I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), so we decided to get a little help from a fertility specialist as I hadn't had a period in over 12 months, despite working with an endocrinologist to sort out my hormones.
After three months of taking an ovulation induction drug called Clomid, we finally got the news that I was ovulating on Christmas Eve! And guess what?! It worked! The pregnancy was quite difficult. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at seven weeks (this is quite common with PCOS), and as a self-confessed needle phobic, I was terrified!
I then had a significant bleed at 13 weeks and was diagnosed with placenta previa and told to be very careful from here on. I was also told our baby's umbilical cord was on the edge of the placenta, and this could cause her to miss out on nutrients and be small. We decided we had enough surprises and stresses for one pregnancy and wanted to book in a scheduled c-section.
The rest of the pregnancy was quite uneventful. My diabetes became really difficult to manage in the end as I was always starving, but besides that, we were busy getting organised to meet our little baby.
On the morning of the c-section, we were excited, nervous and couldn't believe we were going to be parents soon! We arrived and were ushered to our room where we got dressed in our gowns. We signed off on the paperwork and then waited for about an hour to be taken to the theatre. We actually didn't mind and enjoyed having some time with just the two of us, we took some last photos of my belly and talked about what our baby would be like.
Once we got into the theatre, it happened very quickly. I was given the epidural, Nick was called in, and only a few minutes later our beautiful Stella was born! She was absolute perfection; she had a head full of hair and was perfectly healthy! Despite having gestational diabetes, she was a great size at precisely 7 pounds or 3.1kg.
This is when things took a bit of a turn...
After Stella was delivered, I was given an antibiotic which is a standard procedure for surgery. As I hadn't had a lot of antibiotics in my lifetime, I was unaware I had a severe allergy to this drug. With Stella placed on my chest, I began to feel the start of anaphylaxis; my throat closed, I was uncontrollably itchy and began to feel nauseous. The medical team leapt into action, Stella and my husband were ushered out to recovery and was told I wouldn't be far behind.
This is the last thing I recall besides hearing the anesthesiologists telling our obstetrician to hurry up and sew me up in case he needed to do chest compressions (a pretty scary thing to hear). Shortly after a code blue was called, my husband (holding our newborn baby) heard the code being called and saw 20 people sprint into my theatre. I can only imagine what was going through his mind!
I'd like to say thanks to the incredible staff at St Vincent's Private. Because of them, I can tell this story and be Stella's mummy for a long time to come. In the end, I was in ICU for almost 48 hours and then a further four days in the hospital where I could finally learn how to look after our little girl and begin life as a little family. I know the experience was traumatic, but I wouldn't change a thing. It brought me my little girl, and it hasn't turned me off going back again one day to give her a sibling!