After a hiatus enforced by yet another extended hospital stay (3 weeks this time) and subsequent concerns with my health, I am not only returning to blog another day, but also celebrating my promotion to Mummy! Charles Matthew Fenton Johns was born on April 11, 2014 at 5:20pm, weighing 6 lbs 6 oz. and measuring a whopping 18 inches long.
His measurements are important: there was a point in the pregnancy when I was happy he was over 2 lbs. Both his Daddy and I thought for sure he was going to be with us very early. At 28 weeks and during one of our busiest times of the last two years, I woke up in the night bleeding and having contractions. After rushing to the ER, I was admitted with a “placental abruption” to the antepartum ward and put on strict bed rest. That means my placenta had decided to start pulling away from the uterus much too early, which was in turn making my body think it was time to go into labour. Things had suddenly gone from being worry free to being quite worrisome. The doctor had to give me special, specific permission to be able to get up and use the washroom independently once I arrived on the floor, which cemented for me how serious this whole thing really was. But after we established I would be there for a while, it got really boring really fast. I will also admit to freaking out and having flashbacks to my days spent in the hospital post-accident; though the circumstances weren’t the same, it was most unsettling being stuck in bed all over again.
And because I like to do everything the hard way, the week I went in was the week we were taking possession of our new home and moving. I had appointments booked nearly every day for some reason or another: cleaners, movers, utilities, lawyers, builders… And I had to rely on my poor husband to be able to make them all now. We rescheduled what we could, and he was luckily able to leave work midday to attend a few, and somehow with all that as well as the added stress of me being hospitalized, he managed to finish packing our apartment and get us moved. I’m still not sure if he got any sleep while he did all this.
So while he was run ragged getting our new home ready for a family that was threatening to arrive at any moment, I was trapped in the hospital, watching the women around me experience their own complications and occasionally get whisked away to another ward in a big hurry. I was able to meet a couple other women who were hospitalized for the same reasons as myself – who were also both having boys – and tour the NICU to get a feel for where my baby might end up if he was born early. I was put on the fetal Doppler monitor 3 times a day, and since I could hear my baby’s heart beat strong and steady, I stayed much more calm than I normally would have, which in turn helped him stay put.
3 weeks passed as a handful of roommates came and went. For a while I was lucky enough to have the room to myself. When my weekly ultrasound finally showed the internal bleeding had stopped and begun to heal, the doctors decided that I could come home as long as I continued to follow the strict bed rest rules. I was ecstatic, and finally got to see our new house with all our things in it. We got the baby’s room set up as soon as we could – we were still on high alert to expect him early – and I spent my time resting and sorting tiny baby clothing. MiniSir had to go away for a week so my mum took some time off and came to stay with me, accompanying me to my many, many follow-up doctors appointments and making sure I ate.
Then we waited.
I was told that, if I passed 34 weeks, little Grunt wouldn’t have to go into the NICU. I passed it. Then I was told that if I passed 36 weeks I would be in the clear to have a c-section done safely. I passed that too. And then I spent an entire night in the hospital being observed because, in the words of the resident, “Your baby is doing great, but your uterus is not”, and that was the last straw. We scheduled the birth 18 days before my actual due date and hoped I’d make it until then.
I did. He was delivered under ideal conditions, his mummy and daddy were mentally and physically prepared, and the surgery went without a hitch. I was extremely lucky to have an OB that was kind and understanding about my limitations, and an OR team that wasn’t phased by a mother with a broken back and pelvis.
As if the lives of several people hadn’t just changed forever, within moments of being born Grunt had found his thumb and was sucking away at it happily. MiniSir watched his every move with tears in his eyes. When they brought him over to me, he nuzzled right in to my neck. And that’s when my whole new world started turning.