The day we found out we were pregnant was (as it is for so many people) overwhelming, nerve-wracking but mostly after over a year of trying to conceive, exciting.
I was due to go to the doctors that day for further tests as to why I was not having any monthly cycles for a year and a half after stopping the contraceptive pill.
I was thrilled to walk in and tell the doctor my good news!
Then the nerves followed.....
What if I am a bad mum?
What if I don’t love my baby?
What if I can’t cope with labour?
What if I have to have a c-section?
For my entire life I struggled with a phobia of hospitals and needles and after failed hypnotherapy the thought of even the pregnancy blood tests terrified me.
My pregnancy was ok other than morning sickness. I worked constantly throughout and other than feeling fat, frumpy and spotty (I do not believe the pregnancy glow is real) everything went really well.
So at 38 weeks I strolled into my midwife appointment thinking YES I am nearly there.... soon I will be able to see my toes and have a nice cold glass of wine!
I plonked myself down in the chair at 11.30am and the midwife started her normal chats etc
She asked me about how I felt and I said I was really swollen (feet went from size 4 to size 6 almost overnight!) and that I had had a headache for a few days but I put it all down to standing up for a job!
So she checked my blood pressure and protein, then turned to my mum who came with me to all my appointments and asked her to go outside and ring the dad as the baby was going to be born today.
I was told I had severe preeclampsia and +4 protein.
It was all a bit of a blur but even turning up at the hospital I still felt strangely calm.
I walked to the birthing centre, told them who I was and they said they had been waiting for me and to follow them.
I was whisked off into a side room where a lovely lady explained what was happening and that they would try and break my waters to get my labour started! I was hooked up to machines that said I was having contractions that I didn’t even know about and couldn't feel!!
They did some checks on the baby and said she was fine which was SUCH a relief!!!
They then explained that I was really poorly and would need to have a magnesium injection to lower my bloody pressure rapidly.
My husband arrived at this point - with a newspaper and coffee thinking we would be there ages waiting for labour! However, after an hour they decided I needed to go straight to theatre for an emergency c-section.
That was it, the one thing I really thought I could not cope with, the one thing I was dreading hearing!!!
So off I go gowned up to theatre. I felt so scared. I was only 38 weeks and I didn’t feel ready. The epidural to me was the thing I dreaded the most and I didn’t even feel it!! Whilst my husband and the consultants and nurse joked about it, it was done. I don’t remember much of the c section, just instructing my husband that if he passed out I would divorce him! Then we heard that first cry!!! RELIEF!! We had a beautiful little girl at 3.30pm, just 4 hours after my midwife appointment.
The following 5 days I stayed in intensive care in a room they set up for us as a family.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to the nurses and consultants that were there the day of Lilly’s birth but also the nurses that I had with me 24/7. If one of the nurses needed to go to the loo they called another one to come and take over, I was never left alone.
I had my blood pressure taken every 5 minutes for 2 days. I had blood tests 3 times a day for 5 days. I was not allowed a drink anything for 2 days. I was not allowed to get out of bed for 3 days.
This all sounds so terrifying and to me before going through it all thought I would never cope, but those midwives, doctors, consultants become like your family. They are there when you really need them, they hold your hand, they wipe your tears.
If you feel terrified of what lays ahead, please don’t, the people that will surround you are nearly as special as that little person you give birth to!!!
People always ask me would I have another c section, without a doubt!