FAMILY

Lewis birth story

Everything with my first pregnancy was straight forward. I went for my first scan at 10 weeks. I remember lying on the bed and the lady scanning me saying are you sure your dates are right? Naturally I started to doubt myself thinking maybe I was wrong. she scanned for a little longer digging the scanner into my stomach a little harder for what felt like forever until she said oh there it is, it has a heartbeat! I was so relived to hear those words (though it could have been put a little nicer).

A few weeks later Trevor received a letter from a doctor at another hospital he had been to see. He heard I was pregnant and wanted to do a 4d scan to check the baby but he needed a copy of my notes from the maternity unit (at the time the hospitals policy was to keep the notes until later in the pregnancy). I contacted the hospital for what I thought would be a simple hand over of my medical notes, instead I was told the consultant had to see me first. We had an appointment for a Friday evening at 5.30pm with a lady who I thought was my consultant (I later found out it wasn’t). I remember walking into the room and she seemed to have an attitude straight away. No matter how many times we tried to explain to her the reasons why the other hospital wanted to see my notes and do a scan she wouldn’t listen. She then went on to offer me an amniocentesis test which I knew wouldn’t be beneficial to the other consultant and it came with its own risks for myself and the baby so I politely declined it. All this was going on while she was drinking a can of diet coke and eating a bag of haribo sweets. She then scanned me with a normal 2d machine and said see your baby is fine it has all its limbs. At this point my emotions were starting to get the better of me, all I wanted was my hospital notes not someone arguing with me. I burst out crying and she said what are you crying for? I walked out of the room and Trevor continued to chat with the consultant for a few minutes while I calmed myself down. He met me in the waiting area and as we were walking out of the hospital the consultant walked behind us leaving for the evening. He later told me that she refused to send my notes to the doctor dispite seeing the letter from him.

I felt the treatment I received on that day was not professional so we decided to put in a complaint. It was investigated and we later found this lady had been transferred from two other maternity hospitals due to similar complaints. I decided not to go back to that hospital. We transferred to another maternity hospital a little further away. On our first visit the staff were amazing, we explained the situation with the other doctor requesting a 4d scan. My new consultant was very understanding. They sent me for a 4d scan that day and sent all the results to the doctor who requested them to begin with. Our baby was perfect in every way and the doctors research was correct so everyone was happy.

My 32 week scan we were told my placenta had started to degrade so we would need to return for regular growth scans. We went for regular scans every week to track the babies growth. My mum came to my 36 week scan, it was her 50th birthday. So far I had resisted the urge to find out what we were having until my mum had a giggle and said I can see what the baby is! The Consultant looked at the screen and said yes, its very clear isn’t it? Of course at this point I had to know. It was a little boy. I knew he would be called Lewis it was the name we had already picked for a boy. A week later we went for another scan. At this point my placenta was barely working and Lewis hadn’t grown in 4 weeks. We set a date for me to be induced. 15th January, I would be 38 weeks pregnant .

We arrived at the hospital on the Thursday morning excited and nervous. I was checked in, scanned and a nurse went through everything with me. I didn’t go to any of the parent classes nor did I write a birth plan. I thought it was best to just go with whatever happens happens. At 1pm I went onto the ward and was given my first pessary. Nothing happened. 5pm I was given another still nothing happened. Trevor was sent home that night because partners were only allowed to stay if labour was progressing. I started to get a few pains in my back and thought to myself its just because the bed isn’t comfortable. A midwife examined me at midnight, I was 1 cm dilated. she gave me an anti sickness injection, some painkillers and a tens machine. I text Trevor saying everything was fine get some rest. I fell asleep around 1am only to wake up in a sweat shortly after 8am by a midwife wanting to give me another pessary. She examined me and was a little shocked I was 8cm dilated and my waters had already broke (turns out I wasn’t sweating). I phoned Trevor and told him you need to get here soon i’m going to the delivery room. Of course he panicked. A Friday morning rush hour traffic and he was over an hour away. I somehow managed to walk to the delivery room. The sister hooked me up the monitor, and gave me the gas and air while introducing me a student midwife who had only started that morning. My baby would be the first baby she would deliver (under the watchful eye of the sister of course). Lewis being Lewis kept kicking the monitor off which meant all the alarms kept going off. I remember seeing the panic on the students face when he done it the first time and it was just us in the room. Between sucking on the gas and air I sat up and reset the machine. She mumbled a thank you and I continued sucking on my gas and air. The sister came in asked how I was doing and reminded her to chat to me until Trevor arrived. She did try to make small talk asking was this my first baby in the middle of a contraction I growled YES! She never spoke to me after that. The sister walked into the delivery room just before 9am followed by Trevor in a panic. I said to Trevor help me I need to go to the bathroom. I sat up swung my legs off the bed only to have them swung back onto the bed by the midwife as she was telling me I wasn’t going to the bathroom, it was probably the baby coming. To my amazement she said the babies head is there he has lots of hair. Of course I asked what any mother does is he ginger? They all laughed as the response I got was no he has black hair. Yes, hes not ginger. Two pushes later and he was in my arms. My first baby a tiny little boy was born at 9.03am weighing just 4lb 14oz.

Lewis was a lot smaller than the consultants had originally thought he would be so after some tests they decided to put him in an incubator. He was struggling to keep his body heat. Every time he had a feed he would be ok for an hour then his temperature would drop his little lips would be blue and he would be cold to touch. Over the next 24 hours he had to get his blood sugars checked before and after every feed. Trevor went home to get showered and changed. The following morning a midwife came and took Lewis for some tests. She said he would be in the nursery and back in an hour. An hour came and went my parents arrived for visiting time. I explained where he was and that I didn’t want to bother them because I knew they would be busy. My dad though was different he wanted to see his new grandson so off he went in search of the midwife. He came back a few minutes later with the midwife but no baby. I thought she was just going to say your baby is still getting checked over, he will  be back soon. But no she said your baby has had to go to NICU (neaonatal intensive care unit) she went on to say he had to be given some medication through a drip to regulate his body temperature and they had hooked him up to a little heart machine and he wasn’t allowed out of the incubator because he was being given some light treatment for his jaundice. I walked with my mum and the midwife to the NICU (it was just up the corridor). I got to the doors, my heart racing I burst into tears as the midwife told my mum it was only parents allowed beyond the door. I panicked because Trevor was waiting in traffic to park and I couldn’t go in on my own. The midwife was lovely she reassured me and said she would sit with me until Trevor arrived. I plucked up the courage and went in. My perfect tiny baby boy was now hooked u to all the machines and had a mask over his eyes and a light over the incubator. I sat there for hours over the next few days watching him just lying there listening to all the sounds of the machines and alarms going off around me. 5 days later I was told he had been moved to another room within the NICU. I went to see him to my surprise he had been moved out of the incubator had all the drips and monitors taken off him and he lay in the little cot. The new midwife introduced herself and said hes a great baby he has been here all night taking all his feeds and regulating him temperature. I sat there staring at him in awe until the midwife said you can lift him now you know. Give him some skin to skin but keep the blankets over him to keep him warm. I finally got to hold my tiny baby again. The doctor came round and told Lewis was born with Hypoglycemia. Which meant he had been using all his energy to keep himself alive because he couldn’t regulate his sugar levels naturally. Lewis spend two more nights in the neonatal unit and a night on the ward with me before he was allowed home.

Now we have a happy and healthy 9 year old who has only had two other occasions where his blood sugars have droped to a concerning level and I was able to manage it without him having to get any medication.

Jayne xx

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