I’ve not had much time to write a lot during 2017, this was because just before Rory’s 2nd Birthday we discovered that we were pregnant again. When we saw the test result, we were overcome from mixed emotions. We were slightly shocked, as we thought we would never get pregnant, we were also very pleased and happy, but so very anxious. We wouldn’t let ourselves get too excited and kept the news very quiet, we only told very close friends and family.
We have spent most of 2017 in hospitals and clinics, due to extra scans and appointments. It was so difficult going to all the appointments, not only did we have to visit the same hospital where Rory never came home from, we also had to explain about Rory’s death nearly every appointment.
I remember being so petrified at the 12 week scan, I thought that us being pregnant again and expected there to be a problem or to be nothing there. Thankfully everything was ok and we could see a heartbeat, we were then told our due date was 21st January 2018.
At 17 weeks we saw our consultant, who was the one who confirmed that Rory had no heartbeat. He remembered us and Rory, he actually said his name a few times, which was very nice. He said that the plan would be to deliver early around 36/37 weeks and we were to see him again at 30 weeks and 34 weeks where the final plans would be made.
The pregnancy seem to be going well, baby was growing well, but we still didn’t get carried away, as we are all too aware of the dangers that could go wrong during pregnancy. The weeks seemed to pass quite quickly, until we reached the 32 weeks mark, Jo started to get intense itching so we went to the Fetal Assessment Unit (FAU) to get Jo and the baby checked out. They monitored the baby’s heartbeat which was fine and took some of Jo’s blood for testing.
The next day we had our 32 week scan and everything seemed ok and the baby was growing well. However, afterwards they handed us the results they mentioned that the blood flow through the cord was at the lower end of normal and therefore we would have to have another scan at 34 weeks.
Two days later we were given an additional consultant appointment and the results from the blood tests came back that Jo had developed Obstetric Cholestasis. We asked the consultant what does that mean, he told us not to worry, anyone with this condition would be induced early around 37/38 weeks, as the plan for Jo was delivery around 36 weeks, nothing changes. He then booked a date for the C-section, 27th December 2017 and then told us that Jo would need to have steroid injections on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Despite the medication the Itching seemed to get worse for Jo and seemed to be worse at night for her and therefore struggled to get any sleep.
At our additional scan at 34 weeks, on Tuesday 12th December, they found there was an increase in amniotic fluid and were told to visit the FAU again. They thought that Jo may have developed diabetes, so they booked Jo in for a glucose test for the next day, which happened to be Jo’s Birthday.
The next morning Jo had to have a fasting blood test, drink a glucose drink, then wait for at least two hours to have another test. Whilst we were there they decided to take Jo’s 34 weeks blood at same time. A day later we were back at the hospital for our consultants appointment. The results came back that Jo didn’t have diabetes and found out her liver was improving, despite the itching not easing.
On Tuesday 19th December we had to attend a C-section class where they give information about the procedure and talk about faster recovery. This was very difficult for us, as this was in is the same room we had antenatal classes when we were pregnant with Rory, we collected the medication Jo needed and information booklets and left early.
The next day we had our final midwife appointment, our usual midwife was on holiday and were seen by one of her colleagues. When she listened to the heartbeat she thought that it was irregular, like it was skipping a beat. So we had another trip to the Fetal Assessment Unit at Darent Valley Hospital.
At the FAU they did a CTG and monitored Mum and Baby for nearly two hours. One of the Midwives was slightly concerned that there were a couple of dips. We tried to explain that the baby was moving a lot and kept losing signal. Eventually she got a doctor to have a look at the graph and they thought it was ok, but told us to keep an eye out for any reduced movements.
Well, I think this freaked us out a bit and made us paranoid, because that evening the baby didn’t seem to be moving as much as it normally did in the evenings, so we didn’t want to take any chances and went back up to the FAU. They did another CTG and booked Jo in for an emergency scan.
The next morning Jo received a call that her emergency scan would be that afternoon. Everything looked ok with the scan, the baby’s heartbeat was strong, there were no problems with the blood flow through the cord and the increased fluid had reduced. However, during the scan the baby didn’t move much, only their hands and feet, so we were told to take the results to the FAU. Whilst there they did another CTG and decided to give Jo a steroid injection in preparation for the C-section. They also decided that Jo would need to go in daily for monitoring until the baby is delivered.
On Friday 22nd Jo had her 2nd steroid injection and another CTG. Then on the Saturday, Sunday & Christmas Day Jo had further CTG’s and on Boxing Day she had her bloods in preparation for the C-section and a final CTG.
It was difficult for both of us to get any sleep Boxing Day night, Jo was worried about the procedure and the epidural, I was terrified that something would happen to the baby before we got to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at 8am and were taken through to a recovery room, where they started to prepare Jo. We were told that we were 2nd on the list, so should be in theatre between 9.30 and 10am. However, there were complications with the first C-section, which meant we had a delay. The longer we waited the more nervous we both got.
What seemed like an age we were taken through to theatre at around 10:50am, it was quite daunting walking in there seeing all the people, the lights and all the equipment. The anaesthetists were amazing with Jo, they tried to put her at ease and got started with the epidural.
Once the epidural was working, a screen then went up and the rest of the team got to work. After a few minutes they dropped the screen and revealed that we had a boy. The screen soon went back up and I went round to cut his cord. They then brought him back round so Jo could see him and then they weighed him, he weighed 6lb 4oz and was delivered at 11:25am.
At this point he didn’t like being naked and was screaming his lungs off, which we were so pleased about, it meant he was alive. They then put him on Jo, skin to skin, and instantly stopped crying and settled down. He continued to have cuddles with his mummy whilst they were stitching Jo up.
Before they finished, myself and a midwife took our son to the recovery room to dress him. Once we got him dressed one of the Midwives took him across to the baby care unit to get him checked out. He was only gone for about 10 mins and he was well enough to be with us. I then gave him his first bottle, whilst Jo was given tea and toast.
About an hour later Jo and our Son were taken through to the ward. They both spent two nights on the ward and I stayed with them both, sleeping on a reclining chair. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl we wanted to keep it a surprise, as we didn’t find out when we had Rory. We had thought about names and had more girls names than boys. So, it wasn’t until the day after he was born we finally decided on his name.
Please welcome, Henry Rupert Sowden, our little miracle baby who doesn’t know how special he us!!!