I had only been with Dude's father for a short while, but when I found out that I was pregnant with him I was pleased. Pregnancy was pretty smooth with him. That is until 29 weeks when I started to bleed and have contractions. My Health Visitor had sent me up to Labour Ward where they prepared for an early baby. Alerting neonatal unit that a 29 weeker may be born pretty soon.
He didn't arrive. I had been given a cocktail of medication to 'slow' the labour. I was still having contractions and dilating but he wasn't about to say 'hi' any time soon. I was kept in, put on bed rest and had steroids to strengthen his lungs in case he did decide now would be a good time to arrive.
After a week I was sent home on stricked instructions to not venture more than 15 minuets away from the hospital and to rest. I was again admitted at 32 weeks but they didn't seem as panicked. I was told 'if baby comes, he comes!' Again they arranged a cot for him in the neonatal unit, but again it wasn't needed. He managed to stay put until 3 days before his due date. Monday 30th January 2006, Dude decided to grace us with his presents.
Labour was not good. I went in with contractions at 10 minuet intervals. 4cm dilated and in Pain! I asked for some pain killers as the gas and air just made me sick and gave me a feeling of being out of control. I was given Pethidine at a half dose as I'm under weight with is part and parcel of Eherlos Danlos Syndrome (not that I knew I had that then)
Things started to go from bad to worse. At each contraction his heart rate dropped to 90. taking a while to recover after each drop. Worried, I beeped for a Midwife. A receptionist came to me a while later and said not to be silly, its fine. My guts said different. When a Midwife finally came to me, my baby's heart rate had gone. Unable to find one externally they had to break my waters and put a tiny clip onto my baby's head. Doing so revealed his heart rate had dropped to 50. The room filled with people. At 8cm dilated my baby was pulled from me. Not placed on my chest, but taken to be shouted at by a Midwife to 'BREATH!' Some minuets later he started screaming. Breathing and red he was given to me. He screamed solidly for an hour.
I wanted to try and breast feed him. I found it VERY painful but decided I would try hard as it was the best start I could give him.
When we was up on the Maternity Ward, I turned to his father and pointed out that I thought his legs looked abit funny. Dudes father told me to 'shut up' and 'dont say anything' cos he wanted us to go home.
After 2 days, we were discharged. The paediatrician had done all her 'tests' and though he was presenting as deaf in his left ear and was noted that he was 'very strong' with a 'very good grip' with jokes about the steroids I'd had to strengthen his lungs, no-one (but me) had any concerns. We were to return in 2 weeks to check his left ear again.
We finally had Dude. Loved, wanted but unknowingly 'Different'.