My partner and I first decided we’d like to try for a baby in 1999. We’d been together for 4 years and had been living together for 18 months – we had huge long discussions about it all before we decided we really were ready.
Unfortunately for us falling pregnant wasn’t as easy as making the decision that we’d like to. It took us 3 years and some help along the way (but that is a whole other story), eventually we fell pregnant and had a beautiful baby boy at 32 weeks.
Fast forward to our baby boys 1st birthday where discussions had been taking place as to whether we’d like to start trying for #2 – hey after our first attempt we figured we had loads of time before it happened. Our plan of action was once my mini-pill ran out in October that I wouldn’t bother getting the script refilled and we’d go from there. All was fine, we were busy planning our suprise wedding for December and enjoying being parents to our gorgeous son.
December 12th – the eve of our wedding for some strange reason I decide to do a pregnancy test and what do you know it was positive! I was absolutely beside myself – I told my partner to look after our son James (who was in bed) while I raced down to Safeway to buy another pregnancy test to do in the morning. I told my partner I needed something for tomorrow and he believed me!
December 13th – yep it’s certainly positive – WOOHOO! It only took us 2 months this time. We decided that we weren’t going to tell people just yet – but when it came out afterwards loads of people who were at the wedding went “no wonder you weren’t drinking”.
From here on in pregnancy progressed well. Doctor was very happy with the results and the only glitch was my blood pressure which started to rise from the time I was 13 weeks pregnant (it happened in my first pregnancy too but it was 23 weeks) but medication helped keep it under control. Scans all showed a perfectly healthy and normal bubs and all else was great. We were given a due date of August 20th, 2004 – our reaction was to laugh at that. When asked what were we laughing at our answer was it is our first son’s 2nd birthday on August 21st!!
On March 16th, my partner and I had intercourse on the nite before and I woke up feeling awfully “wet”, at first I put it down to the fact that we had had sex the nite before, but eventually wasn’t so sure. My partner was meant to be going to work but instead rang them and said he was taking me to the doctor. He then rang our doctor who said to come in straight away (this was 7:30am on a Saturday morning) he checked me out and sent me to the hospital right across the road. It was organised for the ultrasound guy to come in and do an ultrasound. So with that done, everything looked okay to the best of their knowledge. When we quizzed the ultrasound technician about the amount of fluid around bubs he tells us he can’t be sure as there is no measure for how much there should be at this stage (approx 16 weeks) but that there appears to be enough. The doctor tells me to go home, start maternity leave immediately, to do no heavy lifting and rest lots – not sure he remembered that we had a very active 18 month old in the house?!
So on doctors orders, everything seemed to be going well and without my mother-in-law’s help I’m sure we wouldn’t have made it as far as we did. She was fantastic helping to look after James when my husband was at work.
Fast forward to March 23rd, I had another leak. My husband was due home in 20 minutes time so I decided just to wait until he was home before going to the emergency department of our hospital. My mother-in-law picked up James and took him for the night. This happened at about 7:30pm. When we saw the doctor, he told us that it was probably a bladder infection which can cause pregnant women to leak occasionally. However am not convinced. They checked my blood pressure which was unbelievably high, 167/104, so they gave me more medication and told me to try and calm down. Eventually they agree to admit me for the night if nothing more than to try and get some rest.
On March 24th the doctor ordered another ultrasound which revealed that no fluid was left around our baby at all. I bawled my eyes out as they took me back up to the ward. We met our doctor in the hallway in his surgery scrubs, it was deemed important enough to disrupt him with the results immediately. He was busy making a phone call and telling someone to organise an ambulance and to contact my partner who had gone to work because we figured it wouldn’t be that bad. How wrong were we. The doctor explains that he doesn’t know what to do and is sending us to an Obstetrician in the next town. We arrived there and my mum was waiting as my partner had phoned her while he went home to get changed. We had to wait for a bit to see the Obstetrician and once we saw him he told us he had seen our ultrasound results but that to double check he would like to do another one in the morning. He then went on to explain our options to us if we there was still no fluid around bubs.
They went something like this: #1 go home and wait for Mother Nature to take its course; #2 stay in hospital and see how far we could make it into the pregnancy but we were warned that if we chose this option our baby would most likely not live very long anyway, as the main role of the fluid is to help baby’s lungs mature and grow – without doing that they wouldn’t be able to function enough to be able to cope; & #3 a termination was given as our final choice. We sat up all night discussing the pros and cons of every choice we had been given. Finally after much heartache we reached our decision based on the ultrasound results in the morning.
That morning, the ultrasound showed no fluid and for the final time I see our little baby moving with its heart beating away madly – that was nearly my undoing there and then. My Obstetrician came to see us and to tell us that in his opinion our baby didn’t stand a chance of survival – we told him we had decided on a termination then.
He left then came back later that afternoon to insert the tablets that he uses and told me to try to relax and he’ll be back later that night for the next lot of tablets. I am surrounded by my mum, my dad (just a short visit but very much appreciated) and my wonderful partner. The contractions kicked in at about 9pm – nothing too major at this stage. The Obstetrician was back at 11pm and by now the contractions are pretty intense while he does the next lot of tablets. He estimated that our baby would be born by 2am. Labour really kicked in and finally I ask for pain relief. Move forward to watching a stupid Jaws movie on the TV and I feel the need to push. My partner runs out of room to get the midwife and after about 10 minutes of pushing our beautiful second son, Alex was born our angel boy at 1:25am on March 26th, 2004. We had photos, footprints and his clothes to take with us and a heart full of memories and love created in 24 hours.
Move forward to today 20 months since all this happened to us and we are still trying for another baby, after being assured that what happened to Alex isn’t likely to happen again. I have my doubts at times that I am ever going to have the joy of another baby in my life, but for now I am not ready to give up my dream.