I found out I was pregnant with him two months after going through an early miscarriage. The miscarriage never felt right from the first test. I had to take methotrexate to clear out my uterus, and bled for around five weeks.
Despite not 'wanting' to get pregnant, we were not preventing it in any way, and I actually started taking vitex to try and stabilise my cycle in the very month I fell pregnant again.
The pregnancy with Matthew felt correct straight away. Pregnancy tests were strong, no bleeding, nothing untoward.
I booked in with my obstetrician, and had a dating scan. Just as I thought, the dating scan showed a later date than I would have thought - 29 November. LMP date had me pegged at 19 November. When I saw her at 8 weeks, we compromised on a due date of 25 November, as I know I have a short luteal phase and about a 30 day cycle.
With my second baby, I ended up having a CVS at 13 weeks due to high risk. My age (41, I would be 42 when baby arrived) meant that my base risk at an NT screen was already really high, so I wanted to go straight to CVS this time again. However, the reduction in costs of the NIPT meant it would be roughly equivalent to the out of pocket costs for CVS/FISH results, so I went ahead with NIPT and a scan at 11 weeks.
What I learned - the Harmony test, which I did, isn't great in super fat mothers, such as myself. The fetal fraction is hard to get (4%) and doesn't increase to anything terribly useful until well into the pregnancy. I ended up having blood taken again at 14 weeks, and the test failing both times. I missed the window for the 'traditional' NT bloods, but the ultrasound practice owner was absolutely fantastic, and spent a LOT of time scanning at 14 weeks. That's when I saw (and he confirmed my suspicions) that we would be having a third boy.
By 22 weeks, with two failed tests, I was feeling a lot of movement from the baby. The result from any genetic test at that point would have been moot (I would have continued the pregnancy under any circumstances) so instead I just had an extremely comprehensive morphology scan. The scan lasted for over an hour, he triple checked everything in the heart/head in particular.
Pregnancy was pretty hard on me this time, both physically and mentally. As with my other pregnancies, as I got further along I started being sick on a lot of mornings, and I developed heart burn a lot earlier. I was simply exhausted from running around after two other little children, and attempting to attend work four days a week. Several times I ended up in pretty dark places. Fortunately I was able to stop work at 34 weeks.
By the last few weeks of pregnancy, my mobility was pretty compromised. I had some kind of sciatica going on. We went on a trip to IKEA when I was about 38 weeks pregnant and I could barely lift my leg by the end of the trip round, even though I leaned on a trolley the whole way.
All the way through pregnancy I was very firm about attempting a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC). My first birth - vaginal with forceps - had been a million times better than my second, which was an emergency c-section after induction, when baby was 10 days overdue. The whole experience had upset me a great deal, and I hated the long recovery period.
However, I was philosophical about it, knowing that I was 42, with pre-existing high blood pressure, I am super mega obesely fat and unfit, and I don't cope well mentally with situations where I am dependent on others. I also strongly felt that even if I did have a section this time round, the recovery would be better as I would not be headed into the unknown. With my OB, we agreed to a section on the Monday after my due date.
I went for a growth scan at 36 weeks. Baby was measuring off the charts for head and tummy. The prediction was that he would be about 9.5 pounds, or even more. My first two were 8 pounds and 9 pounds. With this info, and my general exhaustion / lack of mobility, I ended up agreeing the move the section date to my due date, Wednesday 25 November 2015.
My next appointment with the OB was Wednesday 18 November. On this day I would have the 2 and 3 year old, and I just couldn't cope with the idea of taking them with me to the appointment, so I begged DP to take the day off as carers leave. We would all go together, then head out for lunch at the shopping centre so the children could have a run in the playground.
Tuesday night, 17 November, I started feeling a whole lot of pressure above my pubic bone. First baby my waters had broken, but I only had very vague period pain type stuff before I ended up on a drip, and second baby was induced. I thought maybe this was the type of pre-labour thing many women have, and it might fizzle out.
I sat there and kept quiet for a few hours. Eventually I mentioned to DP - I think I am having contractions. Oh, he said. Neither of us knew quite what to do. I decided we should just go to bed, quite early, and hopefully with a bit of sleep it would fizzle out. By 11, he was asleep.
By 12, I was out of bed trying to manage the discomfort. I sat, stood, walked, etc. By 2 I realise the baby was on his way. My parents have to travel about 120km to our house to look after the 2 and 3 year old while we are at the hospital. I rang the labour ward and just let them know I would be coming later in the morning. Held off until 4.30am to call my parents. I later heard, via DP, that they were a bit cheesed off I hadn't given them a heads up the night before. Um, I had no idea! I was hoping it would go away!
Anyway, I filled in my time doing random stuff, washing dishes, doing a load of washing and chucking it in the dryer, tidying toys, sweeping floor etc. Didn't want my parents showing up to a cess-pit house! As it was there was almost no food in the house as we had planned to get shopping on Wednesday after my appointment.
About 6am my 3 year old woke up. I ended up vomiting a few times, he was most concerned for the poor toilet - I usually vomited in the ensuite, but here I was branching out to 'his' toilet while DP was showering in the ensuite. 'That is very yucky and disgusting for my toilet, Mummy, you need to stop.' After a while 'Are you OK?'. Funny boy.
I showered then packed our bags. My superstition hadn't let me pack earlier - with my first child, I hadn't packed, and had a spontaneous labour. Second child I got organised and he stayed in me til 40+10. No way was I packing a bag this time.
My parents arrived at about 7am. We got our act together, put things in the car, and arrived at the hospital around 8am. Straight through to birthing suite. Midwife got me set up on a monitor and confirmed yes it was proper labour. Not a lot happened! I was contracting every 3 to 4 minutes, and it hurt a bit, but nothing unbearable.
Not long after 9, the ward clerk came in and told me that our private health insurance was declined. Wow. Usually I deal with that kind of thing, but this time DP was good enough to call the health fund and sort it out. Apparently some missed payment back in February that had never been caught up. Sigh. He paid via credit card and went back to sort things out with the ward clerk.
Some time before 10 my OB came down to see me. She got the midwife to do a vaginal exam. It hurt like HELL. I have been examined before and never had that response. I was crying and shrinking up the bed, surprised myself really. 4cm dilated. Sigh. I had hoped that the 12 hours or so of contractions would have done something. Baby was also still not engaged. To me it felt like his head was grinding on my pubic bone, trying to find a way down. Bring on the gas, I said!
Stayed there with the gas and the contractions which had progressed to being every 2-3 minutes by that stage for a couple of hours. Around 12.30 the OB came back - she was planning to break my waters to see if that sped things up.
VE showed that baby still not engaged, I had dilated no further. She didn't want to break my waters because of the risk of a cord prolapse, it would have to have been a drawn out process. I agreed that a section would be better.
At this stage, baby was showing no distress, it was just me getting super tired and not seeing any progress, despite all the sitting and bouncing on ball and wishing baby out in the world. However, I could see where it was going. I had been feeling labour pains since 9pm the night before. Little to no progress. I would rather not completely exhaust myself for an inevitable outcome.
I consented to the section. Unlike last time, I wasn't given any medicines to stop contractions. Instead, I continued to feel the labour the whole time. The anaesthetist this time wanted to do a combination - epidural plus spinal. Previously I only had a spinal block. It took AGES to get the epidural in. I was forced to adjust and readjust my position many times. Bending over a pillow, trying to crunch forward, while my body was still labouring. Not fun. The needle felt horrible and grate-y in my spine as it went in. DP later told me that another woman had gone into theatre and emerged with her baby before he was even invited into our theatre!
The surgery went really well, I felt no pain or anything. However, baby came out bright yellowy green - meconium. The first thing I asked, after I heard him cry, was did he have the right number of chromosomes - the paed seemed confused by my insistence on this information!
While I was being stitched, something made me horribly nauseous. I started in with that kind of cold sweat, and warned the first person I could get in contact with that I was about to hurl. Then had the delightful experience of vomiting flat on my back, madly turning my face to try and keep it going out and not just back down my throat.
Unlike the previous time, this was the middle of a busy afternoon in the hospital, so recovery ward was filled with people- patients, nurses etc. We went into a cubicle - fortunately this time I wasn't shaking all over the place so I was happy enough just to hold my little baby with his yellow encrusted nose.
We went back to the ward - I was in the exact same room as when I had DS2, but this time my recovery post surgery was so, so much better. My pain was handled well, getting out of bed was awful but not soul destroying, and generally I was left alone - presumably they thought I knew what I was doing with baby number three.
Matthew ended up being 3.83kg, or about 8.5 pounds, and arrived a week before his due date. Like both my other sons, he was 52cm long, and had a head circumference of 36.5cm.
This is him now.
Edited by Tarantara, 29 February 2016 - 01:38 PM.