My whole life, I’ve always wanted to be a mother. Maybe it had to do with my desperate need for a family? Whatever the reason, it has always been my goal. In my year 12 yearbook, under ‘What I want to achieve’, I listed “to have 2.3 children, a labrador and a white picket fence”. Life doesn’t always turn out how you plan it. In 2007, I lost twins. I started to believe that I would never have a child. I wanted it so badly, I started to think it would always be just a dream. I had failed at marriage. I had failed at pregnancy. Everything I had dreamed off, had hoped for, had failed.
Then, out of nowhere, 3 months into a relationship, I saw those 2 pink lines again. I was pregnant, again. I’ll be honest, I never actually believed a baby would come from it. I had very little faith. When I talked about it, with Rohan, I felt like I was playing ‘make believe’. this was never going to happen. Because I believed once, and look what happened then? And all the Dr’s kept telling me how ‘high risk’ this was. Everyone was getting so excited, and I wanted to tell them to shut up. This wasn’t going to happen. Stop talking about this as if it was real. Every scan we went to, I waited for them to tell me that, ‘Unfortunately, there is no heartbeat’. Those words echoed through my head, as I would sit in the waiting room, and wait for the inevitable But they never said that. Every time, I would see that heartbeat, and think, ‘Wow! We dodged another bullet’. I can’t imagine what it must feel like, to go to a scan, and my biggest worry be, ‘is it a girl or a boy?’. . The only thought I ever had, was ‘Please be alive’.
I had an anterior placenta, which meant I couldn’t feel movement for a really long time. Pretty much the worst nightmare of someone who doesn’t believe their baby will live. I think I only felt movement for about 4 weeks, before my waters broke at 31.5 weeks. At 32 weeks exactly, my birth story unfolded.
“Early Sunday morning, I had what I thought was bad wind pains, and I hadn’t felt bubs move for a couple of hours. This was not actually unusual, she rarely did move whilst I was in bed. I tossed and turned, and kept getting up to go to the loo, thinking I had ‘tummy trouble’, (this is not unusual, as I suffer from coeliacs disease, and the pain honestly felt the same as it usually did when I had eaten something with gluten) I finally buzzed the nurse, and told her I was probably being silly, but felt paranoid that I couldn’t feel bubs move. She got the Doppler, and could clearly hear the heartbeat. I mentioned the pain, and she decided to hook me up to the machine that measures contractions and bubs heartbeat, (I forgot what it’s called) Sure enough, I was having very mild contractions.
The nurse then noticed that every time I had a contraction, bubs heartbeat dropped slightly. After a few hours of monitoring, the Dr decided that the baby didn’t seem to be coping with mild contractions, and she felt it would be safer for me to have a C section. As she was discussing this option with me, and the possibility of it happening later that night, I suddenly had two contractions after each other, she glanced at the monitor, turned to me and said ‘We need to get this baby out right now’. Suddenly there were Drs everywhere, and my stretcher was being run down the hall. It was like a scene from a movie, everyone was running, doors were being shoved open, people were shouting. I have never been so terrified in my life.
I found out later that Milla’s heartbeat dropped when I had the two contractions, and didn’t come back up. They called a ‘Code Green’ which basically means ‘get this baby out before it dies’. From the moment they called it, to the moment they pulled Milla out, was less than 15 minutes, which is protocol for a Code Green. I can’t even describe how scared I was, even writing this makes me feel a bit teary as I remember all that emotion.
BUT… my beautiful girl was delivered safely and cried almost instantly, as the Drs held her up! I have never in my life heard a more beautiful and amazing sound. She was rushed straight to the NICU, Rohan went with her, and she was hooked up to machines to help her breath, and drips and feeding tubes.
She stayed in hospital for one month exactly. Since then she has thrived, a slight developmental delay, but slowly catching up.”
During my pregnancy, I developed a condition, because of my diabetes, that nearly made me go blind. I have still not regained my sight completely. If I have another pregnancy, there is a very high chance I will go blind . So looks like my darling Milla will be it. And God, I know how lucky I am to have her.
But I do feel sad. Sad because I will never get my 2.3 children. Sad because I will never get that full pregnancy experience. I will never feel another baby move inside me, and I only had it for such a short time with Milla. Sad that I will never get to ‘bursting point’, that I will never have that anticipation of ‘any day now’ Sad that I will never go in to labor. Sad, that Milla’s birth was not ‘the best day of my life’, but actually the most terrifying. Sad that I am depriving Milla of brothers and sisters.
But despite all that, I know I am truly blessed. Because I am a mother. Because she lived, and is thriving. And I know that I will never take her for granted. I am so, so lucky. xx