Blog post by Alexandra Gamble:
I never thought I would be able to have children. I have pelvic inflammatory disease which was left undiagnosed for a while, and at 35 years old my biological clock was ticking.
When I found out I was pregnant it was such a shock, but also a precious gift.
My pregnancy was plain sailing, I had no sickness, no migraines, and my bump didn't start to show until week 22. At week 27 I had a funny turn at work and saw flashing spots so when I got home I took my blood pressure, which had gone up, so I was put on bed rest for a week.
My blood pressure remained high but I felt ok so went back to work the following week. At week 29 my ankles and feet started to swell and I became so short of breath that I could hardly walk up the stairs. My midwife had assured me it was just down to pregnancy.
At 29 weeks and three days I was admitted to hospital as my blood pressure had gone up again and my body was going in to shock. I was put on a drip to protect my brain and scanned to check that everything was ok.
My baby measured small on the scan and the consultant informed me that they would have to get the baby out within a few hours. Luckily after some tablets my blood pressure slowly came down, and three days later my son, James was delivered by emergency C section weighing 2lbs 5oz
He was so tiny and helpless, but so strong. When he was born he started crying straight away, the doctors and nurses showed him to me and I gave him a kiss before he was rushed off to intensive care.
I remember the first time I saw him in his incubator, it was all so overwhelming. I had only ever seen premature babies on television and never thought for one second that I would be in that situation. I knew we had to take each day as it comes and whatever happened I would just have to get through it.
The nurses and doctors on the neonatal unit were amazing and really supportive, nothing was too much trouble. There were also plenty of books from Bliss and information leaflets at hand to take and read. It helped to put my mind at ease and answered all the questions I wanted to ask.
We had good days and bad days, it was like being on a roller coaster.
When James was three weeks old he had a scrotal hernia and was rushed to Nottingham for an operation. It was such a shock as he had just spent two days in special care and I thought everything was going so well. He had an operation to repair the hernia and remove his appendix, and five days later he was transferred back to Wolverhampton. After two days of being back in high dependency, he was transferred to special care where he went from strength to strength. He was in hospital for a total of 49 days.
It turned out that I’d had severe pre-eclampsia, as well as a pulmonary embolism (an artery blockage) and was very lucky to have survived and carried James as long as I did. He’s my true little miracle - I think we both saved each other.
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