My Darling daughter
Today has finally arrived. Sweet sixteen. You’ve been anticipating this birthday for quite some time now. 16 years old and still as sweet as the day you were born. Which brings me to the topic of your birth and the miracle of your life. It was this day 16 years ago that fate could of been so different. Without the scientific advances in medicine today, I don’t believe either of us would be here. You see, when your a mother, the experience that was shared and the journey into this world, between mother and baby is so profound, that it should be part of the celebrations every mother shares with their child.
You were born six weeks prematurely, I’m sure it was because you wanted to see Xmas with your brother and sister. However, the journey you had, entering this world was very risky, dangerous and we were both very lucky and fortunate to survive. It is a miracle that we both lived to tell the tale. What makes this birth so unique is because it was a miracle, one that was very much needed after the year our family had experienced.
It started with the ante partum heamorage, there was a blood clot the size of an apple behind the placenta and it was coming away from the lining of the uterus walls. I had been under the featal monitoring unit last week and your weren’t moving enough, I was also suffering with high water retention and my blood pressure was rising. I remember the midwife mentioning pre eclampsia, I was barely showing any baby bump, I was more swollen around my legs and ankles, unable to sit down.
We had been homeless for three months and I had signed the tenancy for our new home the week before. It was a stressful year, we had to flee our home because there was some issue that your father was involved in, with the armed police squad, they inserted a panic alarm at the house in preparation and protection. The door knocked several times over the day and I called your aunt, who rescued us out from the house and we did a detour into the police station. I tried to make the whole situation into a giant adventure for your brother and sister. We stayed at your dads sisters and my sisters house, then we moved on to grandads house. We travelled around different homes sharing a bedroom. It was quite an adventure.
Monday morning, about eight o clock, your sister and brother were eating breakfast when I felt my waters break. I rushed to the bathroom and almost fainted at the amount of blood that I saw.
I rushed in to tell grandma and grandad. They both leapt out of bed and I grabbed two of your sisters nappies to help collect the flow of blood that was trickling out of me. Grandma stayed at home while Grandad put a folded towel on the passenger seat in the car. We left immediately and made our way to hospital.
The nurses led us to a side room and took blood pressure etc. They explained that they would be attempting to delay the birth by giving you a injection through my stomach for strengthening your lungs ready for delivery, which they planned to postpone! I was feeling really scared at this point, it wasn’t until they examined me that all the well thought out plans and procedures they made, were cancelled. They saw how much blood had accumulated in the two nappies I had and suddenly, we went flying through the doors and into the shiny theatre room faster than the speed of light!
I remember looking at the clock on the wall in the theatre room – it read 11:45am, then I was unconscious….
I blinked weakly as I woke up to darkness, the clock that was ahead of my visual field said 17:45. I turned my head to the cabinet at my left side. There, a Polaroid picture hung, a small tear trickled down my cheek, and I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. You made it! You’re here, you’re ok! You were born at 14:01 in the afternoon. It was possibly the longest c section delivery the hospital had known. The operation usually take 45 minutes max – (your sister did it in 40 mins). I had lost a litre and a half of blood in theatre. (I don’t know how much was lost during my waters breaking ) I was still very weak and tired, my eyes closed again, I struggled to open them. I had little energy to stay awake let alone try to move my body. Strange because after your brother and sisters c sections, the midwifes couldn’t keep me still. I was off the bed and walking within hours. But not this time.
Then I was awoken by your grandparents and aunt. They had been to see you in the high dependency unit and told me all about you.
My heart was crushed. I wasn’t able to see you, all I had was a picture. I was so upset with myself for not being strong enough to walk off the bed to look at you and touch you. I wanted to rip the tubes off me and hold you. We had been through quite an ordeal together and I just wanted physical contact with you, I had held you for the past seven months, I was dying to meet you. I needed was to see you, to reassure me that it was all real.
I fell asleep to the soft trickle of my tears. I barely moved my body, remaining in the same position all day and night.
When I woke the following morning and went straight to the nurse call button. I wasn’t strong enough to walk and the midwives were still taking blood to assess if I was having a transfusion.
I was borderline for a blood transfusion and I declined any blood donation. I wanted to see you so much, I wasn’t going to stay stuck in a bed for three more days with blood pumping into me.
The midwife took me down to high dependency unit in a wheel chair! I wanted to walk but thats me – stubborn and a lousy patient. I had no concern for my own recovery I was too excited to meet you.
The high dependency unit was no bigger than the average lounge, it was able to accommodate eight tiny incubators. With a chair, partitioning the separation to the next incubator.
Once in the unit my breathe was taken away as I saw you from the doorway of the room. My eyes locked on you in the clear box where you lay. So tiny, you weighed 5lb 6oz, you lay stretched out in the incubator with just your nappy on and wires in your feet and hands. I was desperate to make contact, I opened the round window to touch your delicate, soft skin. My heart swelled again as I felt the warmth of your touch from the tiny little fingers. Just touching you made the heart in my chest, swell and expand. It was delicious. I was in total awe of you, your strength, your courage, your determination all shone through like a beacon of gold. You gave me the courage and strength to keep fighting another day too. You filled me up with love that day.
I was addicted. I wanted more. The midwife came over and I asked if I could hold you. She told me I had to wait until the paediatricians had completed their ward round. Again, my heart sank to the floor, I contained the pooling of water creeping up behind my eyes. Part of me wanted to flip open the doors on the cot and lift you out to meet me, but I was afraid I would cause injury or affect the treatment you were having. I had to wait. I had to learn patience.
We had to wait before we could officially meet each other. Every second was felt so deeply, it was a silent agonising cry that I couldn’t satiate. I thought everybody was so cruel at the time. Could these professionals not see how distraught I was? Yes, they could, but they were powerless too, the midwifes taught me the truth about patience and faith. They were amazing, as were the medical team that surrounded us. The medical advances in science saved both our lives this special day in our history.
Finally, after the doctors morning round, my heart was gently caressed. The midwife lifted you across from the incubator and into my eagerly awaiting open arms. The moment was so precious and powerful I was cradling you near my heart. Your were so warm and tiny, you wrapped your whole hand around my little finger, I was mesmerised looking at you. So relieved, so blessed, so loved. I raised your head to my lips and whispered, ‘we made it,’ then I kissed you.
The last three days had been fraught with anxiety and tension. Grandad and Aunty Nikki were most anxious of all. They paced the floor at the weekend trying to figure out how to get me into hospital and speed up your delivery. We as a family were worried this pregnancy was following the same route as your cousin – he was born still. So in my family, we all lived on the edge until your delivery day.
So the tension and anxiety followed us everywhere, regardless of the current social circumstances we were living. We were working together against the odds – and we made it.
You my darling were not the spare baby that your brother and sister teased you about as a small child – you were the miracle that was given, to shine love and light to my dark journey.
And your light has grown bigger and brighter every year. What an amazing young woman you are becoming. I’m so proud of you sweetheart, your birth was more than a miracle for me, it was the beginning of my journey to discovering true courage and faith. You, along with your brother and sister made the warrior mother that I am today.
I am truly blessed and honoured, to be called, your mother x
I love you to the stars and back xxx