Around 25/26weeks, I started having very strong Braxton Hicks. At 28+6, halfway to Aberystwyth (to take my sister in law back to university) I started having what I thought we're BHs. In actual fact they were real contractions and so off we went to Aber. Hospital. What a nightmare that was, it's a horrible hospital, built on a hill, so lots of lifts and ramps!
They gave me lots of drugs to stop the contractions, and the 1st shot of Steroids, and 12 hours later the 2nd shot. As Aber. doesn't have a SCBU, they had to transfer me out to another hospital. The one I was booked into, the Countess of Chester Hospital, was full. So Arrowe Park Hospital it was. It apparently took about 3.5 hours to get from Aber to APH. I remember nothing off this, I was high as a kite on God knows what drugs!
The contractions petered out and eventually I was sent home. But that wasnt the end. To cut a long story short, I was in and out of hospital until 32 weeks when my waters started leaking. Baby was head down and I was told 'no swimming, no sex, and rest rest rest' . So I did, and the amniotic sac sealed itself up again. This is where the major issues began!
As the amniotic fluid had stopped leaking, COCH were happy to let me continue with the pregnancy, against my wishes, I wanted my baby out! During all this time, I was suffering terribly with SPD, and at 36 weeks, i fell down the stairs. Cue yet ANOTHER hospital trip. This triggered some concerns, and the following week, at my 37week ante-natal appointment, they decided to keep me in on bed-rest, to monitor my SPD and to give me some different pain relief.
The pain-relief team came round to see me on the ante-natal ward, and the decision was made to give me tramadol. I was reassured that baby wouldnt be dependant. How wrong was that!
At 38+3, I was taken down to be induced. 2 pessaries later...Nothing. The following day I was put on the pitocin drip. After 5hours, and a ceasearean. William Edward was born at 16.33pm, weighing in at 6lb.
Will and I both went up to the ward together. He slept most of the night, although the midwives did keep trying to wake us both so I could feed him. The breastfeeding was going ok. But I was not prepared for how painful it was going to be! :(
Originally, we were kept in to establish breastfeeding, but on the second night, Will started to cry this awful cry, he wouldnt settle, his blood sugars were all over the place. At 4am, the decision was made for him to be taken down to the NNU. I was informed that he was withdrawing from the Tramadol, and he was being put on Morphine Replacement Therapy. I was heartbroken. How could this have happened to my poor baby? Guilt is a terrible thing! I paced the floor for hours and hours, and desperately pumped to get my milk supply in. During which time, Will was given donor milk through a Nasal Gastric tube. the MRT knocked him out, he wouldnt feed and slept constantly. The paeds and OB/GYN consultant talked and decided to give me morphine and it would filter through into my breastmilk and Will would be weaned off like that. It was gonna be hard, but worth it to get him feeding properly!
Evetually, on day 4, we were allowed home. He was a very unsettled baby. He had colic, and cryied constantly for about 12 weeks. We rode it out until 16weeks and then started to wean, thinking my breastmilk wasnt filling him up. It made no difference. Neither did formula. One day, though, he just stopped crying so much.
Fast-forward to his 8month check-up with the Health visitor. He wasnt sitting up by this point. But the HV never followed it up. By 12months, he was rolling round, but still no closer to sitting independantly. I also noticed his feet looked different to my friends children's feet. Sort of twisted in. :/ I took him to the GP, she referred us to a Paeds consultant. I thought nothing of it really, in my mind, worst case scenario was gonna be an operation to correct the positioning of his feet.
But no. The day came round for the consultant appointment. I took Will by myself. Dr Murphy took one look at him and said the words that shattered my world. "I think he has Cerebral Palsy"
There are no words to explain the shock. I didnt even know what Cerebral Palsy was! But I knew it wasnt good. We we're referred to Wrexham Maelor Hospital to see a physiotherapist. She turned out to be an amazing source of support for me, and the only person with any faith in what Will could achieve.
Many tests later, MRI scans, Neurological reports, and assessments later, on the 1st October 2008 William was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Aged 17months and 4 days. The prognosis was grim. How wrong could they be...?
Age 4...my big grown up boy!
Helping with his new baby sister!
Me and my babies, July 2011