5th February 2019
T2. A week of celebrations and you’re a real life two year old now. No more talking in months. You are simply two. My only daughter. Sandwiched between two crazy brothers. Forever a little sister and a big one by 14 months old. In many ways you are treated much older than two, so very capable, you play with your 4yo brother and copy everything he does. You want to do things for yourself – ‘NO, ME’ and you sleep and eat well. I have to admit 90% of the time you are such a pleasure to be with (a dream I’m grateful for as you were a NIGHTMARE baby 😂). The other 10% you spend having an absolute shit fit, facedown on the floor, kicking your legs and screaming like a mentalist with absolutely no regard for your surroundings – reminding me why I’m pleased I’ve only got one girl 😂.
Sometimes I watch you play and I wonder where the last year has gone. Sometimes I look down at the baby in my arms and for a split second in my head thats still you. Sometimes I watch T3 crawl around the garden, pull himself up and I can’t believe that was you only this time last year. Sometimes feel like I blinked and missed you learning to walk and turning from a baby into a little girl.
I was pregnant again before you turned five months. I was seven months pregnant at your first birthday party. You learnt to walk the week before my due date. T3 arrived and overnight you looked like an enormous baby. By 14 months you were holding his bottle and by the time I was out the other side of that newborn blur you were over eighteen months and a sassy little thing.
Two years ago you came into this world, before you were expected, amongst a mass of drama and chaos. Already high risk because of a heart defect picked up at 12 weeks I was also told I had grade 4 placenta previa (the worst of the 4 levels – complete coverage!). This didn’t mean anything to me at the time. I was given a sheet of paper with instructions on basic pelvic rest – don’t do strenuous activity, avoid sexual intercourse and if you have any bleeding lay on the floor with your legs in the air. Around 1 in 200 women have some level of placenta previa in the second trimester (and it’s one of the reasons there is now a standard third trimester scan) but it tends to correct itself towards the end of pregnancy. Only 0.5% of placenta previa cases persist until delivery. We were far more concerned about your heart condition. I definitely didn’t need to worry about the previa.
Until I was 29weeks and 6 days pregnant. A Saturday. I felt fine all day. We were sitting on our bed and reading to T1 (26 months at the time). I got up for the bathroom and felt a rush of liquid down my legs, like what I imagine waters breaking would feel like, as I got to the toilet my leggings were covered in blood. It was bright red and I was bleeding a lot. I laid on the floor and put my legs up on the toilet just like the leaflet had said, the one I’d laughed at nine weeks before. I called for my husband to get my notes and phoned the maternity ward (mb1). Immediately they told me to hang up and dial 999. Within 30min my mum and stepdad were there to look after T1 and the ambulance crew were there. I had four cannulas in and was blue lighted straight to labour ward. I was prepped for theatre, given steroids in my bum for your lungs and had bloods taken but after a number of examinations I was put on labour ward, nil by mouth, for 12 hours. The next day I was moved to mb1 where I stayed for another two days whilst the bleeding was managed before being sent home. Four days later the same thing happened and I was back in.
I was in four separate occasions in just under two weeks before my consultant admitted me permanently until delivery. It was too dangerous for me and the baby to be at home. The blood flows through the placenta at such a rate previa is considered one of the most dangerous complications of gestation and subsequent birth. It’s the mothers blood loss, not the babies. I was just under 32 weeks pregnant now and had my just turned two year old at home – whom I’d never not put to bed and kissed goodnight myself. My mum had just left for Australia for three weeks. We had to hire a nanny so my husband could go back into work. I had to start maternity leave early from work. I spent 39 nights in all in hospital. 30 of those in one long stretch. The longest running in-patient they’ve had on the maternity ward in Southend. Bed A1 became my home. The midwives were incredible ❤ I had photos up, visitors, takeaways, I took up knitting and made T1 a scarf and met some wonderful people. I had more than 45 injections across that time, I’d had so many cannulas and blood tests my veins kept tissuing over and shutting down and it would take 2 or 3 attempts to get what they needed. I had to be constantly prepared for a transfusion. Every time I had a bleed I was moved to labour ward and nil by mouth. I had six more bleeds in hospital (and a mini nervous breakdown) before you arrived by section at 35 weeks. You weren’t breathing and you were rushed straight to SCBU high dependency. I didn’t even get to touch you. I was suddenly back on the maternity ward but without my baby and I couldn’t stop being sick. As long as I was being sick I wasn’t allowed into SCBU and it was about 14hr later I was taken to meet you and nothing prepared me for that moment. Those wires, your breathing mask, your cannulas, your teeny legs. I put you in my gown and cried.
Anyway. It was a rough journey for you and I both for a while but you are a little star and are my warrior princess so you can probably imagine my shock (& the maternity nurses!) when I fell pregnant again only a few months later. Thankfully your brothers pregnancy (both of them) were uneventful, ending in natural water births. I’ve had two miscarriages both of which I believe would have been girls and with your pregnancy and complications too there is no way we will be trying to balance out our tribe – something I’m often asked!
So happy birthday my angel. One day I will tell you this story and you will know of the worry you caused on your way into this world but for now enjoy being two my darling, cheeky, fearless ‘jump jump’ daughter. You are so very loved. x
This beautiful chaos ❤