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Ollie's story

The 17th June had finally come – our little boy’s due date! The day went by largely uneventful – a trip to Tesco seemed to get my tummy fluttering a little but it did not seem to avail to anything more.

Later that evening we were laying on the sofa, watching the Graham Norton show, in our brand spanking new house, when I heard a “pop” from ‘down below’. Friends had warned me this could happen, so knowing what was coming, and scared to mess our lovely new cream carpets, I ran to the bathroom. My waters broke and immediately we knew something was not right as the waters were discoloured. My husband phoned the hospital and we were told to come in straight away.

The nurses were great and saw us immediately. They confirmed that the discolouration was meconium in the waters. I was informed I would need to be induced on the drip straight away and our baby boy would be monitored closely until he was born. I felt like I was covered in wires – this was definitely not in the birthing plan!

So the monitors confirmed I was having contractions quite soon after I was induced but to be honest at this point they didn’t feel that bad and I genuinely thought, why do so many women make such a big fuss about the pain, it’s totally bearable…… well a few hours later I was in AGONY and begging for help! I used gas and air for a while but this wasn’t cutting the mustard so an epidural was ordered – it felt like forever before the anaesthetist came to put it in.

Every contraction I had been having I was also vomiting at the same time, which meant that I was crunching over on my tummy. My son’s heart rate kept plummeting and although he was shown to be in distress the midwives said to continue with the labour.

The epidural gave us a little respite but soon I was informed that I was 10cm dilated and it was time to start trying to push. Luckily at this point the epidural was beginning to wear off because I was determined to know what it felt like to push my son out. I had been in labour for 20 hours now.

My feet were up in the stirrups and I remember someone saying that they were taking some bloods from son’s scalp to check on his progress. At this point there were three wonderful midwives in the room with me. My husband even took a photo of me and I was smiling – this was it, the moment we get to meet him! I was so excited.

I did three pushes and then everything went a little crazy. All of a sudden the room was flooded with about 20 doctors and nurses shouting “we need to get this baby out NOW”. My husband was thrown some scrubs to put on, my feet were taken out of the stirrups and I was laid flat. They ran me to the operating room. They told me and my husband to say goodbye to each other. We had no idea what was going on, it was so frightening. I remember I had to climb on to another operating table – at nine months pregnant and in labour, this was a toughy.

Then they ushered my husband out, put a mask over my face and I went to sleep. My husband had to wait in our room on his own – the worst possible thoughts going through his mind.

When our son was born by crash caesarean section, at 7.35pm on the 18th June 2011, he did not breathe for 2 ½ minutes. When he finally did take that first breath he breathed in meconium. He was a very poorly little boy and was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

I came round from the surgery but was overheating and the doctors believed I had an infection somewhere. I insisted on seeing my baby first, so whilst laid flat on the trolley, I was taken into the NICU. I saw his tiny little body through the incubator, covered in wires, but he was still the most perfect thing I had ever seen. A nurse asked what his name would be. We had chosen two names on the short list but in my confused, fuzzy mind I couldn’t remember the second name so it was quickly decided it would be Oliver.

I was taken to the High Dependency Unit where I was surrounded by about fifteen fans in an effort to cool me down. My husband was with me at this point and we had the chance then to call our loved ones to inform them what was happening. Instead of tears of joy, we had tears filled with worries and prayers. My husband was then told to go home and get some rest – he’d been up for nearly 40 hours!

At about 1pm the next day, Rob and I got to meet our little superstar. We even got to hold him for a few minutes – it was such a special time. The next few days were tough. I was recovering from this mystery infection having antibiotics injected every few hours as well as issues with the catheter. It meant I had to be taken in a wheelchair every time I wanted to see my baby. I was now on the maternity ward – seeing all these mums with their newborns, who had gone through relatively normal births – it broke my heart. I wanted my baby with me, I wanted to be comforting him when he was crying.

He was making amazing progress though – the doctors and nurses on the NICU are absolute miracle workers! After 5 days Ollie as released from the NICU and was able to come up to the ward with me – finally this was how it was supposed to be! The next day we were told we could go home.

But we knew this was just the start of a long road. Ollie had been so poorly at birth that the doctors did not know how his brain had been affected. For the next two and half years we had tons of hospital visits for checks on Ollie – hearing tests, eyesight tests, reaction tests, growth checks etc.

On 4th September 2013 Ollie was finally given the all clear from the paediatricians. We are so proud of him. He is now 5 years old and has just started his second year of school. He is clever, kind, gorgeous, funny and very cheeky – he is absolutely our shining light. Without the support of the NICU and their amazing care we’re not sure we would be in the same place. We are forever grateful.

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