Just after Christmas in 2007 I was driving home from visiting S's parents when I noticed I hadn't felt M move, once we got home I still couldn't feel him move. So we called the hospital that evening. I was 35 weeks pregnant. They told me to come into the Labour and Delivery Suite immediately. We walked to the hospital. At no point did I think there was a big problem. In retrospect considering all the stories I have heard since losing Orson I cannot believe I waited a whole day without feeling movements before calling the hospital. And how could I not have been petrified that we had lost him?
As soon as we arrived at the hospital the staff ushered us into a private room. Within minutes a doctor was in the room with us. She immediately started to scan me. A midwife was also present. Now that I think about it the situation is so similar to that when we were told Orson's heart had stopped but at the time I did not think there was a problem with M. I was of course correct. I recall the midwife saying to S "you can hold her hand if you want" I think they were thinking it was bad news.
M was fine, but he didn't move at all on the scan. They scanned me for a long time and gave me ice cold water to drink in the hope he would move but he was having a lazy time and wouldn't move for them. After the scan they monitored him using a ctg machine, he finally moved and they were less concerned. They let me home.
What followed was two weeks of hospital appointments almost every day. The next day I spent most of the day at the hospital, monitoring M's heart, growth scans, AFI checks, chord blood flow checks... They booked me in for an appointment with a consultant for two weeks later. They told me that I was probably not feeling movements because my placenta was anterior. Whilst waiting for my consultant appointment a few times a week I had ctgs of M's heart at the hospital.
Again knowing what I know now I cannot believe I did not worry about my treatment. I was feeling about one movement from M a day. That was not right but I just did not worry.
Finally the day of consultant appointment came around. It was also my last day of work. I was about to go on maternity leave. The consultant insisted on repeating every test I had already had, I am so glad she did because the growth scan showed that M had not grown in the last two weeks. She immediately booked me in for an induction.
Just before the induction was started I was still not convinced there was a problem with M. I was concerned I was being delivered too early. I even asked for a second doctor to come and explain why I needed to be induced. It was only when she mentioned stillbirth that I suddenly realised that I was happy to be induced that day.
The day before M was born the induction started at about 11 in the morning. I had been told that because M was my first baby and because I was being induced early the induction would most likely take days. I was convinced I had about 4 days before he would make an appearance.
I had a gel pessary and had to wait hours before they examined me to see if it had started working. During this time I felt perfectly normal. I even popped out of the hospital to go to a coffee shop for lunch. Because I had felt nothing the midwife who examined me thought nothing had happened yet - until she checked. I had painlessly dilated enough to allow them to break my waters (ironic?).
I will spare you the next few hours in detail. To be honest I do not remember them that well, isn't amazing how we forget these things? I was on a drip with continuous monitoring of M's heart. He was eventually delivered with the help of a ventouse at 6 minutes past 1 in the morning. He weighed 5lb 10 oz.
I am incredibly grateful he is here. I cannot believe he will be three years old. The time has gone so quickly.
Happy Birthday M.