Our Christmas miracle
"We weren't prepared for there to be complications... I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes"
Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like you're having an outer body experience watching a situation unfold and then you realise that it's real and it's totally happening to you?
That's what it felt like when we went along, all cheery and excited, to see another picture of our little baby a few days before Christmas. We were expecting it all to be routine, straight in and out. We weren't prepared for there to be complications.
We were expecting a simple date for the diary for the planned section and then off we'd hop home to pick up the girls, but unfortunately it wasn't the case. First, we were told that the baby's growth had dropped off the chart. So it had fallen below the 10th centile and it would need to be reviewed in two weeks. We were told that if there was still low growth then we would be having the baby almost immediately, which would mean about 34 weeks old. Crikey. My head was buzzing about what this would mean for them and how they would be, but we were reassured that they would be fine at that term and given all of the information about what they would do etc.
Next bomb to land on us was that my placenta was still low (placenta praevia). I know this means risk of blood loss at anytime, but then they said there was a chance it could be placenta acreeta. Never heard of that and didn't realise acreeta was one word until I googled it. Thought they were saying "a critter", whatever on earth that was. Anyway, supposedly that's when the placenta has embedded onto the previous C-section scar. This would cause problems with the incision to deliver the baby, a high chance of major haemorrhage, and then afterwards, as the placenta can't be removed without the risk of major haemorrhage, it would likely mean a hysterectomy. Wow! All that information all given at once. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, but was trying somehow to think logically and ask the necessary questions. Plus I knew that L would be almost hyperventilating hearing all of this, so I had to try and be the calm one taking the information in. We decided we didn't want anymore children when we went through this IVF, but being faced with someone telling you that you can't is a different feeling altogether.
We left the hospital with our heads spinning and in silence. I didn't know what to say and I knew L wouldn't want to talk about it as she would be freaking out. Obviously over the next 24-48 hours, we started to understand it all. We sought advice from those in the know for some much-needed reassurance. We also scared ourselves stupid thanks to the power of Google. I was weepy at times, convinced things were going to be really bad. That our baby would be really early and need special care and that I was going to have a massive bleed and either be seriously ill or not make it at all.
Christmas was a very quiet time. The girls enjoyed every minute of it with pantomimes, parties and presents from Santa. They even got to eat sweets a lot! But L and I were different. We just had to look at each other to know what we were thinking and there was a feeling of worry and sadness. I was teary a lot, especially during the lovely moments as I was terrified what the next few weeks had in store. It felt like the longest two weeks ever.
Then in one short scan appointment with a foetal medicine specialist, our whole world was turned back upright, the way it should be. It's very unlikely I have "a critter". They won't know for certain until they open me up, but the consultant has been around the block a bit so knows her stuff. Phew! And even better, little Pea-head has grown more than a pound in the last two weeks. L has paid special attention to fattening us both up over Christmas and it's worked out. They are now more than 5lbs in weight, which is a lot more than they anticipated, and doing really well.
So now here I am with a date set for the delivery of the third Robson-Malone child. It's less than three weeks and all I want to do is enjoy some time with my wonderful family before the chaos begins.
We just need some low key time, soaking each other up. The house is finished, the nursery is ready, both G and Chaotic are sleeping through in their super-bunks. Just G's birthday party to go, then time to meet our little baby.
Thankfully, from some sort of Christmas miracle, and lots and lots of praying, the only thing we really need to be thinking about is a name for the new arrival.
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