Friday, January 7, 2011

Last pregnancy pic and Birth Story

Oliver is a week old tomorrow. So much has happened and so much I've forgotten already. I'll be as detailed as possible as I feel these memories are fading fast and I want to have a record of them all, but you feel free to scan through the post, I know how I feel when I face a long post to read!

First this is my last photo at 36 weeks pregnant. I hadn't put up more weight at that point in fact it looked like I had lost a kg and so my total gain was in the end +15kg.

By that weekend we were in and out our place trying to move back in, we had to finish a few things, clean, wash etc, and I felt a bit more tired but nothing really to be worrying about. I had my Braxton Hicks, plenty of movements and no other problem to speak of.
Some minor delay with the painters meant we were not going to be able to move in until the following tuesday but no big deal, we had the apartment till the end of December anyway.

Tuesday (28/12 36w2d) came and we had practically moved back in a part from the cats and the last few boxes. We decided to sleep in the apartment another night.

Wednesday (29/12, 36w3d) I woke up feeling a bit wetter than usual, again nothing major at all, but I called the hospital to see if it was better to be checked out in case it was the water that had started leaking. They said to go in. We finished packing everything, we moved out of the apartment and back into our place, fed the cats, I threw something into a bag for the hospital just in case (I had nothing ready!) and we headed off.
I was very relaxed, sure they would check me and send me back home, oh bless the ignorance! They did a NST which showed Elvis was absolutely fine and healthy, then they asked me to give them a sample. Not knowing any better I peed in the cup while they wanted a sample of the wetness!! Oh dear! I tried again and produced a few drops (it could have been pee though, I didn't know for sure). The midwives looked at it and said "oh yeah, I'd say it's fluid!". Right. Then a doctor came to see me, she said that due to my history and all I've been through they would have acted on the side of caution and checked me in so that I could be started on antibiotics. As I was settling into the ward, we chatted with the midwife to see when would I be going home and she said "Oh no, you are not going anywhere, we suspect your waters have gone so given that you'll be 37 weeks on Sunday we'll induce you then as the baby is considered full term at that point". Holy crap, so this is it! I'm not going back home! I phoned my parents and immediate action was taken by mum so that she could be here. No matter how much I told her there was no need, she just had to be here. My OB was on holiday that week and I was supposed to meet a different doctor which happened to be on duty at the hospital that evening. He was Dr. M but given his role in the last few days of my pregnancy I'll call him Dr. Wonderful. He came checking on me the same evening and said he would be back the day after to plan with me what to do.

On the Thursday (30/12 36w4d) a different doctor was doing the morning rounds and she suggested to check for sure if my waters had gone by looking at the cervix and check for fluids leaking. The test was negative. I just had another NST test which was perfect, not much concern, maybe I was going home after all! It so happened that she was carrying around a portable scanner and did a quick ultrasound. Remember all the abundance of fluids I had at 34 weeks? It was gone. I started saying I had a scan done 3 weeks earlier and I had the deepest pocket measuring 6.3cm, how could it have disappeared? She agreed and sent me down in Foetal Assessment for a proper scan.
It took a while but eventually I was called in. Yes, the liquid was very low, the tech said on the low side if normal, there was still some of course but not much. Elvis looked perfect, moving around, breathing and with very good blood flow in the umbilical artery. But then she started taking measures and there had been minimal growth since the scan at 34 weeks. Elvis weight was estimated at 2.2kg practically the same if you rounded up the numbers of both scans. My blood froze instantly. There was something wrong. It must have been the placenta that stopped working properly, this would explain the diminished fluids and lack of growth. A Dr. came in and she double checked the measurements, confirmed the findings. Together we looked at the placenta which to me looked very inhomogeneous, she thought there may be some calcification. She said the baby was fine, no need to be worried, I was in the right place and they would take no chances, she would go talking to Dr. Wonderful and let me know. Dr. Wonderful himself came in and rescanned me for the third time. Confirmed all the measurements.
He is a fantastic person, very calm and with excellent bedside manners. Considering I was on the verge of tears (could it have been the tiling and the running around that put Elvis at risk?) he was a God to me at that point. He said that given that the baby was well but not growing much, that they suspected the waters had gone or even if not there wasn't much there, the baby was better out than in and that by the weekend I would be a mom. They would try to induce me the day after and if induction didn't work (just shy of 37 weeks it may very well not work) they wouldn't dwell on it and section me. He said he was on duty all weekend and not to worry.
I went back to my bed, relieved we had a plan I was happy with and sobbing my eyes out thinking what if I had not come to the was such a coincidence I decided to be checked out, I wasn't really worried for once in this pregnancy, I could have easily decided to stay at home after all...

Friday came (31/12 36w5d) and you wouldn't believe the amount of women being whisked to the L&D ward that day. By 8pm I started worrying they would not induce me after all, it was New Year's Eve, who would do this? Midwives started saying to me and Mike it may not happen tonight, it'll be the first thing tomorrow morning. But I couldn't bear the thought of not doing anything, it's not like it was my choice to have the baby born early, it had to happen for his safety! I asked the midwife to call Dr. Wonderful and tell him there was this change of plan, I thought he had been very clear we really had no time to waste. I went for a shower to calm myself down a bit and when I got back to the bed there was a midwife there ready to take me to L&D for induction! Dr. Wonderful had intervened and he said he'll look after me so to induce me.
Mike and I went to L&D, lovely midwives were with us, they did an internal and my cervix was very unfavourable (meaning long and closed...and there I was months ago worried about IC!) so oxytocine was very unlikely to work. Dr. Wonderful also came in and redid the internal. Yep, long and closed. He suggested we try the prostaglandin gel instead and see if things moved along during the night. We would reassess the situation in the morning and again if nothing had changed I'd be prepped for a section.
I was induced at 10.50 pm. We celebrated the New Year in the room waiting for something to happen. I was constantly monitored so Mike and I wished happy new year to little Elvis's heartbeat happily beating away.
Incredibly mom, who landed in Dublin around 10.30 pm that night managed to come in the L&D for a quick hello before going home waiting for news.
At 1am I went back to the ward and Mike went home.
The night was spent a bit up and down the bed, everyone else around be was in full blown labour, I ended up wearing earplugs to try and get some sleep! I had some contractions, nothing much really no more than AF cramps associated with back pain and tightening of the belly. Then it passed and I slept till morning.

On Saturday (1/1 36w6d) Dr. Wonderful came checking on me in the morning (do they ever go home and sleep?), cervix was a little softer, a little shorter and a little wider. The plan was to do another dose of gel, wait till after lunch and then section me in the afternoon if labour didn't start. Mike came around lunch time, I was still fasting just in case and absolutely starving at that point. I asked for an IV to keep me going a bit fearing the worst headache ever will come along quickly if I wasn't somewhat hydrated.
Around 3pm I was experiencing a very contracted belly. But not contractions, in fact the belly was never relaxing at all really. It felt odd. I thought I couldn't feel much movements, which would be normal if you are contracted, and I knew the HB was fine as it was regularly monitored, but still it didn't feel right. After a while I asked Mike to listen to the belly for movements and as he put his ear to the belly I felt a gush. I thought my waters had now definitely gone but when I checked it was blood. A lot of it. Clotted. It looked like liver. I was sure it was the placenta detaching and that the baby was about to die. Midwives were around me in seconds, checked immediately the HB which was good and normal, completely unaffected by what was going on. I couldn't believe this was happening to me, I couldn't possibly believe this nightmare was happening. I could hear the HB but I feared any minute it was going to drop.
Drs were called, OR was called, I was brought up to theatre with blood gushing out of me whether I was moving or staying still. It was the most frightening thing ever and I was sobbing all the way and started praying in my head to please save this baby. The staff was just amazing they were reassuring me trying to stay focussed on the "now" that things were good, baby was happy and they'll have him out in a very short time. Dr. Wonderful was waiting for me in theatre very calmly said he was about to come down for me, that everything was fine and to stay calm. I had a spinal, I have to say I was feeling nothing at all, no needles just voices around me. Mike came in and sat beside me. They started surgery and took the baby out. He cried immediately. We cried too. He was well, a boy like I always thought. Then the most relaxing thing happened next, the doctors started chit chatting while suturing me. They said I only had a small tear in the placenta which looked awful to me but it wasn't really that bad. Between the onset of the bleed (3.53 pm) and the birth of Oliver (4.37pm) it passed 45 minutes. Amazing. I'll have another post on my recovery and feelings after the birth, I think I'm suffering a bit of baby blues at the moment, very oddly I cannot remember being pregnant at all. I look at the picture above and think it was someone else.


  1. Oh my gosh that must have been terrifying! I'm so glad you and the baby were just fine.

    Hope you start feeling better soon :)

  2. I'm so glad everything worked out.
    Welcome little Oliver!!!! Congrats Momma!!!

  3. Oh Fran...I was crying reading your post (I've been having the baby blues this week).

    I'm so glad baby Oliver and you are healthy! What a blessing dr. Wonderful is.

    I am terrified of delivery, but I know that God has gotten me this far and He will be with me throughout the whole process.

    I hope you and baby are getting plenty of rest.

  4. Wow!! What a tremendous story. Thank you for sharing and I'm so happy that everything turned out ok for you!

  5. Oh Fran! I am so happy for you! Congratulations on welcoming little Oliver into the world. I'm sorry you had to endure those very scary moments but am so very happy God kept his hand on you both and delivered him safely. Enjoy those tiny, tiny snuggles. You have waited so very long!!

  6. Congratulations on the arrival of baby Oliver! So happy for you darling. I know it was a traumatic experience but I am sure baby is making up for it. xx

  7. Congrats, I am so glad all is well. God is truly wonderful.

  8. Holy cannoli! Now THAT is an eventful birth, lol. So glad all is well. I honestly remember nothing of those first few weeks home, so if you want memories, document daily! Can't wait to see pics of your wee one:)

  9. Oh Fran! My thoughts are with you! I can't wait to see pictures of Oliver. It's been too long since I've commented but know that I've been reading all along and have been thinking about you! Congratulations Mama!

  10. That is an amazing story. So, so scary! I am so glad you both are okay and recovering well. I hope you are able to reconcile that picture with the last nine months and get back to you. HUGS

  11. so glad you and oliver are healthy. i am glad you had a great doctor and good nurses watching over you.
    hope you start feeling better soon

  12. My dear Fran!
    Oh my God! You totally rock for going in to hospital when you did. What a drama! Good for you for advocating for yourself. I'm so sorry it was all so scary. If you are feeling down please talk to your doctor now. You can get meds that will have you feeling good in a few days. You can take Zoloft or Prozac and breastfeed no problem. I'm taking Prozac and had to up my meds after I left the hospital. Give yourself a lot of slack - you have been through major surgery and it's traumatizing.
    I'm so happy for you. It's hard at first but take it a day at a time and be kind to yourself.
    I would love to see pics of Oliver - not sure if you are sharing. Make the most of your mother's help while she is here. I hope you have a lot of time off work to be with your sweet baby. Sending lots of love:)

  13. "Scan through the post"??? Are you kidding? I've waited a year and a half for this moment! I hung on every word.

    Oh, Fran, first of all, I'm so glad Baby Oliver is here and safe and everything turned out well. Thank goodness you decided to call and got to the hospital. Thank goodness you had a GREAT doctor.

    Second of all, baby blues are very common. I cried most of the first 3 weeks of my baby's life. I think I even cried about our living room drapes during that time! Remember that your hormones are trying to equilibrate. The placenta is gone now, so your body has to compensate for the sudden disappearance of hormones. But if you feel really bad, call the doctor, okay?

    Third, I had the same strange sensation about not remembering feeling pregnant. It happened almost right away after birth too. Even now, it seems a million years ago. we want to hear about the baby! How is he? What is he like? How is motherhood? How is Mike in his new role as Daddy? How are Patches and The Dude reacting? I know you have a lot to do and you need to take care of yourself and REST. But when you can, let us know! And - ahem - if you'd care to share a picture of the baby, it would be wonderful!

    Love and hugs to your beautiful family.

  14. That's quite a story! Thanks so much for sharing it with us all. It's been so wonderful to be along with you for this entire pregnancy journey. I'm just so happy it turned out so well for you! Congratulations!

  15. Glad you're both doing well and you had such a fab team working on you! Don't be afraid to ask for help with your baby blues. :)

  16. Wonderful! Congratulations again... I am just so happy for you! (and, is it dumb that I think the fertility buddha had something to do with it, LOL)

  17. welcome oliver! what a crazy end to the pregnancy but I'm so happy you're all ok. good luck with the recovery and enjoy oliver!

  18. WOW, that is a wild and crazy story!! You had me biting my nails over here, I'm so glad everything went well in spite of all the drama!

  19. I have been looking forward to reading your birth story Fran. Sorry it was such a scary experience. I totally remember those baby blues days. It will pass. We are both mamas girl! Can you believe it??? After all these years there are babies in our arms who will some day soon mouth the word "mama" to us and our hearts will melt. So happy for you!!!!

  20. Incredible!

    Congratulations on the arrival of your little miracle.

  21. So scary! Glad you had such good care, esp. since your regular OB was away.

    After all of the excitement, it's nice that Oliver is so calm.

  22. Oh Fran, the bleeding sounds like a terrifying experience, even though the doctors told you afterwards it wasn't so bad..
    I'm so glad little Oliver arrived safe and sound, and that you are alright.

  23. First of all congratulations on the birth of your beautiful boy!

    Those last days must have been so stressful and intense, not to mention the birth itself. I'm so relieved that all is well now.


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