After a year of trying to get pregnant I found myself sitting in my local doctor's surgery at 6 p.m. on April 4, 2003, being told that the test was positive. I cried, as I couldn't believe it had finally happened! My husband was just as surprised.
A few weeks later, eight weeks into my pregnancy I had my first appointment with my obstetrician. He did a scan and there, in front of me on the screen, was a little jellybean with a heartbeat!
At ten weeks things began to go haywire. My migraines went out of control and I started to get them every day, which left me bedbound and feeling very depressed. I had no idea when they would stop and I didn't know how much more I could take. Finally, at 17 weeks my OB put me on daily medication for the headaches, and about a week later I was free of them.
At 15 weeks I was admitted to hospital as I had begun to bleed. Thankfully, after a very tough couple of days, a scan showed my bub was healthy and totally unaware of the panic he had caused!
At 27 weeks my feet became very swollen so I went for another visit to my OB. After a few minutes he diagnosed pre-eclampsia. I was sent straight to hospital for bedrest. At 6 a.m. the following day, the nurse took my blood pressure again as I had begun vomiting. It had shot up to 185/100. She rang my OB and he advised the nurses to start me on medication to try and bring my blood pressure down. If it hadn't improved by lunch time he was going to have to do a C-section. I think that is when I realised just how serious the situation was and that both my own and my unborn child’s lives were in danger.
Fortunately, the blood pressure did come down and after some rest I was finally allowed home on bedrest and six blood pressure tablets a day! During the remainder of my pregnancy I made four more trips to the hospital to have my blood pressure monitored, as it was constantly flying up and down.
At 32 weeks I awoke to a very swollen right arm. My OB thought it might have been a blood clot, so I was sent yet again off to hospital. The tests showed that wasn't the case, so after a day in hospital I was allowed back home again. Mind you, I was getting rather sick of hospitals at this point!
At 37 weeks I had a routine appointment. After taking my blood pressure and a urine sample it became clear that my pre-eclampsia was getting worse, so my doctor decided it was time for me to meet my bub!
Tuesday, the 18th of November I got to the hospital at 5:30 a.m. Half an hour later, I had gel inserted onto my cervix. By 6:30 a.m., I was already having period-like cramps that were five to ten minutes apart. By 10 a.m., all my visitors--including my parents and in-laws--had gone, and I decided to have a bath. At midday my OB came in and said he was going to break my waters...all I can say to that is OUCH! By 12:30 p.m. things went haywire. My mild cramps that had been five minutes apart became VERY painful... to the point where I couldn't walk and they were only two minutes apart. My OB had arranged for me to have an epidural so my blood pressure wouldn't sky rocket. So while I was waiting for it I had a shower and the water became my best friend! I had to be dragged outta that shower... it felt so nice!
When I got out, my best friend Karen had arrived. She and Paul, my husband, both kept trying to encourage me to keep going. I had the epidural at 1 p.m. (after a few tries at the gas which only made me feel sick and VERY dizzy!) and it was heaven...No more pain. I lay back in bed chatting with Karen like I was human again... not possessed, as one would have thought only five minutes prior to that!
At 2 p.m. Karen and I were having a good old chat when suddenly I realised that the epidural was wearing off and I could feel a lot of pressure. I asked Karen to get the midwife and Paul, who was having lunch!
The midwife came in and I told her I thought I wanted to push. She said, "No, you wouldn't yet; you were only 2 cms. dilated when you had the epidural an hour ago." But I convinced her to do an internal and sure enough I had dilated fully and was ready to have this baby!
After half an hour of pushing my OB arrived. I was holding Paul and Karen's hands, had one foot on one midwife's hip and the other on my OB’s hip. The other midwife, who’s shift had just ended, had decided to hang around for the birth. Finally my OB said, "Darling you are going to have a baby very shortly!" At that point I burst into tears and announced I was scared and couldn't do it!
Suddenly another contraction came and with everyone encouraging me I pushed with all my might, and out came my gorgeous baby! My OB said, "What have we got..." and was just about to tell me when it became clear that my baby was having trouble breathing. Suddenly my OB cut the cord, took my newborn to the other side of the room and begun working on him. It seemed like forever before he bought my baby over to me and said, "Here Mum, meet your new son."
It was a very amazing, yet surreal moment. Here I was holding this tiny bub that I had created. The love I felt for him was like nothing I have experienced ever before and it is a love that grows each day. My little man, Bradley Frederick, made his way into this world on the November 18th, 2003 at 3:27 p.m. He weighed seven pounds, one ounce, and was forty seven and a half centimeters long with APGAR scores of three and nine.
Even after the hard pregnancy I had it has not turned me off having more kids, it is SO worth it. However I don't think my husband or obstetrician are quite ready for me to get pregnant again!