Friday, November 8, 2013

Birth Story - Amber Katelin (30weeks)


When Jydan was about to turn 6 months I sent out a Breastfeeding Guest Post Call Out to celebrate and spent a couple of weeks sharing people breastfeeding posts until Jydan turned 6 months.

Jydan is about to ONE!

Until Jydan turns thirteen months I want to share birth stories, to celebrate his birthday!

Email me at harleymcocks@gmail.com if you want to guest post :)

You can read Jydan's birth story here:


I've been REALLY looking forward to sharing this story because it's one of my beautiful friends, Jaimie, and her story about giving birth at just 30 weeks. Her strength and her beautiful strong baby girl is really inspirational. I got to meet little Amber only about 15 hours after she was born and I'll never forget it!

Amber Katelin: Sunday 21st of April 2013 is when it all began. Luke and I were having a sleep in that morning. I got up to go to the toilet and that's when I lost what I now know was the mucus plug. I went back into bed, described to Luke what had happened and as this was our first baby (and so we were oblivious), we googled what it could be. I then rang the health direct line to see what to do and as I was only in my 29th week of the pregnancy they told me to go straight to the hospital. We got to the hospital and they did all their intrusive checks, hooked me to machines and because bubby's heartbeat was constantly stable all the time (rather than down when sleeping and up when active as they'd like) they said I needed to stay the night. I messaged work that I'd be off the next day (assuming I'd be back on the Tuesday) and settled in for the night. 3 days later I was still there as bubby's heartbeat was still the same and they weren't sure if it was just the way she was or if it meant she was in stress (but all other checks, including a half an hour watching ultrasound observing all of her movements came back that she was fine). They gave me steroids to develop her lungs (just in case) and sent me home on the Wednesday. The Thursday was a public holiday so I wasn't back at work. Because I'd had 3 days of listening to bubby's heartbeat 24/7, not having it anymore made me a bit nervous and so I asked Harley if I could pop up and borrow her Doppler to listen (which she kindly let me take home and borrow). This eased my mind and I went back to getting ready to go back to work the next day. Then at 5am on the Friday I woke up to 3 minutely contractions. They were not painful at all, just a tightening but happened every 3 minutes consistently. I called the hospital and the lady said to just come in to get checked out whenever that morning (no hurry). 5 minutes later I get a call back saying no I should come in now... so off I went (Luke was at work). I spent the day in there where true to hospital form... No one really told me anything. In the end they told me they had done a test and it had come back that they were real contractions I was having (not Braxton Hicks) but they could go away or bubby could come, they didn't really know. Throughout this whole thing, neither Luke or I ever really thought she'd come and the first time we stopped to think that maybe there was a possibility was when they gave us a tour of the neonatal unit and the staff there said 'oh you're the 30 weeker' at which point Luke and I looked at each other and thought that's weird that they already know about us but we still kind of brushed it off. We only told our parents what was happening as we didn't want any unnecessary fuss from everyone (as we still weren't really very fazed). Mum and Dad came in and we had hospital food for dinner (which little did I know would become normal). This is when the contractions started becoming uncomfortable but still nothing major. A bit later everyone had gone home and I tried to get some sleep but from 9.30pm the contractions were starting to become painful. Luke was meant to work at 2am the next day so I hadn't disturbed him but at 12am I had had enough of not knowing what was happening and thinking this could go on for weeks before going away (still didn't think she was coming) and I wanted company and so I called Luke and asked him to come in and sit with me. I then calmed down and called him back 5 minutes later and said no I was just being silly, go back to sleep. It was at this point the nurses came in and moved me to the labour ward to be checked to see what was happening. The Dr then told me I was 3cm's dilated and that bubby would be coming and to call Luke back and tell him to come in (but no need to hurry). This was the first time I realised this was really happening. Because the Dr had said there was no need to hurry, Luke went for a shower and stopped at McDonald's to get a coffee and got to me at 1am. I was in a lot of pain by this point and I'd had morphine which was useless and they gave me the gas as an option but I didn't like the thing in my mouth so didn't use this. I was boiling hot, felt sick and in a lot of pain (as everyone in labour I'm sure would relate to) but the thing that annoyed me the most was they wouldn't let me disconnect from the monitor so I wasn't able to move around hardly at all. Most of this bit was a blur but Luke says I looked like I was going to punch the nurse (which of course never crossed my mind, I just had my fists scrunched up in pain). All I kept doing was saying 'no' to everything the Dr told me to do. Lol. My waters then broke, I felt the need to push and 2 pushes later she was here at 1.50am, 27/4/13. 
She was taken over to under a heater straight away where they checked her and Luke 'fake' cut her cord (they'd already done the real cut quickly cos of needing to check her ASAP). She cried like a full term baby (Dr's words) which was a very positive sign. I got a very quick cuddle before they took her away and I had to go under general anesthetic so they could get the placenta (because my body didn't expel it itself). Luke was with bubby and when I woke up they wheeled me down and I got to have skin to skin. Luke and I had 2 other names picked out for her as our options but felt she didn't suit them so we decided to call her Amber instead (which hadn't even been on our list) which was perfect for her. She was 1.38kg's and the tiniest baby I'd ever seen but she was so strong and so beautiful (all snuggled under her bubble wrap to keep the warmth in as she had no body fat). Because she had no health issues and had made the 30 week mark we were able to stay in Launceston (if you're under 30 weeks you have to go to Hobart or Melbourne depending on health) which made things so much easier. She was moved out of ICU less than 12 hours after birth, hadn't needed any oxygen help and had no complicating issues. She was little and so needed tube feeding (so I expressed every few hours like a cow for many weeks) until she was big enough to feed herself (babies apparently can't physically coordinate the suck/swallow until about 35 weeks gestation) and since she learnt, she has been fully breast fed. We were told to expect to be in there until due date (so 2 and a half months) but I said from the start that wouldn't be us (and it wasn't). She had phototherapy for jaundice and slept on a water bed to keep her warm until she put some fat on but all checks on her brain, eyes and hearing all were perfect and every day she amazed all by how well she was and how little help she needed. The staff in the neonatal unit were amazingly supportive as were all family and friends and when she was just 35 weeks gestation we were allowed to go home (which was rare for a baby who was born at 30 weeks). The hospital staff continued to visit for a week after this but she did so well, we were completely discharged from even the home hospital program a month before she was even due and became what felt like a real family. Since then she has gone from strength to strength and is now a beautiful, healthy, strong, 'normal' 6 month old little girl (but her development is accounted for so she is considered a 4 month old baby for those things). We are so blessed. It has been a weird but wonderful experience. We missed out on doing pregnancy classes, I didn't get very big, we had to cancel our maternity shoot, my baby shower was after she was born, I was working one minute and not the next and yes being stuck in hospital for weeks had hard moments but I absolutely love my tiny delight with all my heart and wouldn't have had things any other way.

2 comments:

Emma Chandler said...

Beautiful Birth story :) I can relate my twins were born at 32 weeks so glad your little one is going well

Camille said...

She is so adorable!! I love that newborn pic where she looks so alert and surprised. I'm glad you had the best case scenario with her, considering she was a premie.