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Our own little baby

I have always loved reading birth stories and it is amazing to me how each one is truly unique and everyone has different experiences. It is one of the luckiest things in the world to carry a child to term, while it is not always the way for every pregnancy. The body is a such miraculous being to achieve what it does in order to reproduce, no matter what happens, no matter how old or young the mother, or whether the pregnancy succeeds or has obstacles. Here is our own little birth and pregnancy story.

After planning carefully and due to move in to our own little rose garden flat in February, we decided to try in summer 2014. After no luck though, we decided to postpone it until I had finished university. I was a few weeks in to university life at the time we a pregnancy test showed us a BFP!! I had been really struggling with the severity of my anxieties, with travelling so far each day, and the content of my course getting me down, so I was overjoyed to have such a exciting and positive prospect on the horizon. When the morning sickness began to creep in, I developed huge aversions to Yankee Candles, spaghetti bolognese and mayonnaise. I was only sick a few times, but the aversions kept me gagging post 20 weeks.

The first scan (we had it at almost 15 weeks) was so surreal, I couldn't believe there was an actual little alien being dancing on the screen!! It was so difficult to believe there was a little alive bean nestled and living inside me, especially as I didn't start to show remotely until 18 weeks. At 19 weeks, my skirt began to fit a little tighter. After that my belly grew quite quickly and I felt the first slight kicks - first there was a buzzing sensation - at Christmas time down in the West Midlands.
Our second scan at 21 weeks in January 2015 confirmed our suspicions that we were expecting a boy! I loved seeing his limbs kicking and we could even see his brain ventricles and valves in the heart: it was so interesting! We had many more growth scans after that, as, after an episode of reduced movement, he was found to be in the very smallest percentile. His legs were tiny in comparison with his body! With each scan we noticed him filling out the screen more and more, until the sonographer had to move the wand completely around to find his measurements. After that he grew so fast, his measurements rocketed and his head was soon bigger than average! I remember a scare though, about 22 weeks, we had an episode of extremely painful cramping but were lucky to not experience any complications.
The Birth. At 38 weeks I unknowingly experienced a premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and came in for my normal appointment to be checked. I casually mentioned it, was sure it wasn't anything significant and that I would end up overdue with him, when the midwife examined me, rushed off to make a call and announced that I would have to go in the next morning to be induced! It felt completely insane and unreal! Going in on the train the next day, I was sure they would send us home again.

Upon arrival, we were quickly shown to a room and I was given a tablet to start things moving. This stage lasted about eight hours, I had a sleep and was woken up when the doctor came in. This was when I began to feel uncomfortable and was brought downstairs to the labour suites. Things soon progressed and I didn't need any further inducing, bad 'period' cramps turned in to hugely painful contractions, except with 'tightenings' inbetween, so for hours it felt like just one long, huge contraction - the pain was only bearable if I sat in an upright position, with gas and air. They were particularly concerned for Oscar during this time, so kept me monitored until about 2am the next morning. The most painful part for me was being checked to see how dilated I was; it was excruciating and I just screamed and screamed.

As he showed no signs of distress throughout - he seemed at his most active for once! - I was insanely relieved to receive an epidural at approximately half 2am. It was only a few hours later, after throwing back up all of the tablets they had given me, that I was told to start pushing, which I remember thinking was a completely bizarre thing to do because there was no way this baby was going to come out of me. After a intensely uncomfortable, terrifying - and unbelievable! I thought the midwives were joking that they could see his head! - stage, a naked, wrinkly Oscar was planted in to my arms at 7.23am on Sunday morning, weighing 7.4lbs, about 24 hours after I had been induced and 48 hours after experiencing PROM. I had internal stitches (he came out in a superman position!) and there were a few momentary panicked moments as at first he was so quiet, but we soon got to hear his lungs in full force!
(Top: fifteen weeks pregnant, below: scan at 21 weeks, below: few hours old, bottom: few weeks old)
Read all my posts featuring Oscar here!
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