A long fight for life

Right from the beginning of my pregnancy I questioned God – are you sure, God?
Are you sure you want us to have this baby?

I know you shouldn’t question God, but I had to ask- you see we already had two young children, Camerin was three and a half and Jaz was 20 months. We had our boy and girl and they were both beautiful, healthy kids. We were quite happy and struggling with that.

My partner was granted the pension as his bipolar was getting out of control again, and our life was ok but tough enough. Then to fall pregnant again, at the time, seemed disastrous to me, hence questioning God – are you sure?

You see I have sick pregnancies all the way through and I was not looking forward to it. But on we went. The first 13 weeks were torrential with morning/midday sickness and it never seemed to end, then at 14 weeks I had a bleed.

Off to the hospital we went – I had my anti D shot (being a B negative blood group means you need shots at scheduled times throughout the late stages of your pregnancy or with any bleed) and we waited to see what happened. An ultrasound followed and baby was fine. Ok, the baby is meant to be here; it’s survived the beginning.

Then, at the next scheduled ultrasound, we found the placenta was blocking the cervix and could cause complications with the birth, leaving slight concern in the backs of everyone’s mind as we waited for the next ultrasound. I remember the day before the ultrasound feeling this extreme, violent pain in my tummy for just a few seconds and then it was gone.

Next day at the scan, what do you know, the placenta has shifted! Once again the baby is meant to be here. Then the doctors were concerned because the baby, now known to be a girl, was not growing at the rate she should in the final weeks of the pregnancy. She was too small. We were concerned but not too concerned, both our other children were small at 5.7 and 5.9 pounds and we knew our baby was meant to be here, so we stayed positive.

Finally the birth – contractions started as normal the day before our due date. But then something just felt strange, the pains were different and the times were all wrong. We lived only a short distance from the hospital, so when the pains were two minutes apart we headed off – I think the time was between 7-8pm. The other kids stayed with grandma and Nic came with me.

After settling down in the room and letting the anxiety slide away, the midwife hooked up the monitors and watched the contractions. After a few roll this ways, roll that ways, hold this etc she called the doctor.

Bang! The baby is in distress.
Bang! Emergency caesarean.
It all happened so quick.

We were at the hospital only minutes before hearing that news. I just remember bursting into tears and Nic telling me it’s going to be ok. Into the operating theatre we went. I remember seeing our baby lifted up over the sheet. She was white and limp. The cord was around her neck and she swallowed that mecronium stuff – it took them 13 minutes to revive her.

Then I remember feeling extreme pain even through the epidural. Apparently I had tearing and uncontrolled bleeding and the pain I was feeling was the doctors and nurses pushing down on me to control the bleeding. So I remember them giving me sleepy drugs and nothing else.

But then I had breathing issues from the sleepy drugs and Nic remembers standing outside the room watching docs and nurses trying to revive his daughter and his wife. He still trembles and has a few tears even now as I am writing this. But she really was meant to be here because she survived and so did I. She was born at 10.22pm. It all happened so quick and is all a big blur to me still. I remember seeing her as I was being wheeled to recovery because Nic made them stop and show me our baby through the glass.

That night Nic went home and I slept. Then the next morning I was taken to see her. Nic and the kids came up and we all saw our new baby, Eleanor, and Camerin patted her leg. Then they informed us that Eleanor will need to be airlifted to Brisbane and I will follow in an ambulance. We stayed in Brisbane hospital for four days. Every day we were there, she just got better and better and better. We were home on the fifth day. We arrived home to our kids who we missed greatly while we were away. This was the first time we had ever spent more than one night away from them. Unfortunately, they were both sick and we had to keep them pretty clear of mum and the baby for at least the first week and a half. But luckily we all made it through well, but it wasn’t as easy as it should have been.

On the first night home, Nic and I combined, accidentally wiped all our new born baby photos from our phone and computer. Needless to say we were both extremely devastated by this and we both cried into the night. But we reminded ourselves how lucky we were to have her at all and vowed to take a million more photos of her in the future. This actually could have been a really bad situation for us and had the potential to get ugly but we pulled together and stuck together and stayed focused on the bigger picture and our new baby.

With Nic’s bipolar, situations like that are always touch and go. Thankfully, in this situation, on this occasion, it didn’t get bad. We picked up and moved on. Eleanor has only gotten bigger and better since and now at five months old, you would never tell by looking at our happy, healthy, chubby, laughing baby that she had such a traumatic start in her life. She had no repercussions from not breathing for so long. She really was meant to be here.

By Janelle


Posted on

November 8, 2016

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