Nine days ago I did what I normally do on a Thursday morning – got up, went to the gym, came home, put some washing on, had breakfast and waited to see if I would be working.
However, in the back of my mind, there was a feeling that this wasn’t going to be any normal Thursday for me. Something had happened during the night that had made me question what was going on with my body.
When I went to bed on the Wednesday night, something trickled between my legs. At first, I put it down to an overload of pregnancy hormones; everything seemed to be on overdrive lately, so I figured that must have been it. But when it didn’t stop, I started thinking more clearly – this had the potential to be something serious.
I read the books I had and hesitantly called the midwives at the hospital. I didn’t want to admit it, but I was pretty certain my waters had broken, 9 weeks early. I described what had happened and was told to come in for a check up. I was petrified and burst into tears as soon as I hung up – a sign of many, many more to come.
I messaged my husband, telling him that I was sure it was nothing and that I would be sent home. I gathered some things together and placed them in a bag – thinking that I really should be getting a bag together for when I eventually did have to go into hospital. And then I drove myself in, all the time thinking I would be sent home for being so silly.
I wasn’t sent home. I was kept in hospital and told I wouldn’t be leaving until my baby arrived. I was petrified. I called my husband but couldn’t speak. The fear that gripped me was too overwhelming. I had offered to look after my sister’s youngest two while she took her eldest to the specialist that afternoon, so I called her to say I wouldn’t be able to make it and to ask that she pass on what was happening to our older sister as I didn’t want to disturb her at work. I laughed about what was happening, hoping to hide the fear. I was hesitant to call my parents, I knew they would worry, but knew they would want to know. I placed the call and managed to hold myself together.
Doctors and nurses came and went; heart rates were monitored; injections were given; canulars put in place. Words like ruptured membrane, infection, breech, caesarean, emergency, were thrown around, and all the while I was gripping on to the hope that my baby would stay put for just a few more weeks.
I was transferred to Sydney via ambulance and tried to keep the situation light, I felt I needed to be strong for everyone else, in particular my husband, who was just as petrified as me. I was placed in a room and more people came and poked, prodded and stabbed at me. More samples were taken and people came and spoke of things I didn’t understand and didn’t want to comprehend – none of this was meant to be happening. I was alone, scared, anxious, exhausted and just plain petrified – and I had a whole night of this.
Less than 24 hours later, my beautiful baby boy was delivered via emergency caesarean section. He weighed 1.59 kilograms (approximately 3.5 pound) and measured roughly 44 centimetres. I didn’t get to hold him and I only heard one tiny cry as he was lifted out. I saw the back of his tiny head as he was wheeled to the intensive care unit, where my husband got to follow and I waited.
8 long days later, still covered in tubes, I got to hold my son for the first time, for half an hour. It was the most precious 30 minutes I have ever experienced.
I have kept a diary of what has been happening, but I’m not ready to share that just yet, even typing this has me in tears.
However, my sister found some beautiful poetry and when I read it, it was like reading my own thoughts, like someone had looked in my head and wrote down what I was experiencing. So I am borrowing the words of others until I am strong enough emotionally to share my own words, something that will hopefully take place soon.
My son is still sick and has a long way to come, but he has shown he is a fighter and so I have to be too. The love and support we have received has been so overwhelming, but everyday it makes it that little bit easier.