It's been a good few weeks since I last posted a blog on here. Apologies for that, but I have a rather good reason....

On the 20th October 2017 we welcomed our gorgeous baby boy, George Gregory Stephens, into the world four weeks early. It was an unexpected early arrival, but for the best. Since then I've been spending my time caring for him.

Here's our birth and delivery story.

It all began on Wednesday 18th October when I attended my routine fortnightly appointment with my midwife. I had been suffering from extremely puffy feet since around week 25, but wasn't really sure what was normal or not. When she saw my feet that day, took my blood pressure, which was through the roof, and found high levels of protein in my urine sample, she immediately referred me to the antenatal clinic at my local hospital.

Once I got to my car, I called Greg who was in work (an hour train ride away) and explained the situation to him. Looking back now, I was so calm and chilled out about the whole thing, not knowing what was to come. Greg asked whether I needed him at the hospital and I said "Nooo don't worry, it's just routine, I'll be back at home later". Luckily, he wasn't taking that for an answer and planned to meet me at the hospital as soon as he could.

When I got to the hospital, I was seen at the antenatal clinic, where they again took a urine sample and my blood pressure. I was sat in the waiting room when Greg arrived. I was still pretty sure that I would soon be going home. After a few minutes of waiting, the doctor informed me that I would need to stay overnight in order to be monitored for 24 hours. "Oh great" I thought, I felt completely fine in myself, I didn't need to stay in hospital surely.

I was taken up to the maternity ward and shown to a bed which was in a room with three women who had recently been induced. I really didn't feel like I needed to be in hospital. Apart from puffy feet, I felt my usual happy self. I was hooked up to machines and told that I would be seen by the doctor the following morning.

Thursday came around and the doctor came to see me around 9am. He informed me that I had preeclampsia and because my blood pressure and the levels of protein in my urine were still high, I would be having a c section the following week. However, I would need to stay in hospital until then. I had an ultrasound scan around 10am that day to ensure everything was ok due to the preeclampsia. It turned out Baby S was breech and my placenta was failing, meaning that baby was not getting what he needed and therefore not developing properly around the abdomen. I got quite upset as didn't know what this really meant. Would my baby need extra care? Could this affect his every day life?

When we went back up to the ward, the midwife looking after me wheeled me down to the Labour and Delivery Ward. This confused me as I thought "Hang on a moment, I'm not having a baby until next week?!". It wasn't until I had been down there for an hour or two, being constantly monitored by one of the midwives who expressed my blood pressure was still extremely high, that the doctor came back around and explained that I would now be having an emergency c section the following morning, first thing. I was given two steroid injections over a few hours in order to help mature baby's lungs due to him being born premature.

We had less than 24 hours to get our heads around the fact that we would be holding our baby boy the following day.

As you can imagine, I could not sleep that night. I was nil by mouth from 12am, but that wasn't too bad when the c section was scheduled for 8am the following day. Greg couldn't stay with me that evening so he left at 9pm and came back at 6am the morning of the delivery, keen to become a daddy.

I have never felt so nervous in all of my life. I couldn't stop shaking. I was given a gown and hat to put on, and was walked by the midwife, with Greg, to the theatre room. There must have been around 13 people in the room, I can't remember much about the room apart from that as it was such a surreal feeling. I was hooked up to machines and drips. Next was the spinal block, given to me by the anesthetist. I was told to sit on the bed with my legs hanging off the side, and to hunch over a pillow.

To be honest, I was most nervous about this part, but I'm not sure if it was because I was so nervous or not, I hardly felt a thing.

Next thing I know, my legs started going warm and numb. The nurses moved my legs up onto the bed and I was given a cathita. Once I had gone completely numb up to my chest, they began the procedure. Greg was sat next to me the whole time and was a complete jem. I don't know what I would have done without him over those few days!

Within five minutes of the procedure beginning, George Gregory Stephens was born (weighing 5lb 4 ounces) and taken to a side room to be checked over. He needed a little help breathing, but apart from that was perfect. Our gorgeous little boy was handed to us to cuddle and we couldn't have been happier. That moment made us feel on top of the world, there's no other feeling like it.

It took them 40 minutes to stitch me back up, before we were taken to recovery. In recovery I fed George for the first time - he did such a good job and latched the first time - and they made sure everything was ok before taking us to the ward where we could spend time with our new baby.

It wasn't until later that day that they took the cathita out (once the spinal block had worn off) and I had to walk to the toilet that I felt the pain that comes with a c section. One word. Ouch. But I'll talk more about that in a future blog on my c section recovery.

The team at the hospital did such a fantastic job, I cannot fault them one bit. The quality of care and reassurance I received throughout those three days were second to none. A huge thank you goes to my midwife as well, as without her referral to the hospital on that Wednesday, god knows what could have happened!

The team at the hospital did such a fantastic job, I cannot fault them one bit. The quality of care and reassurance I received throughout those three days were second to none. A huge thank you goes to my midwife as well, as without her referral to the hospital on that Wednesday, god knows what could have happend!

Now, seven weeks on, George has grown so much and doing so well. We love him to bits and can't imagine life without him. He is the perfect addition to our little family.

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