing gown and snuggled on the sofa with Daddy. At about 8.30pm I wanted to go to bed as I thought I needed to get some rest. We went to bed at 9pm. I started getting pains as soon as we went to bed but still wasn’t sure if they were contractions. At 10.44pm we started writing down the contractions which were about every 3-5 minutes. Daddy went to sleep!! At 1.11am on 10th May we called the hospital, they wanted us to come straight in to check you were ok as I’d had reduced movements that day. We parked right outside the hospital and Daddy pushed me in a wheelchair most of the way to the delivery ward. At the lift I got out and walked (pride!). When we got to the ward we were shown to a room with a bed, we hadn’t taken the bags in as we thought we might get sent home for a while. We were hooked up to a monitor around my tummy to measure your heart rate. It was a bit low. I was examined but wasn’t even dilated! But because your heart rate was low and my contractions were really painful we had to stay in on the delivery ward. At 4.30am we called Granny to come to the hospital. She arrived with sandwiches and fruit and helped me have a bath. I had gas and air too. I liked it when Daddy and Granny put their hands on my bump when I had a contraction and encouraged me. Daddy went to move the car and get the bags. I was examined and monitored again and was 4cm dilated at about 9am. I had another bath. Then I had pethidine. It made me feel a bit drunk! I ate some green squares of jelly and some bread from a sandwich. Everyone was really tired as we’d missed a whole night’s sleep. I was quite angry by now and was swearing and cross! I was in a lot of pain. After being in labour for about 16 hours I was examined again and was 8/9cm dilated. I wanted an epidural as I was in so much pain but the anaethatists were in theatre. Claire, our midwife, said I might not need one anyway as we were nearly there. At about 2.30pm I really felt like I needed to push. The pethidine had worn off and I only had gas and air. Claire told me I could start pushing and that you’d be born within a couple of hours. That felt like a lifetime! Granny left the room to call Grandpops to tell him you were well and truly on your way. When she left the room I pushed again and then had an overwhelming feeling I was going to have a fit. I said so. Claire put me in to the recovery position as I had a fit and pressed the panic button. Lots of people rushed in to the room, a cardiac team as they weren’t sure if I was arresting or having a fit and a team for you too. My fit lasted 30-40 seconds. I lost conciousness and both mine and your heart rates dropped significantly. Daddy was taken out of the room. When I came round (I can’t remember this) the doctors were debating whether to continue with an assisted delivery (using forceps or ventouse) or to perform a caesarean. Because I was distressed and your heart rate had dropped the doctors decided on a c section under a general anaesthetic. I can’t remember this. At the same time Granny and Daddy were being told things like ‘it didn’t look good’ for either of us. It was very worrying for them. Daddy scrubbed up for the operation but in the end couldn’t go in as there were too many people in there, with all the doctors, midwives, etc for both of us.
You were born at 3.47pm on 10th May 2011. I was unconcious. Daddy saw you straight away and he let the doctors know the name we had picked for you. It was lucky you were a boy as we had decided on your name but hadn’t yet picked out a girl’s name. I can’t really remember much of the Tuesday evening or the Wednesday as I was in quite a state and had quite a lot of morphine. I do remember hearing Daddy say ‘he is called ************ (aka the pob)’. That’s when I knew you were a boy. You weighed 7lb 2oz. I remember holding you for the first time, you had a little blood on your head still. I cried and wiped it with cotton wool and water. That was Tuesday evening. Before then you’d been taken to special care to be checked as you’d had such a traumatic delivery . In my tummy you were back to back (which is why my contractions were four minutes apart from the start and why I was in so much pain, perhaps causing the fit). You also had the cord wrapped round your neck, twice!!
When Claire lifted you out of my tummy she said you had your eyes wide open and were looking straight up at her! She also said she knew I was ok as when I came round Daddy came over to my side and I snapped at him! I didn’t mean to but I was very confused and drugged up.
In special care you were found to have rasied CRP levels in your blood – an infection. You had to stay in special care for two nights, you had a tube up your nose in to your tummy. You had a canula in your hand for the antibiotics. I was still on the delivery ward, where I stayed until Thursday evening. I was quite poorly. On the Tuesday night I ate ice cubes all night, we had a nurse to stay in the room with me in case I fitted again i think. She read her book at the end of my bed under a lamp whilst I chomped away on ice and Daddy tried to rest. They let Daddy stay with me on the delivery ward on Tuesday and Wednesday night, he even had his own bed in my room with me! He was allowed to stay because me and you were still quite poorly. I had a picture of you taped to the end of my bed to look at you whist you were in special care. On the Tuesday and Wednesday night I couldn’t sleep without you, I was so worried and wanted you with me.
You were fine though, on the Tuesday you were born and on the Wednesday you were looked after a girl called Hollie, you were all the nurses favourite baby and they said you were very beautiful and fought over cuddles! Lucy, Steve, Granny, Grandpops, Nanny, Katie and Jamie all visited when you were still in special care.
On the Wednesday I had an MRI and an EEG to check I was ok. They were both clear, no clots, tumour or anything. The fit was put down to pre eclampsia or stress on my body, they couldn’t be sure.
I fed you twice on the Wednesday which helped to be close to you. Then on the Thursday I fed you all day which meant you could stay with us all the time and just go to special care for your antibiotics. Once this happened we were transferred to the normal ward, Lady Mary, this was Thursday evening and we stayed there until Sunday, when we went home, together.
I like to think only those who turn out to be the greatest, beautiful, most talented people are bought in to the world in the toughest ways. No birth is perfect, but every baby is perfect to their mummy. The pob truly is my greatest inspiration and as I always tell him, he’s made out of love. That’s all that really matters.