I had a reasonably uneventful first pregnancy - put on 4 stone, had hugely swollen ankles, high blood pressure and some protein in my wee. The baby was big for dates but this settled down. I was occassionally checked for pre-eclampsia but was reassured everything was okay. At no point was I concerned. Why would I be? I had no experience to draw on and lots of trust.
I was 4 days overdue and my blood pressure was rising so the midwife told me to pack my bag and in I went (still convinced I wasn't going to have a baby that day). I was induced and started having strong contractions very quickly. Labour started properly at 10pm. I was unaware there were concerns for the baby. According to my husband, I was too busy being terribly polite. However, the midwife had been unhappy with the CTG and had escalated this on several occassions to the registrar who initally thought the baby's heart rate was accelerating, noting some later decelerations with good signs off recovery. The senior registrar arrived at 2.30am. By 3.30am she told me they were going to prep me for theatre but nature took its own course and Monkey was delivered at 4.32am on the 9th November 2004.
The resus team were bleeped - I guess that's when I knew something was wrong. Perhaps I was a little slow on the uptake but the medical staff seemed just as shocked. Thay handed my baby to me whilst we waited for them to arrive and I knew he wasn't okay but don't think I realised he wasn't breathing. I kissed him, and encouraged my husband to do the same, then handed him back. I think I realised how serious things were at that point as I didn't realise that 'he' was a 'he'. I asked the midwife and she said he was a boy and asked his name. Alex.
He went straight up to SCBU and we didn't know much for a while although someone bought us a photo. It was about 8.30am when someone came and told us how he was. Not good. He took his first gasp at 7 minutes, was on a ventilator and had been fitting continuously. We were told very early on that his brain could have been damaged but remained hopeful. I went home after two nights, my husband needed me and I couldn't stay on a maternity ward any longer without my baby beside me. We only lived 5 minutes from the hospital and I spent every waking moment there for the next 4 weeks.
And I fell in love.