Just like her big brother, Amber was a surprise. Sometime last June I realised my period was late. 2 little pink lines later, and here was Amber. I wish! It was slightly more complicated than that!
Unfortunately I don't do anything by halves, and my pregnancy with Amber, was somewhat eventful! She was due on 13th March.
At 16weeks I requested an Amniocentesis. This was declined by my consultant as she thought it 'was a waste of NHS funding'. Quite why she came to that conclusion I have no idea. I went above her head and the procedure was carried out at 17weeks pregnant. The plan was also to put in a cervical stitch, but this was to be done at 18weeks. When I went to the hospital for this procedure, they said it couldn't be done as I had an infection and cervix was dilating already.
Basically we were told I had to cross my legs and get to 24weeks, or else they wouldn't help our baby! :'( The following 6 weeks were potentially the most emotionally draining 6weeks of my life.
The amnio results were clear, and confirmed that we were expecting a girl.
I continued to attended weekly monitoring, swabs and white blood counts to check on the infection. I rattled along with the amount of anti-biotics I was taking! Nothing seemed to clear it, or if it did, it came back with a vengeance!
Finally, we got to 24 weeks. and we all started to breathe again. But now Amber's kidney was starting to look too big on the scans. So I was back and forth having more scans on that, more monitoring and more infection screening!
With Will, I started having contractions at 28+6. with Amber 28+6 took me to Christmas day! I walked round with my legs crossed for a few days before! After the 25th, I breathed a sigh of relief. I had already got further than I had with Will!
Unfortunately our luck didn't last forever. On the 6th January (30+4) I woke up feeling a bit odd. I had routine ante-natal appointment anyways, which i attended. Whilst I was there, I asked for more steroids. I had to argue it, but eventually they agreed.
Fast forward to 8pm that night, (I had gone back to bed when Will went to his dads that night) I woke up to a huge pain across my tummy, and within an hour was contracting 12mins apart. Dave took me to hospital at 10pm and they confirmed, that I was having proper contractions. They gave me nifedipine to slow the contractions so that they could get another dose of steroids. and a shot of pethidine to ease the pain and hopefully for me to get some sleep as I was shattered. The hospital I was booked into (Wrexham Maelor Hospital) had no space in SCBU, so I was transferred out to Glan Clywd Hospital. The contractions petered out the next day after lots of nifedipine and pethidine and eventually I was transferred back to WMH.
To cut a VERY long story short, the contractions stopped and started for a few days, and I was transferred back and forth between WMH and GCH. Until both of those were full and I ended up at Arrowe Park Hospital. On January 11th, at 31+2, my waters went. I was kept in until the Friday and then sent home with a view to taking me in at 34 weeks for a cesarean.
I was in and out of hospital for the next 3 weeks, and inbetween I had weekly monitoring, and scans to check fluid levels. I was booked in for my CS on February 1st, at WMH. But when I went for me pre-op on the Monday, the bloody SCBU was full again!! So AGAIN, we were transferred to APH!
The CS went well, but my blood pressure was very low so the next bit is a bit blurry. I was taken into recovery, where I had a cuddle with Amber, but she was getting cold and wasn't able to regulate her temperature, so they decided to take her to SCBU for a check up. I wasn't really with it, so don't think I was aware of the severity of the situation.
Amber was taken in to Neo-natal Intensive care as she was struggling with her breathing. She was put on CPAP to help her with this. and sadly, we were unable to cuddle her, or get her out of the incubator. This was so hard. Dave's mum came to the hospital and I took her down to meet Amber, but it could have been anyone's baby, I felt detached from the whole situation. I was desperately wanting to breastfeed, but Amber wasn't strong enough. I was encouraged to pump my milk, which I did, and on day 3, my milk came in. I have never felt pain like it! It wasn't like that with Will!
I was discharged forom the maternity ward on the Friday, and stayed in the Ronald McDonald house which was amazing!
Things seemed to get worse for a while, I was so worried about her, she was so, so tiny and the effort of breathing tired her out so much. She didnt like being touched or mithered. It was awful.
But things eventually started to improve. She was born on the Tuesday, and on the Friday Amber and I had our 1st cuddle! It was lovely! By Saturday, she was off the CPAP, and just in an incubator with oxygen piped in. On the Sunday she was transferred into HDU, where, on day 5, she had her first breastfeed. It was amazing. I was on a high for days after. She continued to be fed via tube for the majority of the time, but this was decreased and she started to feed from me more and more.
Monday and a shif into the nursery.They decided she was able to just go into a hot-cot, but as she still needed some oxygen, they put in nasal canulas. I was horrified, felt like we were going backwards! The nurses reassurred me tho, that it was in her interest to have the help from the canulas, and be feeding from me all the time, and then be weaned off the oxygen.
It took 8days to wean Amber off the nasal canulas, but finally we came home from hospital on 15th February, with Amber weighing in a 5lb exactly.
She continued to gain weight and grow brilliantly, shes 6 and a half months now, and weighs about 13lb. We are so proud of her, shes doing fab. We were warned that there may be some developmental delay with her being premature, but shes doing everything she should be. Into everything, rolling everywhere, sitting up, eating anything you give her. She is a superstar!
We are still breastfeeding and I feel it is a huge acheivement given her being born so early, we are up for peer supporter training too, it is somehting I feel passionately about, and so does Amber! :) Hopefully we will continue feeding for a long time yet!
I think Amber will be our last baby. There are too many complications in my pregnancies and I dont think I could cope, physically or emotionally with another one. Dave couldnt afford to keep us either ;) haha. So I am going to enjoy every second of Amber being a baby. After all, I've blinked and Will is 4, they don't stay babys long at all! :(