11 Jun THE ARRIVAL OF OUR DAUGHTER HARPER
Hello friends! I’m writing to you as I slowly emerge from my newborn bubble. I honestly don’t know where the past seven weeks have gone but I do know that I now I have a very tiny and cute human that I’m responsible for and I couldn’t be happier!
20/04/17 our darling girl Harper Louise entered the world happy and healthy via elective caesarean weighing in at 3.445kgs. I honestly never had a preference on how I wanted to give birth and as I had seen with so many of my friends, anything can happen unexpectedly so I didn’t want to be disappointed if things didn’t go to plan.
During my pregnancy, an ultrasound showed that I had a marginal cord insertion which is where the umbilical cord is attached closer to the edge of the placenta instead of in the center. Initially, the main concern was that it may affect baby’s growth, although through doing some research I saw that it can also cause complications to mum and baby during child birth that may be avoided through an elective C-section.
Thankfully it didn’t end up affecting baby’s growth at all and the doctors and midwives said that having a vaginal birth shouldn’t be a problem, but how do you go ahead with that when everything you’ve read tells you to go for a C-section? When I fell pregnant I wasn’t out to prove anything to myself or anyone. My goal was to end up with a healthy baby, so I just wanted her to arrive in the safest way possible.
I went ahead with the caesarean at 39 weeks which was an incredible yet slightly terrifying experience. I wasn’t at all nervous in the lead up but I guess the reality of being awake during a major surgery can be a little unsettling. Those feelings quickly fled when the curtain came down and I could see her being pulled out. Minutes later she was placed on my chest and it really was the most amazing moment of my entire life. I got exactly what I wished for – a safe arrival for my baby girl.
What I didn’t wish for was the internal bleeding I ended up with!
I noticed that I had tummy, chest and shoulder pain as soon as I was in recovery trying to breastfeed. I mentioned it to the midwives but I didn’t make too much of a fuss because I assumed that was just normal for a C-section. As the day went on it became more and more painful, not being able to breathe while breastfeeding with Harper on my chest then passing in and out of consciousness as Serkan expressed my colostrum to feed her. My tummy went from being almost flat to looking nine months pregnant again. I was basically told it was just gas and to suck it up.
After a night of hell, I went in for x-rays and ultrasounds. They found that I had internal bleeding (not at all related to the marginal cord insertion) and rushed me back into theater to remove 1.6 liters of blood running wild in my abdomen.
An extra surgery and two blood transfusions later, I was feeling like a new woman. Not a woman well enough to get out of bed of course, but well enough to feed and cuddle my baby. They still weren’t sure exactly what caused the bleeding but I still had my uterus, ovaries and other organs after been told they may have to be removed, so I was pretty happy with that.
Although this was obviously not the ideal situation and set me back a bit with the recovery and breastfeeding, I’m just so glad it was me going back into surgery and not Harper. That’s what kept me going. I would go through that a million times for it not to be her.
I honestly owe so much to my incredible husband who took the reins like a champion and did every single nappy change, burped and helped feed Harper while looking after me in the early days. I always knew he’d be an incredible father but the way he handled this just took him next level!
Bringing a human into the world is hard work! Caring for them once they are here is not any easier but every time I start to feel sorry for myself, stressed or tired I just think about what a blessing it is to be here in the first place.
Yes, great sleep is a thing of the past, my hair brush and I barely keep in touch, my life is harder and has been turned up side down, but isn’t that what we signed up for? The love I have for my husband and this little girl is something I never could have prepared myself for and makes it all worth while.