When I found out I was pregnant both my husband and myself were over-joyed. We had planned to start a family and it had happened quite quickly. I can honestly say that I loved every second of being pregnant - yep, even the sickness everytime I put my toothbrush anywhere near my mouth! It made me feel special and I embraced every moment.
I was the type of pregnant lady that followed each week, step by step; I knew the weekly size of the baby and every little development occuring. I read lots of books and showed off my bump with pride. However, something I could not have known was that my pregnancy would end at 24 weeks and 5 days.
I remember that night vividly. I remember sitting in the bath and feeling overwhelmingly happy. As I washed my tummy I giggled and called to my husband from the bathroom 'I'm really loving being pregnant!' An hour or so later I was settled on the sofa watching a film and felt an almighty twinge in my lower back. It was so strong that I actually moved off the sofa onto the floor. It passed in a second and we both laughed at my 'dramatics'.
That night in bed I just could not get comfortable; I had a dull back ache and it would not allow me to settle. I drifted in and out of short snoozes until about half eleven when I could not settle to the point that I was pacing the bedroom hunched over. I knew this could not just be 'baby growing and moving'. Something was not right. I woke my husband and said I would go to the bathroom 'to check'. Now, don't ask me what I was checking for as I had no clue but when I went to the bathroom and saw a show of blood on the tissue I just screamed ... 'there's blood!!'
The next thing I knew we were at the maternity unit doors buzzing the night bell ... 'My wife's 6 months pregnant and she's bleeding!' And the doors opened.
I'm lying on a bed in the delivery suite and the doctor examines me '...blah, blah, blah, labour, blah, blah, blah ...' 'You have to stop it!' I plead. 'It's too early!'
The labour could not be stopped and 5 hours and 19 minutes later my amazing little boy was born weighing 1lb 10oz. He was taken straight to the Neonatal Unit and I was offered a shower and a cup of tea. No chance for cuddles, not even a glimpse.
A couple of hours later we were given a photo. I knew it was a photo handed to me saying 'this is your baby. He's going to die.' I found it difficult to look at that photo for a long while. We then had the chance to see our baby. It was a strange sight. I had never seen a baby in an icubator before. I had never seen a ventilator or so many wires before. I had never seen a baby so small before. I peered from afar, not wanting to allow myself too close, not wanting to see what I had done.
The rest of the day was hell. Sent straight home waiting for the phone to ring saying Blaine was being transferred to another hospital that looks after such early babies. That night in the bath I couldn't bare to look at my empty, saggy tummy - the same tummy that I had lovingly washed just 24 hours earlier. I bathed in my top.
Despite this start I had no problem bonding with my baby. In fact it made the bond stronger and I longed for him. I watched him grow everyday and feel incredibly proud that this amazing person is my son. And he continues to amaze me every day :)