"I didn't know I was pregnant until I had delivered my son onto my lap"
Many mothers have nine months to prepare for the delivery of their beautiful bundles of joy. Some mothers have six months, some have less, but the majority of women at least have a little bit of time to come to terms with the idea of the fact they are having a baby. They can begin to save money, set up a nursery and celebrate with things such as baby showers.
For me though, this was not the case. I didn't know I was pregnant until I had delivered my son onto my lap.
So in the months leading up to this crazy Easter weekend, I had started having some abdominal bloating or what I thought was abdominal bloating. I presented to the doctors numerous times seeing multiple different GPs explaining that this bloating was not going away it was sticking around and just starting to become uncomfortable. I did multiple pregnancy tests, including bloods, all returning a negative result.
So in my mind, I was not pregnant. I trusted in the medical professionals looking after me and trusted that they knew what was going on. I was informed it was just bloating predominantly caused from stress. I personally didn't know what to think, but never did it cross my mind I was pregnant. I never popped and had that full belly. I had zero other symptoms of pregnancy and no reason to think I was.
Suffering from PCOS from my late teens, I already had an irregular cycle, so this was no indication to me as I am pretty used to having it be unpredictable. I was taking contraception and was safe with no slip-ups as I was quite religious with my pill. To me, I was just bloated. Until Easter Saturday 2021 - at 2 am in the morning, I was awoken with a sharp pain like a cramp but a little bit more severe. I brushed it off, to begin with, not thinking much of it, thinking, oh maybe my period is coming. This cramp was followed by another and another, and I could not go back to sleep.
I ended up turning Netflix on to try and distract myself, hoping that the pain would subside. It definitely didn't and continued throughout the day. It had been going for 14 hours at this point, increasing in frequency (I now know these were contractions but at the time was unaware).
At about 6 pm, I was in quite a bit of pain. I ended up calling my mum explaining what had been going on all day and said it was quite intense, really beginning to hurt. She reassured me, telling me it would be okay to try and have some dinner and have a shower to try and relax if it was no better in a couple of hours, come over to her house (10-minute drive away) and have a warm bath to try and soak and relax. This is what I ended up doing until about 9 pm I called mum back, explaining it was getting worse and I needed to come over.
I was getting quite emotional as I had been up all day and night now exhausted and in so much pain. I turned to my partner and said, look, I'm going to go to mums to have a bath and try and relax. If anything gets worse, I will call you. He kissed me goodbye, and off I went to mums.
Little did I know what would happen by the time I saw him again. I arrived at mums and got straight into the bath, and the warm water did help to relieve a little bit of the pressure, but the pain did not allow me to get comfortable. I hopped out of the bath and went to the spare room to try and get some sleep.
Though the pain was so intense, taking my breath away, I could not think straight or even think of getting sleep. I couldn't get comfortable, and every position hurt! This continued until about midnight/1 am where I needed to go to the toilet.
I felt the need to push as if I needed to relieve myself and did so, which caused me to start bleeding heavily. I began to panic as it wasn't a little bit of blood. It was quite a lot, and that scared me. I went to sit down for a minute, and it just didn't stop. I collected myself and walked up to mums room waking her up and saying, "mum, I think we need to go to the hospital".
She got out of bed, we both got dressed, and I slowly walked to the car. Let me tell you, that was the worst 20-minute car ride of my life. I felt every bump, turn, stop, start motion, and it was just incredibly painful. We arrived at emergency at approximately 2:15 am. I could not walk and was stressing so much.
Mum went and got me a wheelchair and wheeled me into triage. In triage, we had to wait about 15 minutes to be seen, and I think that 15 minutes just dragged. I was finally wheeled to the triage window where I was asked the standard questions "rate the pain out of 10," "are you sure it's not your period", etc. etc.
I was quite concerned at this point as I was bleeding out on the floor of the emergency waiting room and just wanted some help. They finally came around to my side of the window and saw the amount of blood, and the urgency increased.
After being wheeled through emergency to a bed, I was asked to get up onto the bed. It took me quite a while, but I finally managed to get up where I was immediately given a blood test. The doctor came in and asked if I wanted some pain relief, and I naively replied, "can I have some Panadol". I thought that would help for some reason, haha she went off to get pain relief. Before she could return, the nurse giving me a blood test was still in the room.
I felt this overwhelming urge to push and did so, which was followed by an instant amount of relief, and pressure subsided immensely. I felt something land on my lap.
I peeked under the sheets and could see this white lump with some blood. I looked at mum, telling her something was on my lap. She also peeked, and we both began to panic that I had pushed some of my insides out! I turned to the nurse and said there is something on my lap, fear consumed me, and I had no idea what it was. She pulled the sheets back and screamed. There's a baby; there's a baby.
That was the moment I found out I was pregnant. I had delivered my child myself onto my lap with no idea it was happening. He was also fully encapsulated in his amniotic sac.
The room instantly flooded with people, anyone you could think of paediatric, nurses, doctors, obstetricians, midwives, anaesthetists, any and everyone you could think of. This was when the shock kicked in. I instantly began to panic and stress, not being aware of what was going on.
I was wheeled up to the birth suite, and my son was taken straight to NICU. I was in the birth suite where I was told I now had to deliver my placenta. This scared me a bit as I was blissfully unaware this was part of birth. The midwife with me explained everything and begun to pull my placenta out. This was definitely the weirdest sensation I had felt.
I was checked after this, and it was discovered I had a 3rd-degree tear upwards borderline 4th degree. It was discussed that due to the extent of the damage that I would be taken into surgery which was my biggest fear. I feared surgery my whole life. It was just something I could not overcome. Now after never having had surgery, I was being thrown into emergency surgery.
Before this could occur, the beautiful midwife tending to me said, why don't you give me your phone and I will take some photos of your son as you can't go and see him. I was okay with this as it was more of a subtle introduction to his arrival rather than be right there with him. She took my phone down to neonatal and returned about 10 minutes later with photos of my surprise son. She explained to me what every tube and wire was, which was very reassuring.
He suffered hypothermia and pneumothorax at birth. Though the little fighter, he is made a full recovery within a few days. It was then time to call my partner. It was 4 am by this point when I had to call him. So I called my partner and said, - "Hey, just letting you know I'm in the hospital. I'm okay, but we have just had a baby. We have a son." He asked me what, and I repeated myself, and the first thing he said to me was, oh well, we need a name. I said, well, we both like Harry, and he agreed, so that was quite easy. We named him Harry over the phone.
I also told him he needed to get up to the hospital to consent for Harry as I was heading into surgery. I did not get to see my partner before going in for surgery, so that was quite hard for me. I did, however, have my beautiful mum by my side, which was just so much security to me.
I went into surgery, where I had my tear repaired and two units of blood given to me as I lost over 1.5-2L of blood. I arrived out of surgery and recovery at about 10 am, so I was there for about 5 hours. When I woke, I was wheeled to see my partner, who was waiting in my room for me.
That was the best feeling in the world, seeing one of my favourite people waiting for me. He gave me a big hug and just sat with me as I came too from all the anaesthetic and other medications given to me.
It was approximately lunchtime when the midwife came in to see me. She asked me if I wanted to go and meet Harry. Harry was 9 hours old now, and Brodie had been with him for most of the time, so it gave me some relief knowing he wasn't alone.
At 12:15 pm, I was handed my son out of the incubator to cuddle for the first time. I felt so many different emotions, from being overwhelmed to scared to happy to shock.
It was just the most surreal feeling. Harry and I made a full recovery, and even though I still was quite sick, I was stable enough to go home after one week in hospital to continue recovering at home.
It has completely and utterly changed our lives basically overnight. I am incredibly blessed to have a beautiful, healthy little boy, and he just completes me.
He came at a time I needed him most and truly is my little miracle.
Harry was born at 3:02 am on Easter Sunday, 4/4/21 weighing 7lbs 15oz and 55cm. His estimated gestation was 42weeks, so was actually overdue with him.
We were fortunate to get to the hospital when we did, as it could have turned out a lot worse for both of us, but we are here and healthy, and that is all that ultimately matters.
He's the triple threat, Easter Sunday, born in his amniotic sac & unbeknown to all he was arriving. I am very proud of my little boy and love him dearly.