Curtis's Birth – August 2003

Our pregnancy was unexpected although very welcome, however, it didn’t turn out to be quite the experience that we had expected. I had some spotting at 10 weeks and then our Nuchal Translucency Scan came back with a high likelihood of chromosomal abnormality which was a real surprise as at the time I was only 27 years of age. We ended up choosing to have an amniocentesis in order to put our minds at rest and are very glad that we did as the results showed a perfectly healthy baby boy was on his way. He was promptly named and nicknamed Squibby.

So from 19 weeks onwards the pregnancy went fine. However at my regular doctors appointment at 34 weeks we discovered that my blood pressure had skyrocketed to 180/110. You would never have known as I felt fine! I was admitted straight to hospital, started on medication and monitored for 2 nights. I went home thinking that was all that I needed and that I would carry to 40 weeks without a problem. I went back to my doctor a few days later only to discover that even on medication I had a blood pressure level of 180/105 and that this time I was going into the maternity ward and wouldn’t be going home again until I had my baby in my arms.

I spent a very long and uneventful 8 nights in the maternity ward and met many lovely mums-to-be, strangely all the women that slept in the other bed in my room during that time had daughters, and on the day that I reached 36 weeks I was induced. My BP was regulated at 150/95 and the baby seemed to be fine. I had been suffering with migraines by this time and my doctor felt that since I had already had my show and was ripe that induction would be best.

On Wednesday August 27th 2003 I was taken through to the birthing suite – yeah, finally out of that room! I had my waters broken. It didn’t take much apparently as I was actually been in prelabour and had been contracting. The contractions came on thick and fast once the drip was in though and BOY! did they take your breath away. I was actually feeling pretty strong but after only 45 minutes of contractions my BP had hit 190/120 and an epidural was administered. No more moving around for me as I was now only allowed to lie on my left side and was hooked up to a fetal monitor. Squibby was doing well and I ended up sleeping the afternoon away – the epidural worked a treat and had my BP down to 120/75 within minutes. My husband, Damien and my mum were both there for support but it turned out that there wasn’t much they could do for me after the epidural apart from keeping me company.

When my doctor came back later in the afternoon I was asleep and he woke me to do an internal and see where we were at. I asked my mother to leave the room at that point as I didn’t feel entirely comfortable during that part of the process. I was 10cms !! Amazing !! My doctor was a little concerned with the babies heart rate on the monitor and did a small test on some blood taken from the babies scalp. He wasn’t getting enough oxygen and had to be delivered quite quickly. PUSH!!! I’ve never worked so hard at anything in all my life but to be honest, I couldn’t feel much and a midwife had to stand with her hand on my bump to tell me when I was contracting and when to push. Count to 10 on each push they said, so I did – 10, 9, 8, 7 …. My husband was helping me count also – 1, 2, 3, 4 …. Apparently I stopped pushing long enough to tell him to “Shut up! You’re counting the wrong way !!” which gave the midwives a bit of a giggle. The doctor was getting concerned as Squibby’s heart rate was jumping dramatically each time I contracted and he wanted to use the ventouse. “Fine, as long as the baby is okay” was my response but unfortunately after 2 contractions the ventouse slipped and cut the babies scalp and would be of no more use. The forceps were brought out and thankfully they did the trick as within a minute or two my beautiful but very angry son was on my belly. Curtis John Eyre had finally arrived.

He was rushed off to the Special Care Nursery as he was a little bit early and had had a pretty rough entry to the world. A bit of time was put into sewing me back up. I had torn pretty badly but didn’t care in the slightest as my son was here. Curtis weighed 3680g at birth and was 54 cms long – not too shabby for a 36 weeker!

It took a few hours for me to make it to the nursery to see him however as I had a little bit of trouble with the postpartum bleeding and had to have another bag of hormone put through my system to get my uterus to start contracting. Gave hubby a bit of a scare at that point I think! I finally got to see Curtis again at 2am – 5 hours after he was born.

Curtis ended up badly jaundiced due to all the bruising that he sustained during his delivery and even though he was a big boy it turned out that he was behaving like a premature baby and the his suckle reflex was immature. He had to stay in Special Care until he learned how to eat. I went home when he was 6 days old but by that time I had been in hospital for 14 nights and was going a little bit crazy. I spent the next 7 days visiting Special Care, bringing my bottle of expressed breastmilk for night feeds but was able to get some sleep at home at night. Finally on day 13 Squibby was coming home. I have never in my life been as happy was I was that day.

Curtis is now a happy, healthy 12 week old baby and is a fantastic baby. He was worth every minute of the stress and anxiety and I am already planning to start trying for our second child next year. Being a mum makes it all worthwhile.

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