People tell you it’s meant to be the most amazing day of your life. My son’s birth day was one of the scariest. Let’s rewind to the day I found out I was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. We hadn’t been trying long and I was late. I went to yoga with a friend and let’s imagine a quiet yoga room and I said quite loudly I’m three days late. She laughed and asked have you done a test? I hadn’t, so I went home and did just that. I took the test and then totally forgot about it. Oh crap the test! I turned it over and it was positive. I was so excited, I had always wanted to become a mum and it was happening.
My pregnancy was pretty great and straight forward. We found out at 20 weeks that he was a boy and chose the name Roy James at 22 weeks. It was at 28 weeks I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes and that’s when things took a turn. I was suddenly going to the doctors more and having more scans. Despite this every thing was going fine. Then one day I had an appointment and the doctor told me I needed an iron transfusion. I was okay with this as he told me it would give me energy I had been lacking. I thought that sounds amazing. We booked it in for when I had my next day off.
On the day of the transfusion, the nurse started it. I think it was only a minute and my vision went blurry. I was thinking to myself “You’re ok, you have never had one of these before”. But then I started to stuggle to breathe. I was trying to reach for my water and I said to my midwife I can’t breathe. She pulled it out straight away and from what I can remember she was frantically trying to find Roy’s heart beat while my head is screaming this can’t be happening. Then I remember what felt like over 20 people coming into the room, them giving me an antihistamine and then bringing in a ultrasound machine. I just kept watching their faces, I could tell something was wrong. Somebody called out code red.
The photo above is my last photo I took while I was pregnant. When I took this photo I didn’t realise it would be the last one I would take. I actually wish I took more, I didn’t take many while I was pregnant and I wish I documented it more but I suppose you don’t know these things until they happen. The other photo is obviously an accident but it has meaning to me. It’s the moment that I was getting rushed into theatre, the nurse must of accidentally taken it on my camera. It shows the time as 3:14pm and Roy was born at 3:26pm.
I remember asking what does code red mean over and over again. My beautiful midwife came to my side and said you’re going to have your baby today. I started screaming “No no my husband is an hour away no no no!” We were rushed to theatre. I will never forget this moment, they ripped my jeans off so quickly and I was mortified. I wasn’t ready, this wasn’t meant to be happening. I just looked around the room and I asked my midwife to please not leave me. I asked the person who was about to put the mask on me if my baby was going to be ok and they replied with “Maybe” and then everything went black.
Doctors and nurses are so amazing. It was 16 minutes from the time of my reaction to the time he was born.
Next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. I had no clue what happened and whether my baby was alive. I remember being so scared and telling the nurse that no one knew that I was at the hospital. They told me my husband was there and he was meeting our beautiful baby boy. When my husband came down I remember being so confused still, I was saying to him “I’m meant to go to work tomorrow I need ring my boss”. God knows why I was so worried about work. I also said “Mum has no idea what happened” so I was panicking needing to ring her but it turns out the nurses had rang my mum to ask if she could get to the hospital as soon as possible. My mum lives in Katherine in the Northern Territory but as soon as she found out, she was on the next plane. My mum actually told me after that she had made my dad drive all day and night to get back to Katherine so she had phone service because she knew something was going to happen. Good old mother’s instinct.
I finally got to meet Roy in the special care nursery. He was so beautiful, I loved him instantly. He had a cap on so I couldn’t see if he had hair. I just sat there and watched him for as long as the nurses would let me.
I suppose I don’t like to call this my birth story but rather The Day He Was Born. I didn’t get see him being born, I didn’t get to hear his first cry, although they did tell me it was loud. I didn’t get to hold him straight away.My mum wasn’t able to be their when I had my first baby my mum is a trained midwife is this is something I had dreamt about for a long time. I felt like I missed out on all these special moments that we wait 9 months for. A lot of people use the term robbed. I don’t particularly like to use that word because nobody could see this coming or have any way to have avoided this happening. From day one I’ve just been grateful to be alive and for Roy to be alive. I know I am very lucky that we were both ok. A lot of people explained to me that this a traumatic experience and while it was, I don’t like to think it of it that way. I suppose I like to think it of as a different way of bringing my baby into this beautiful world, not the way that I would of chosen but that’s just life.
I’ve found writing down my story about this day in preparation to share with you all has felt a bit like therapy. I look back now and I can see I was in shock and denial for a little while about the whole thing. However in my mind, I felt like I was coping quite well. I had always liked to be busy and on the go all the time and suddenly it was the way I was coping. But, like anything, it all eventually catches up with you.
I have actually been lucky enough to photograph both the doctor and midwife with their own families they were with me on that day and I will be forever grateful for them and what they did.
This is part 1 of My Motherhood Story. Keep a look out for part 2.