Seeing as it's world prematurity day, I thought today would be a good day to talk about my eldest son, Harrison.
My husband and I badly wanted a baby. We tried for maybe a year without success, and I was convinced it was my age that was the problem. I even had tests. I had a chemical pregnancy not long after we were married and it's fair to say I was gutted.
Five long months later, we finally got what we wanted. A big fat positive! And morning sickness. And all the other fun associated with pregnancy. I didn't have an easy time, I got SPD (Or Pelvic Girdle Pain as a lot of people know it)and had to have physio. I was super uncomfy as he wiggled really far down in my pelvis and I could hardly walk. I also got the odd agonizing abdominal pain.
6 months in, my husband was finally going to graduate from University. His PhD had eaten up so much of our lives for so many years and we were finally going to celebrate.
It was a fairly long drive from Cambridge to Birmingham. We stopped along the way and I swore I had wet myself . Slightly embarrassed, we made another stop for some Tena Lady because I was worried I wouldn't make it through the ceremony!
Little did I know.
We got to the University, collected robes, messed about, even joked with others about labour. We went to pose for official photos. It was then the unthinkable happened. My water broke in front of everyone, maybe 100 or so people. I was 29 weeks and 1 day pregnant.
The next few hours are a blur. Hospital admissions, undignified checks from untold amounts of medical staff, monitoring...I was told I should be ok, and I would be kept in for 48 hours and probably go home on bed rest. As we had nothing with us, my hubby went out to collect me a few things. And it was then I noticed that my stomach ache was getting worse - and coming in waves. When Ian got back I mentioned it to someone. I was hooked up and hey presto, I was in early labour. My in laws arrived at visiting time - just in time to see me being wheeled down to delivery. I was utterly calm - maybe even numb - at this point. Baby's heart kept stopping with each contraction, and not recovering well. I had doctors arguing over what to do. I nodded yes to a C section and away I went. Wheeled into a theatre FULL of people. A team for me, and a team for my baby. I was about to have a spinal, when I believe baby crashed again and all hell broke lose. Ian got kicked out and I got put under. So much was happening, and the last thing I remember before I went under, was being tilted sideways. So bizarre.
I woke up a few hours later, close to midnight, in an empty recovery room. I whispered to my husband "Do we have a baby?".
To my amazement, he produced our camera. And there he was. Covered in wires, and in a plastic box. But it was our baby.
We named him straight away. Harrison. He was 2lb, 12oz, born at 8.38pm by emergency C section.
Delivered by a man called Albert Dimitry. I will never forget that.
To my amazement, my sister and my In Laws arrived. And, in the dead of night, I was wheeled down to Nicu to meet my baby. There he was,this tiny, little boy, hooked up to so many machines. And I couldn't even hold him. He took my breath away
I was then taken to my room. They had kindly given me a private room on the post natal ward - but I could still hear all the newborns crying.
Thank god I was drugged to the eyeballs...as it was the longest night of my
And this was just the beginning. We had a long, hard road ahead, and I wont lie - probably the toughest thing I have ever done.