On Tuesday, 8th March (36 weeks) I started my day like every other day in my third trimester – sore and uncomfortable and on edge that today was the day. Two weeks prior to this (at 34 weeks), I had been admitted to hospital with pre-term labour and mild contractions. After a day and night on cortisone, the pain and contractions subsided and I was sent home and told to take it easy… So I listened as best I could – took it easy with two toddlers and a home to run.
That Tuesday, I had a non-eventful morning, chilling around at home and sending the girls off to school. Around lunch time, I started getting intense abdominal pain but one solid pain, not contracting pain. So I climbed into bed, put my feet up and read my book. A few hours later, my MIL came to visit and she wasn’t happy with the pain I was experiencing – it sounded too much like the pain I had the day before I gave birth to EN. She said I should call my doctor and head straight to the hospital. A phone call to MC who was away at a conference (only 40 minutes away) and he agreed so he sped home to collect me and make our way. I have been unprepared with this whole birth thing before, and I wasn’t make the same mistake again. So I had a shower, I packed my bags and baby bags and waited for MC to arrive. And off we went…
Arriving at the hospital at 5.30pm, we were sent to the Labour Ward, hooked up to the monitors and waited for my doctor. His arrival confirmed that I was in early labour and to stop the pain and slow things down – he gave me a Pethadine injection for the pain and a Cortisone injection to help baby’s lungs if we did end up delivering. Having been in hospital many times and after 6 different surgeries, I am not scared of IV drips, needles etc or the pain so I took the first two needles like a pro. But the third… HOLY COW!!!!! This was honestly the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life – I jumped off the bed, screamed in pain and then sobbed for ages afterwards (even my poor husband ended up in tears!) But the good news is – it took the pain away and put me into a deep sleep (ie: knocked me out!) and I would be checked again in the morning and make the decision to deliver or not.
At 6am the next morning, my doctor arrived to the news that I was still in pain and the contractions had increased a bit – there was just no stopping labour at this stage. He made the call to deliver that morning and started calling in a team for an emergency c-section. The sound of an emergency c-section can be quite daunting but not being our first rodeo, this was actually our most calm and relaxed (and planned!) surgery to date. I had another shower, was prepared for surgery and within an hour, we called into theatre. Our two main concerns for an early delivery were our baby girls possibility of spending time in the NICU (either for her lungs or sucking reflex) as well as having our preferred team of doctors in theatre. We have grown really close to our pediatrician and had requested our previous gynae to assist with the surgery as well as hand picked our anesthetist – now being an emergency and on a day that none of the above were scheduled to be in theatre, we weren’t guarantee any of them!!But God was watching over us – and we walked into theatre and were greeted by all three smiling faces… Utter relief!
And from then on, it was a magical dream… We all laughed and chatted our way through an easy spinal block, memorable photographs being taken, a quick incision and within minutes at the most wonderful time of 11h05, we heard our baby girl cry out for the very first time – pink, chubby and a mop of dark brown hair, weighing 3,08kgs. But most importantly, healthy with an APGAR of 10/10 and not needing one second in the NICU – she was all ours to cuddle and kiss and cry tears of joy over.
After a long and very difficult pregnancy, we were blessed with the most precious miracle. Our third baby girl to complete our family and make us feel whole. We give thanks to Jesus that we had a safe and healthy delivery, calm and relaxing theatre experience and a helpful three days in hospital with our sweet princess before heading home to start life as a family of five…
Read SJ’s birth story here.
Read EN’s birth story here.