I was induced at Royal Oldham hospital on 1st December 2019 as I had been closely monitored throughout my pregnancy due to raised blood pressure and having a family history of pre-eclampsia. I had also been having growth scans and doppler studies every other week which had shown that the baby was measuring on the small side.
After 4 days of failed induction, it was decided to start me off on the hormone drip, which after the full dosage, had hardly worked also. The midwives were also becoming concerned with baby’s heart rate. I had also noticed that he was not moving as much. The doctor then attempted to break my waters, but discovered that there was no water around the baby. This shocked me and I couldn’t get my head around how I had not noticed my waters breaking prior to going into hospital. I was told they can drip out sometimes but I felt that I should have paid more attention and felt it was my fault that the baby was now getting distressed.
After a few more hours on the drip, it was decided that an epidural would be carried out and then an emergency c section. After baby’s arrival, they found a lot of infection inside and we were both put on antibiotics. Again, I blamed myself for that. How could I not know that I had an infection going on.
Baby Bobby was born on 4th December at 38+3 weighing a tiny 5lbs 1oz. We were advised he would be on the small side but were quite surprised just how small for his term.
Fast forward 24 hours, we thought what a good baby he was, he never cried! However, we noticed he also wouldn’t feed very well and would suckle briefly then fall back to sleep. The midwives and doctors were worried and after testing his blood sugars, found he was hypoglycemic and becoming jaundice.
They believe it was my blood pressure medication that had caused this issue and that really knocked me for six. The main issue with my blood pressure was a severe case of white coat syndrome. Each time I went to hospital and had it taken, it would go through the roof. This was something I was even having therapy for but couldn’t seem to get over. Luckily I had a monitor at home and had mostly low/normal readings. However, the doctors still advised me to take the medication. All in all, I blamed myself for having this irrational fear of hospitals which led to my baby boy being born small, needing to be poked and prodded with needles and fed through a tube.
Once Bobby was transferred to NICU, I found it really hard seeing him with his feeding tube and being wired up to lots of bleeping machines. I felt that I had failed him somehow and I was being punished for something. However, the doctors and nurses were simply amazing. They always put our minds at ease and they just loved Bobby.
We were never rushed or never made to feel like we were in the way and they encouraged us to help to feed him and change his clothes etc.
After approximately 4 days, Bobby’s blood sugar levels were increasing and he was able to stop the tube feedings; this was a huge relief. He was also transferred to the ‘nursery’ area in readiness for coming home with us. Looking around the NICU ward, it was clear to see how lucky we were as some of those tiny babies had been in there for months. Still, it did feel like an eternity for us. For two nights before we all went home together, we were allowed to sleep over in one of the bedrooms. It was brilliant to be able to be so close to Bobby yet have the support we needed.
Even before we left, we were offered further support and helped to give Bobby his first bath and given a little NICU graduate vest for him.
We cannot praise the staff on the ward enough for all they did for Bobby, they were amazing and it’s thanks to them that we have a 20lb 6 month old who was definitely not meant to be a tiny baby and certainly has no issues feeding.