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Caleb - born at 30 weeks

Pregnancy and Birth

I was in shock when I found out I was pregnant, my son Jayden was only 14months old and I couldn't imagine having 2 children so close together.

Apart from having a different type of morning sickness and getting a "tummy" a lot sooner everything seemed the same as my 1st pregnancy, all rather uneventful. That was until at around the 17-18week mark I had a slight bleed. I was kept in hospital overnight and it was determined that I had Placenta Previa. I was told not to worry as the placenta normally moves up and away from the opening of the cervix and also to have an ultrasound at 30weeks to check on the positioning because if it was still low it would mean I'd need a c-section instead of having the baby naturally.

I was working at the time and decided to finish work extra early so I could spend some quality time with Jayden before a new baby came onto the scene, so I finished work at 25weeks. Unfortunately that plan didn't come to fruition.

The day I hit 30weeks I went to have my ultrasound and was told that everything looked great, the placenta had moved away and I had the go ahead to have a natural birth. I walked out relieved and went to do some shopping while I had the day to myself because Jayden was in daycare. I picked Jayden up at around 3pm and went home.

I hadn't been home for long and was in the laundry doing some washing when I felt like I had wet myself, which I thought was odd as I had just gone to the toilet, but as pregnant women would know especially with your 2nd that your bladder can do some strange things, so I went back to the toilet. As soon as I sat down on the toilet I knew there was something wrong, I felt a sudden rush of fluid and heard it hit the water in the toilet bowl (sorry to be so graphic but it was like someone turning a tap on). I went to look down into the toilet but when I did I noticed my underwear first, they were stained with bright red blood. I looked into the toilet and there was that same bright red blood everywhere. It was at this point that I started to panic, I started to cry as I didn't know what to do which in turn set Jayden off because he didn't know what was wrong with his mummy. I tried to clean myself up as best I could and luckily I had bought some maternity pads already for hospital so I had them to use. Just then the phone rang, I put on a brave voice and answered the phone, it was my brother in law looking for my husband, I told him he'd be home soon and I'd get him to call him back but that was all, I mentioned nothing about what was happening. I then had to clean myself up again as I was bleeding so heavily I soaked thru a maternity pad in a matter of minutes. I rang the hospital to let them know what was happening and while I was talking to the midwife my husband walked in the door from work. We grabbed a few things and off we went.

We made a couple of detours on the way, firstly to drop Jayden off at his Grandma's and then to my brother in laws place of business so my husband could help him with something (needless to say I wasn't impressed with our second stop).

We finally got to the hospital about 2 hours after I had first started to bleed and we went straight to Labour and Delivery where they set me up in a room. The midwives were great and the doctor came rather quickly to see me but as it was late in the afternoon/early in the evening and there weren't any specialists around to do an ultrasound they decided to admit me and placed me on the Pre-natal ward.

The next morning I remember the doctor doing his rounds and watching him visit the other 3 women in my room but by-passing me and I felt rather miffed but about half an hour later I had 3 doctors turn up at my bedside, they asked some questions and then decided to send me for that ultrasound. I went for the ultrasound at about 11am and it was found pretty quickly that I was having a PLACENTAL ABRUPTION. I was given 2 options either try to carry on with the pregnancy on strict bed rest with the odds of survival being at 50/50 for myself and my baby or to schedule me in for a c-section that night and was told that 30weekers have about a 98% survival rate. When faced with odds like that the choice to me was pretty clear and I was booked in for a c-section at 7pm that night.

The nurses arranged a tour of the NICU for me that afternoon and I had a good chat with the Liaison Nurse and the Neonatologist and even though I was scared I felt rather optimistic about putting my baby in the hands of these lovely people.

Late into the afternoon I had visitors and was feeling some niggly pains, my step mother had noticed and was quietly watching me and her watch and after a little while asked if I was ok which was when I admitted that I thought I was going into labour and she agreed as she said they were coming at regular intervals like contractions. We told the nurse when she came in next and she decided to place me on a foetal monitor to see if they were true contractions or not and to see how the baby was coping. It turned out that yes I was having contractions but the baby seemed to be holding his own at that time but she left me on the monitor and kept a close eye on me.

7pm came and went without my trip to theatre, apparently they were really busy that night with other women from L&D needing emergency c-sections and kept moving my scheduled c-section back. My nurse, my family and myself needless to say were quite angry and frustrated by this fact. Finally   at around 11pm the operating theatre called to say I could go up.

I was prepped and given a spinal block (which I must say was bliss) and wheeled into theatre. The spinal block worked so well I couldn't even move my arms and I was very relaxed and even joking with the staff and my husband while the operation was performed. It turned out that Caleb had been in a birthing position but when they had drained my amniotic fluid he decided to be cheeky and turned into the transverse lie position (laying straight across my uterus) which meant I had to end up having a classical c-section which meant they had to use 2 cuts, a horizontal and an internal vertical. He was very stubborn and didn't want to come out and they ended up using forceps as well, I remember the force they were using to get him out rocking me on the table, it was a very weird sensation knowing your body was swaying violently but not being able to feel it.

Finally at 11:48pm on 28th April 2000 Caleb Alan Jones was born weighing 1620g with a head circumference of 28.5cm. He was resuscitated, given apgars of 5 and 8, brought over to me to have a quick peek and taken down to NICU.

The doctor who performed my c-section ended up coming and apologising to me in recovery because they realised that they shouldn't have put my c-section back so many times and told me that if they had put it back just 1 more time we very well could have lost Caleb because by the time I was operated on I had abrupted by 95% and Caleb's blood and oxygen supply had been cut off from him.

©2003 Nadine Jones

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