After the girls I really thought my family was complete, I didn't plan on having any more children and I wasn't trying. Then in December 2009 I was busy re-papering the living room just before putting up the Christmas decorations up. I found it really hard going and was so tired. Once finished I realised that my period was late, and my period is never late so I worried a little. My first thought was that maybe it was a sign of the peri-menopause! Before rushing off to get my hormone replacements (only joking) I decided to do a pregnancy test first and splashed out on a stick from the local pound shop. This is how convinced I was that I wasn't pregnant, I just wanted to rule it out. I was a bit shocked to get a strong positive.
The booking in visit with the midwife was done at home. She told me I would need consultant care. I sighed, I'd always had consultant care because my first pregnancy ended in an emergency c-section. So I complained 'but I've had three vaginal births since my section' The midwife kindly pointed out that was not the reason for the consultant care, the reason was, in fact, my 'old age'
At 12 weeks I had a dating scan and a triple blood test. It was advised because of my 'delicate' age. It came back as 1 in 7 chance of Downs Syndrome. I went to the hospital to talk about my options. I wished I'd not taken the test. The lady we spoke to was honest and clear in all our options and told us to imagine our own worst case scenarios before decided what we wanted to do next. This is what we came up with;
1. finding out the baby did indeed have Down's Syndrome
2. having a miscarriage whether the baby did or did not have Down's Syndrome.
We agreed that number two was the worst possible case scenario and opted out of further testing. It's a very personal choice but we were happy with our decision. We had decided that we wouldn't terminate anyway and the only advantage of finding out would be for preparation. I did feel a weight lifted off my shoulders and longed to meet my baby, Down's or not.
The first five months passed happily, I had none of the worries that had bothered me with my previous two pregnancies, no bleeding which was such a relief. Then it was time for my 20 week scan. We had decided to find out what we were having and were greeted from the moment the scan began with 'boy parts' We were overjoyed. He was perfect, he showed no anomalies at all, everything was in place and working properly. The grins continued.
Then the atmosphere changed and the sonographer left us to get a second opinion. Baby was fine but she'd spotted something that worried her. Whispering on the other side of the curtain allowed me to catch the word tumor. My grin was disappearing fast. However, back on the scan and the second opinion was not a tumor but a big fibroid, the size of an orange and almost covering my cervix. It was ok though, I was told that baby could still push his way through and they would take a closer look.
The closer look flagged up another problem. My cervix was funneling, the top part was opening and closing. I had no idea what this meant so I was told I'd be rushed in to see my consultant. He gave me the news that I could miscarry at any time and offered me a surgical stich to close my cervix, which would be taken out closer to the birth. Then I was told of the risks of having a stitch at such a late stage in my pregnancy, in particular infection which could cause a miscarriage anyway. I'd got so far without miscarrying I decided that the risk of infection was just as bad, probably worse than the risk of miscarriage so I declined.
What a day, first the huge high of having a perfect little boy, followed by the incredible low of thinking I may lose him at any time.
The next day I was back in hospital with a nasty UTI and again I was offered a stitch. Again I refused and the anti-biotics cleared up my infection.
My pregnancy continued and as each week passed I became more relaxed. At my 31 week anti-natal the midwife was concerned about the size of my baby and the size of my fibroid and she sent me to see the consultant. He seemed to the think the midwife was wasting his time and did not even examine me.
At 36 weeks I was sent for a growth scan because the midwife was still concerned about my little man's growth rate. It turned out that he was fine but there was too much liquor and a urine test flagged up protein so I was sent for a diabetes blood test. The test was ok and I was told to go back in two weeks for another scan.
At 38 weeks I found out that he was breech and that my fibroid had grown even bigger so the chances of a vaginal birth were minimal. I'd already been told that I was not going to be allowed to go over my 40 weeks so my best option was to go for an elective c-section. At first I was dismayed. I'd hated my first Caesarian and really never wanted another, but I had to do what was best for me and baby. The chances of having him turned were poor and not advisable with my age and condition (yes, my poor old body was suffering.) Delivering breech was un-advisable because of my fibroid. If baby was in right position and head had become engaged then he could have pushed past the fibroid, but delivering breech could have caused a lot of problems. So I really had no choice.
So the Little Man was born by elective C-section on his due date. We were first into the theatre and he was born at 9.50am. Just before the operation they scanned me again to make sure he hadn't turned, but he was still feet down. The operation was surreal, so calm and amazing. My first section had been an emergency under a general, so it was strange to be awake while they opened me up. The surgeon's were lovely and talked me through everything. I told them Little Man's name and they used it throughout. It was particularly lovely when they held him up over the screen and said say hello to mummy and daddy. Then moments later he was in my arms. My precious little man.