Having already had 3 beautiful children and experiencing birth 3 different ways. I thought that I was a pro and lived in my own ignorant bliss that my 4th little bundle would make an appearance and be just the same as her 2 older brothers and her sister.
How wrong was I!
My 4th little bundle is Baby an she is the most amazing little girl ever. I will say since having her I have started finding grey hairs at the ripe old age of 26. I know she probably wasn’t the cause but I know they weren’t there before she was born.
As with all my other pregnancies she didn’t arrive by her due date no matter how much I hoped/coaxed her to get things moving.
So at 12 days over due I faced another induction of labour.
So on the morning of the 4th October 2013 I trundled into Bradford royal infirmary maternity unit and was booked in.
After been hooked up to the machines the hospital realised I was actually in slow labour (something I had known for the last few weeks) and decided to see if my body could do it on it’s own.
My labour did progress but not as fast as the hospital staff liked and my little girls heart rate kept dipping showing signs of distress. They decided to start me on a hormone drip (syntocinon) to get things moving. It was at that point I ordered my epidural! It took an hour for them to get it in the right place after 2 failed attempts but it was finally in an they told me I could lay back. As I moved my leg on to bed, I got the urge to push.
The little madam had been causing me pain for weeks and I finally get some relief from it an she decides she wants to arrive. 10 minutes and a few pushes later, at 10.15pm (before my epidural had even kicked in) she entered the world.
That’s when all the fun and surprises started. Because she had been in distress during labour she had opened her bowels and swallowed some of the meconium. After what felt like a life time of silence, she took a few cries and calmed down.
Then they weighed her. I was expecting her to be just like my other kids which were all average to big babies going from 7lbs 10oz – 9lbs at birth. Baby came out a tiny 6lbs 10oz and I had nothing in my hospital bag that didn’t drowned her.
When she was born because of the meconium being present doctors had been called to give her checks and that when they noticed something wasn’t right but decided to leave us a while and come back once I had been sorted an had chance to cuddle my little girl.
30 minutes later the doctor came back in and it was like the whole atmosphere in the room changed. It was at that moment I knew something was wrong before the doctor even started to explain.
They told us that they thought Baby had Down syndrome.
The news was a shock I hadn’t expected or even dreamed of and in that moment everything seemed to changed. It was like the world stopped but everything kept going.
I felt like it was my own fault in some ways for not having any tests done but in previous pregnancies I had the blood test that said I was at low risk of having a child with DS and in all honesty I didn’t think it would happen to me.
The doctor explain a blood test would confirm it and I should enjoy my baby.
I should enjoy my baby!
Those words echoed over an over in my head. While I was frozen with fear and my mind raced with questions. How could I enjoy my baby when she had Down syndrome? What was her future going to be like? Would she ever be able to experience being a mother herself or even be able to have a normal life?
I didn’t ask any of these questions to doctor I was too busy trying to process everything that had just happened. Once she had left the midwife tried getting me to nurse Baby. I had always planned to breastfeed, she said sometime children with Down syndrome can have problems feeding but Baby seemed to be doing ok once she latched on. So she left us to bond an process everything. After like 20 minutes of her trying to feed I noticed she was getting sleepy and hard to wake. I moved her so I was cradling her in my arms and that’s when everything changed!
Baby’s lips started turning blue, her skin a grey colour and her breathing went shallow. My husband ran to get a midwife and it became all systems go. My room filled with health care professional and became a blur of oxygen masks and monitors. I just stared at the door in front of me not wanting to see what was happening to my baby and feeling completely helpless as I gripped on to my husband’s hand.
That was the moment my mother instinct kicked in an that’s when Baby having Down syndrome didn’t matter as long as she lived I would love her no matter what.
She was whisked off to neonatal an was put on a ventilator due to her swallowing meconium an it causing Meconium aspiration.
Nothing could of prepared me for what happened the day she was born and at the end of it all I was left alone in a room on the ward with everything whizzing around in my head and without my baby that my arms so desperately craved for.
From that moment I willed Baby to fight an hang in there and I made a promise to myself and to her that as long as she fought I wouldn’t give up.
It’s 5 months on and she is still going from strength to strength. We have mastered breastfeeding, smiling, hold our head up and recently rolling over.
Proud is an understatement for how I feel about this child because she is amazing.