22 June 2012

Week 25: Becoming a mummy

I always thought the day I became a mother would be the most exciting, joyous occasion I could experience. I had imagined that I'd have contractions in the wee hours of the morning, and after a while be taken to hospital where I would start pushing and panting. Then after many hours our baby, who we wanted so much, was finally born.

Me and my girls, "Popette" and "Cherub" (at 5 weeks)

I imagined it to be a time of celebration, and pictured us calling and texting our family and friends with the "happy news". Then receiving visits in hospital, where we would hear everyone's "oohs & aahs" and have them congratulate us on our sweet baby.

Unfortunately nothing like that happened with the birth of our first daughter. Of course we had visitors at the hospital, mostly immediate family and friends of ours, but instead of visiting my hospital room with me and the baby, they were taken into the NICU, one at a time with either myself or husband to see our oh so tiny, girl.

At 28 weeks gestation I was admitted to hospital with high blood pressure, and was bed ridden until my daughter was born at 29+3 weeks gestation due to me developing severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome.

During the time I was experiencing terrible migraines, swollen ankles and high blood pressure, all signs of pre-eclampsia, then just days before "Popette" was born I started having issues with my platelet levels dropping. The night before "Popette" was born, my body started going into HELLP syndrome.

My placenta was rejecting my liver, causing my liver and kidneys to begin shutting down. My OB/GYN and renal physician decided quickly that I needed an emergency caesarean, and that the baby needed to be delivered as soon as possible.

Instead of it being the happiest occasion I imagined it to be. I was in pain and crying. I was scared for my baby, not to mention myself.

My husband and I were feeling anxious and afraid of our little baby being taken to the NICU, which they had only shown us the day before "just in case". All those happy feelings we had expected to feel where not to be.

I broke into tears when my OB/GYN told me that the baby had to be delivered that morning, however due to a bed shortage in the NICU, she would have to transfer me to another hospital and couldn't be there to delivery my baby.

That morning I rang my hubby in tears telling him the news. He drove to the hospital as quickly as he could, gathered all my things, and followed the ambulance I was in to the hospital.

When they delivered my baby, all I saw was a tiny little baby lifted over the top of my head and given to the NICU staff patiently waiting behind my husband and I. "Popette" weighed a tiny 1.1kg.  My hubby quickly took some photos and cut the umbilical cord before the NICU staff whisked her away.

All I wanted to know was if it was a boy or a girl. Finally my hubby told me it was a girl and I cried tears of joy. The doctors quickly sewed me up not saying a word to me.

I was then whisked away to recovery for over 2 hours, leaving my hubby behind in a waiting area with my parents for what seemed like forever. They sat and waited patiently for a nurse to give my hubby an update on how his two girls were.

My first photo of Popette

Afterwards I was placed in an acute care room for 27 hours. I still hadn't seen my husband since the operation or met my baby, or knew how she was. I was monitored around the clock by nurses, and hooked up to an automated blood pressure machine that took my blood pressure every half an hour, a drip containing magnesium sulfate to reduce the risk of me going into seizures or full-blown eclampsia, a catheter, and the epidural.

That evening my hubby was so tired and worn out, he decided to go home. I was heartbroken I had really wanted him to stay, but there was no bed for him to sleep in. Before he left, he gave me a Polaroid photo of my little girl, her first photo, which we stuck onto the bed so I could see it. When I didn't sleep I would turn the light on and stare at my new baby girl who still didn't have a name or who I had seen.

This was not what I had in mind for the arrival of my first baby. Instead of celebrating our new life as Mummy & Daddy, we spent our first couple of months traumatized, and constantly worried about our baby girl.

It is hard to believe that was 3 1/2 years ago.

"Popette" is our fun loving, cheeky, gorgeous "big girl", who loves Peppa Pig, playing with her Barbies, having baths, making craft with Mummy,  and having fun with her friends.

"Cherub" who is nearly 9 months old, is a very giggly (mainly thanks to her big sister), chubby, wriggly, happy baby girl. 

My sweet girls make me very happy. As much as there are days when I've had enough (I'm sure you know what I mean), being their Mummy is what I am truly grateful for.

I am linking up with Maxabella Loves over at Village Voices on the 52 weeks of Grateful journey.

What are you grateful for?


  1. It must have been so hard for you and such a relief when you finally got to take your baby home. Isn't being a mummy the best thing in the world? I'm grateful for it every day, too!

    1. Thanks Tat, it was a huge relief to finally bring her home. Its the hardest job, but the most rewarding :)

  2. What a story Julie - so glad she arrived safely and we live in a world where doctors can take immediate action and help you both. Love that photo of you and your girls xx

    1. Thanks Deb, I am so grateful that I live in the 21st century. Its horrible to think what would of happened to us both if the Drs didn't have the technology and knowledge they have today.

  3. I was 11 weeks early, way back in 1978. My mum still carries the first polaroid of me around in her purse. I look like a skinned rabbit, but I think I think to her it's the most precious photo that she has of me.
    I can't imagine going through all of that trauma, to be robbed of that special moment that us mums are supposed to have with our births and newborns. To be kept apart from your baby. I'm so glad that Popette has grown up to be a strong, beautiful girl :)

    1. Thanks Kylie :)

      I can imagine what your Mum & Dad must of been going through. It must of been very stressful back then, considering hospitals didn't have the same sort of technology they have nowadays.

      Yep, the first photo is very special :)

  4. I had goosebumps reading your story, Julie. I can't imagine what that must feel like.

    I guess the Shakespearean quote "all's well that ends well" was never truer.

    Your girls are gorgeous. x

  5. I know that 'not to plan' feeling. but every second whilst not how you imagined was clearly worth it.
    she is gorgeous.

  6. Gosh what an arrival. They certainly have a way of commanding attention, these little premies, don't they! Our firstborn was delivered at 29+6, I truly get what you're saying (sadly, she only lived a month.. but what a full month it was!) - all those expectations and warm cuddly new beginnings are not to be. And that is something in itself that needs time to grieve over (the loss of). But for you to be so sick on top of that... I can't imagine. What a horrible time you had. It's beautiful to see your gorgeous girl thriving this far along. You are blessed :) xx

    1. Thanks Being Me :) I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your little girl. It must have been such a mixed bag of emotions you went through, not to mention a whole lot more traumatic then what I went through. It is so hard to spend quality time with them when they are in the NICU, I hope you had some special moments together and you have some wonderful memories of your time together.
      take care x

  7. I'm crying reading this! What a story! Julie, I can only imagine all the emotions you must have felt! I'm feeling grateful too that my babies entered the world so safely and easily. Love the photo of you and your girls - just beautiful x

  8. what a turbulent start to motherhood, thankyou for your beautiful heartfelt story.

    1. Thank you for reading it and commenting. :)


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