I was so ecstatic to find out that I was pregnant with my first child, just 6 weeks after getting married. Everything was going well even though I experienced every symptom of pregnancy from the beginning. I had morning sickness all day, every day until I was 9 months pregnant. It was at 36 weeks when things suddenly took a turn for the worse. The midwives I had been seeing became increasingly concerned as the baby’s heartbeat was very faint and the fundal growth was about 7cm below what it should have been. I was sent to hospital and diagnosed with a high risk pregnancy. This had me in a panic. After all, I felt fine. My morning sickness had just subsided and my baby was due in just a few weeks.
I had many tests taken and needed to have hospital checkups on a daily basis. The doctors were worried. My baby had stopped growing. I was told that the chance of having a “normal” and healthy baby was non-existent. Best case scenario was that my baby would have Down Syndrome, but it was more probable that my baby would have T13 or T18. I was petrified. What were the chances of having a healthy baby?
After all these check-ups and scares, I finally had an appointment with the “head of maternity”. He was very reassuring and advised me to just relax. I was 38 weeks pregnant and he discovered that I had pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure was through the roof 180/100.
I was admitted to hospital and induced. Once again the doctors couldn’t find my baby’s heartbeat. They broke my waters and inserted a little “screw” into the baby’s head but still couldn’t get a heartbeat. The doctors grew concerned at took me off to have an emergency caesarean. I was confused. This hadn’t been what I had been expecting.
I could feel the doctors tugging and pulling and before I knew it they were showing me my baby. My husband counted fingers and toes and told me that the baby “looks normal”. The nurses took the baby and started to clean and check the Apgar. It was about 3 minutes later when I asked “is it a boy or a girl?” I was told that I had a little girl. She really was little. At just over 1.5 kg she was very tiny. I called her “my translucent baby” because when you picked her up you could see straight through her. Her tiny little ears were so fine, that I had to gently unroll them and place a beenie over them.
To everyone’s surprise my little girl was not only healthy, she was a little fighter. The humidi-crib she had been placed in to maintain her temperature was no longer required. Within 48 hours she was in a regular crib in the NICU and thriving. I spent much of my time in there with her. I couldn’t stand being away from my little angel. She stayed in hospital for another 3 1/2 weeks and I visited her every day. I would get there at 7am and would stay with her until 10pm. I didn’t allow the nurses to do anything. I fed her, changed her nappy, took her temperature and bathed her.
The day I took her home was just phenomenal. My little girl, the one who wasn’t expected to live or be healthy was finally home. To this day she continues to surprise me as she keeps exceeding her milestones. She will always be more petite than others but she has her health, and that’s what really matters!