Birth Story 7

This is an anonymous post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group. All identifying details have been changed.

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Today is a day like any other. My then fiancé, now hubby, was at work, our 7.5 month old son James is taking his nap and I am just about to prepare dinner.

I need the toilet so off I waddle only then I go into sheer panic….. I’m bleeding and not just a little…. a lot!
Those Braxton Hicks I’d been having today were surely just pretend right?!
But the blood, I’m scared.

I call hubby in tears telling him ‘Come home now somethings wrong, I’m bleeding.’

Half an hour later hubby arrived home and with our little boy in tow we make our way to the hospital. We arrive and I’m checked out, hooked up to a monitor and told ‘yes you are having tightenings but they are not contractions, you are not in labour, the blood we aren’t sure why but all is ok and you can go home.’

We go home and I place myself on the bed to rest much as I can with a 7.5 month old!

Hubby returns to work and we reassure ourselves the doctors said everything is ok.

Only it wasn’t!

16th September 2005, just a day later, the bleeding is still as bad and the tightenings are getting more frequent…. then….. as I got up to go to the toilet ‘David come quick something is falling out of me,’ I feared it was our baby girl, please let her be ok. David carried me back to bed and I told him to look.

The colour’s draining from him as he is calling 999, ‘Somethings there,’ he’s saying, ‘I think it’s the baby.’

The ambulance came but by the time they arrived whatever it was had gone back. They took me to hospital and hooked me up to monitors. I’ve been on the monitor now for almost an hour and the Braxton Hicks ARE contractions. No this is too soon, Lucy isn’t ready.

11:30pm I have a very official looking doctor here at my bedside and he is telling David and me things, things I’m not ready to hear – ‘your daughter will be very poorly when she is born, she will need lots of medical support and I must tell you she may never walk or talk if infact she survives such an early birth. We have to prepare you for this.’

He can’t be speaking to me? Not my baby – no this isn’t happening!

But it is! It’s now midnight and we’re put into an ambulance and rushed 200 miles away to Luton & Dunstable hospital as the hospital we were at didn’t care for babies born this early.

I’m so scared. My baby boy is away from me with in laws and my baby girl may not survive.

We arrive at the hospital and I’m rushed through to labour & delivery. Thing is Lucy had other plans now. The contractions were still coming as was the bleeding but they weren’t progressing and I was stuck at 2cm dilated.

I was given steroids to develop Lucy’s lungs, meds to try delay the labour and put on bed rest for the next 4 days.

On the 4th day I’m allowed to get up to use the toilet… bad move! That ‘something’ that was ‘falling out of me’ came back, I’m screaming for a midwife. She came and looked shocked. The next I knew there were at least 10 doctors/midwives/nurses in the room, some carrying me back to bed. It turned out I had bulging membranes and they could see Lucy’s foot hanging outside my body.

The morning of the 20th September 2005 at 4am David has to leave for a few hours to take care of our son as the in laws have a funeral to attend. By 6am both mine and Lucy’s heartbeat is dipping dangerously low with each contraction. I’m exhausted from a 4 day labour and it’s touch and go for us both!

I’m on my own now as David has left and they’re telling me ‘Laura this is serious, we need to perform an emergency cesarean section, we’re taking you now.’

I’m being wheeled along the corridors at a fast pace now. I’m so scared, I’ve never had surgery but much more so for my baby girl, please be strong baby, please fight.

I’m being prepped for surgery right away and given a spinal block. They’ve put the iodine anti bacterial on my tummy and are just about to make an incision when I hear a midwife say ‘she’s having a contraction,’ and then at 6:12am I hear, ‘okay i’ve got her’.

She’s here, my baby girl – not a cry, not placed to my chest – instead she is rushed to the resuscitate table while they ventilate her and whisk her into an incubator.

My baby girl born at 26+5 weeks, weighing just 940g, 2lb 1oz.

I just saw a tiny foot, so small, so precious – will this be the only time I’ll see her?

I’m on the recovery ward now. So many emotions I’m feeling right now whilst parents around me have their beautiful babies in arms, balloons congratulating them and I am alone – hubby with our son and my daughter in NICU.

I request to be moved to a side room as it’s just too much for me. They bring me a picture of my baby girl and tell me she is very very poorly but I can see her soon.

I’m too afraid to look at her picture, I will bond and I’m going to lose her, I know it.

At 8pm David returned to the hospital and we both go down to see our baby girl, she’s perfect. Her see through skin look’s so sore and her tiny body look’s so stressed under those many wires and tubes, those very wires and tubes that saved her life.

Lucy had plans though, she proved them/us all wrong. She is strong and she fought to be here. She spent 93 days in NICU with various health issues, some she continues to have at 9 years old, such as hypermobility, weak muscle tone and epilepsy. She truly is our little miracle and I am one proud Mummy!

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