We had no kitchen, no laundry, no lounge or dining room. We were cooking on the BBQ and washing up in the bath. Our main bedroom was completed and so was a very special little persons room who we were waiting to meet.
This little person had caused me a great deal of stress for the 34 weeks he had been residing in my body. I spent most of my days on the toilet floor and my complexion which was supposed to be glowing was a nice shade of green.
At six weeks pregnant I could no longer fit in my normal clothes and then the vomiting started;
At 8 weeks pregnant I fell down a flight of stairs hit my head, displaced my pelvis, did the rotator cuff in my shoulder and caused two discs to bulge in my back which triggered a lovely sensation from the sciatic nerve.
At 16 weeks I was hospitalised for extreme dehydration.
At 20 weeks he was diagnosed as growth restricted. On this same week I was admitted again for dehydration.
At 26 weeks he stopped growing.
At 31 weeks he tried to get out but it was successfully stopped. This is where we started twice weekly CTG monitoring to ensure he was not in distress.
At 34 weeks and 4 days I finished work and went home to bed for my first sleep in – and the start of my relaxing leave.
I awoke the next morning feeling rather unwell – just out of sorts. I dragged myself out of bed and headed up to the hospital for our regular CTG monitoring.
After 30 minutes of monitoring the nurse came in to turn it off and looked strangely at the monitor. She asked me if I was in any pain. I told her I had a sore back and my tummy was tight and I was feeling really exhausted but that was it.
She told me to stay put and came back with a Dr. My Dr of course was on holidays for a week. I had seen him on the Tuesday and was scheduled to see him when he returned on the Monday. This was Thursday.
The Dr checked my Dr and scrunched up his face. He insisted I go back on the monitor for another 30 mins and he would check me again. I began to get anxious.
30 mins later he came back in and announced I was in labour and already 1cm dialated. This was not in my plan – I was booked in on the 5th September to have an elective c-section. It was only the 10th August.
I was given drugs to stop the labour and to help me sleep. I promptly passed out and woke up a few hours later to very uncomfortable pain in my back and tummy. Contractions here we come.
I pressed my buzzer and yes my contractions had progressed. They were coming every few minutes and seemed to be lasting a few minutes. I was told it was time to call my husband.
I tried his mobile number and work number but to no avail. I tried his Personal Assistant and she told me he was in an all day meeting. I suggested she interrupt him as I was in labour.
Ten minutes later he called me with the most excitement I’ve ever heard. He said “I’m so glad you’re in labour, I was in the most boring meeting I’ve ever sat in”.
Glad I could be of assistance.
My darling husband arrived at the hospital and we were told they would try more medication to stop the arrival of our little person.
The following day was quite uneventful, I lived in a haze of pethadeine and anything else they put in my drip to make me sleep. It seemed to do the trick and they moved me from the delivery ward down to the maternity ward. I had an early night and went to bed in my new room.
Saturday morning arrived and I was feeling much better. The drugs had been slowed down as my contractions had completely gone. My darling husband was gathering supplies at Bunnings trying very hard to get our renovations sorted as quickly as possible.
At 12 noon my lunch tray arrived. For those who know me, I love my food. I was given strict instructions by the medical staff that the minute I felt a twinge I must call them. I eagerly opened my food tray when I was bowled over with a vigorous contraction out of nowhere.
I decided that if I quickly ate my lunch and then pressed the buzzer they wouldn’t take my food away from me. I shovelled it down but half way through the pains became so regular and intense I couldn’t swallow. A nurse happened to come into my room right as I was holding the end of the bed swaying in pain (just take your minds back to those terrible 1970’s labour videos they show you in birth classes), that’s what I had turned into.
The nurse quickly paged the Dr and it was noted that I had rapidly progressed to 3cms plus and there was no stopping this baby this time. I was 35 weeks pregnant exactly. I called my husband, this is how the call went in between contractions:
Me: “Hi Honey, I’m in labour you need to come to the hospital now”
Him: “I’m at Bunnings and you’ve been in labour all week, I’ll come by later”
Me: “Umm NO – you need to come now, I’m having the baby very soon, they are about to take me up to theatre”
Him: “Oh shit, really I’ve got painting clothes on and I’m not wearing any underwear”
God I love that man!!
He arrived true to form in his ripped painting pants, with no underwear and a tshirt with paint all over it that said “Schlongs Hot Dogs”. Yes he looked like someone I’m sure our baby couldn’t wait to be cuddled by!!
Paperwork was signed, I was prepped, my spinal block was put in and I was nervously shaking whilst the drs were bringing my baby into the world.
He was lifted up for us to see and the first thing I caught a glimpse of was the most swollen male parts I’d ever seen, and a very scrunched up forehead that said “Put me back in please”
Orlando had arrived. The dr’s didn’t believe he’d even weigh in at 1.8kgs but that he did – 2.1kgs, 46cms long. He was wrapped in a towel and put in my arms where I was overcome with such emotion. My husband was grinning with such delight.
Orlando was taken over to the special care unit to be checked out more thoroughly. I was taken to recovery and whilst in recovery a call was received advising my medical team that Orlando had deteriorated suddenly and required oxygen.
Over the next 24 hours our world of excitement turned to fear when he got so sick and required so much oxygen and was so unstable we were told they couldn’t even move him to a bigger hospital for more support. Today I know that information is incorrect and it doesn’t matter how fragile a baby is they can be moved to a Level 3 hospital, but then and there we were clueless and believed the medical staff.
We were advised to prepare for the worst. We were devastated. We sat by his bedside and talked to him and held his hand. I was desperate to hold my baby.
Four days after he was born we turned a corner, miraculously. Finally I was able to hold him and breastfeed him for the first time.
He went from strength to strength and after only fourteen days in hospital we took our little darling home.
Orlando has been the most delightful little boy.
He is funny;
he is energetic;
he is friendly;
he is loving;
he is caring;
he is intelligent;
he is sensistive;
he is so many things that we can’t even put in words. He made us parents, and for that we are overjoyed. He taught us how to enjoy life through the eyes of a child.
He (and our other children) will always be the love of my life.
Happy seventh birthday little man.
We love you to the moon and back xxxxxx