The past three weeks have been a surreal, beautiful haze. On Tuesday 17th May I went to attend my weekly antenatal appointment with my OBGYN (Baby delivering doctor) knowing I couldn’t continue much longer. We had moved house four days prior, I was heavily pregnant, suffering from severe preeclampsia, swelling like a balloon, exhausted and having extreme difficulty breathing, moving and keeping my blood pressure (which has always been excellent) down to healthy levels.
With the help of our friends and my wonderful husband, the move happened and we were quickly unpacked and semi settled in to our new place, but after being administered medication to keep my blood pressure down on Saturday, I had spent Sunday and Monday feeling absolutely awful, with a constant headache and barely being able to cope with walking to and from my bed to the couch.
My OBGYN took one look at me and admitted me to hospital, which was conveniently located in the same building as his office.
The next two days were spent in the complex care unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital under constant monitoring for blood pressure, blood sugars and steroid treatments to assist in developing our baby’s lungs. Knowing we would be having him soon was so exciting and relieving, but also worrying. I was 33 weeks. I still had 7 weeks til full term. Two days passed with next to no sleep and I started to lose the battle with my anxiety. Despite my best efforts to get and keep my diabetes well controlled, here I was, facing a premature baby, who may not be able to breathe on his own, with no way of controlling the preeclampsia symptoms taking over my exhausted body.
On Wednesday morning the doctor decided Thursday was the day, and scheduled me for a c-section delivery early the next day. I spent most of the night up pleading with God for my son to be born safely, and for strength in his little lungs. I had prayed all throughout the pregnancy that God would keep him safe, that he would be brought into this world at the right time. I had done everything I could, but it was now out of my hands.
Surely enough, on Thursday morning the 19th of May at 9:37am, our son Samuel Jasper Walker was born, breathing on his own, weighing 5 pounds 9 ounces. He was perfect. All my worrying, my anxiety, none of it mattered. He was here, and he was healthy.
Sam was safely in the hands of the special care nursery at Frances Perry House, being incubated and tube fed but otherwise completely healthy, but I was not out of the woods yet. The preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, which can cause seizures in the birth mother, among other scary things. I stayed another 3 days in the complex care unit under constant monitoring. I didn’t get to see Sam again for 27 hours after his birth.
Once I was improving enough to leave complex care, I was then transferred to Frances Perry House, a maternity hospital I had chosen, and spent another week there recovering from the surgery and the migraines and other issues caused by the preeclampsia. But the best part was, I was 5 doors down from Sam. Mum had come over from Perth for me, she and Stu would visit me and Sam during the afternoons and then head home to finish unpacking and settling the house for me. I slept a lot, knowing I could see my little miracle any time I was awake. We spent hours cuddling him, learning to change and feed him, watching him grow stronger every day.
I was discharged a week and a half before Sam, one of the hardest things to do is to leave your baby behind and go home. It felt so wrong! But my body desperately needed the time to recover and I was grateful, even though I missed him so much I ached.
And now we are home, a little family of 3 (or 5, if you include the fur babies!) and life is a beautiful haze.
Yes, I am so tired I feel dizzy.
Yes, the feeds and the nappies and the work never end.
Yes, I miss being able to do whatever, whenever I want.
But nothing I ever had before was as incredible, breath taking, worth it, wanted, needed, fulfilling as the moments I spend drinking in Sam’s scent, watching him smile in his sleep, listening to the little sounds he makes while he dreams of God only knows what.
I am still in awe of what we created together. I cannot believe he is ours.
God, give us long life together. Filled with love, joy and peace. Thank you for giving me my son.
Meaning: God has heard.
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”
1 Samuel 1 v 27