"I’ve always known I wanted to have kids. What I didn’t appreciate was just how tough it really is. My son Albus is now 10 months and I have a newfound massive respect for all mums. I learnt the hard way that everyone has an opinion. One that I wouldn’t normally agree with. Everything I read and learnt from family, friends and NCT couldn’t have ever prepared me for how traumatic my labour actually was and I still feel guilty for not giving my newborn son skin to skin as it was so important! Except when all those options are taken away from you and your child is fighting for their life. Two weeks in NICU is nothing compared to some families but was my toughest experience yet. Not to mention the sleep deprivation, sore nipples, rollercoaster emotions and constant doubting yourself that happens (I would say in the newborn days, but I’m still going through it). But would I do it again- definitely! Is it worth it- definitely! Seeing my baby smile instantly makes me forget all the negatives and our tough experience makes me treasure everything 100 times more.
I had a short labour - 3.5 hours but that’s not as good as people think. Albie was 11 days overdue, and his Heart rate started dropping during labour so the midwife rushed me to the delivery unit and wanted him delivered within 10 mins. He was born with the cord wrapped around his neck tightly twice and in the sac which is really rare and supposed to be lucky. But there wasn’t much fluid and he had pooed and ingested it. He wasn’t breathing therefore the sac was opened, cord was cut and he was passed to a team of people who resuscitated and ventilated him. It was 9 minutes before he took a breath and he was rushed to intensive care. It was 3 hours before we could see him while they put him in a cooling jacket and inserted lines and attachments all over him. His poor condition is thought to have been due to me having severe preeclampsia which had gone unnoticed, my placenta not working efficiently (due to the preeclampsia and being overdue) and as he only weighed 5lb 5 he didn’t have any reserve to cope with a traumatic labour and the cord round his neck. He was diagnosed with a hypoxic brain injury on his MRI scan which could cause him to have delayed milestones or be severely disabled but the doctors are happy with his progress so far."
Huge thanks to Shiv for sharing her story, and to Jimmy, Shiv and Albie for kindly letting me take their pictures.
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