"The Birth of My Son"

About: Fairfield General Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

When I was 26 weeks + 6 days pregnant I went to hospital complaining of a headache and feeling unwell. I was seen at the delivery suite, they ran a few tests, thinking that I was just a bit over anxious and depressed. I had ante natal depression on my notes. After an hour or so the room filled with people. It turned out that I had severe early onset pre eclampsia. I wasn't in one of the main hospitals with a level 3 NICU, but the doctor who was assigned to my case felt it was dangerous to move me, that I might die, as I was so ill.

I had an emergency scan which showed that the baby had stopped growing. I was terrified. They sent a special care nurse to come and see me, I couldn't tour the NICU as I was too sick to be moved. I then met one of the paediatricians. They talked me through what to expect, and how my son might be once he was born. I felt completely reassured and in safe hands.

The night before my caesarean was so frightening, as I was not allowed to sleep and had to have intense monitoring all night. I had steroids to mature my baby's lungs, and I had magnesium sulphate to prevent fitting. The midwife, Michelle, who looked after me, was amazing, and kept me calm.

My caesarean section was just lovely. All the staff were so sympathetic and supportive, and I felt calm throughout. They warned me that my baby would not cry, so I was ready. When I heard crying I was cross "I've listened to labouring women all night, this is just unfair, surely the theatre should be sound proof" I could see smiling eyes behind masks. That was my baby. He was alive.

My son was born at 27 weeks and weighed 1lb 7oz. I made a full recovery and spent 10 weeks visiting him by his cot side.

Joseph is now 2 and half years old. He has pretty much caught up to his peers. He is clever, funny and beautiful.

I can never ever thank the hospital enough, and the staff members who saved my life, and that of my baby. I am so grateful for the NHS, and for the antenatal, delivery and post natal services it provides.

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