Alexa’s Birth Story

Being pregnant again has brought on a lot of flashbacks and memories of my pregnancy and birth of Alexa in 2016. I wanted to write it, shortened version I promise! In order to work through some of the emotions tangled up in it.

When I first got pregnant with Alexa it was like a dream. I’d wanted children for so long and at last Chris and I would make that a reality. It’s an amazing but daunting feeling, knowing your body is carrying a life and there’s little you can do to influence how it goes. Weeks 0-28 were pretty much the perfect pregnancy and I had little to complain about in that respect. In the rest of my life though we had some major upheavals. Unfortunately I was made redundant from work which was the most unexpected thing ever, and something I took pretty hard. I’d not been unemployed since 16 and I now had a little life to provide for. We decided the best thing to do to make the single salary stretch further was to move back home to Northern Ireland, the cost of living was lower than Essex and I had my family to help through the tough time. I spent weeks 20-28 of my pregnancy finding a house, organising a truck to move our houseful of belongings, packing up said house, saying goodbye to the life Chris knew and moving back across the water.

We had been home 2 weeks when things changed for me. It was a Sunday and I hadn’t felt Alexa move as much as usual. She was a proper little wriggler normally and I just felt ‘off’. We had a family Sunday dinner planned and we decided to go ahead to that and maybe a good meal would help waken her up a bit. I still to this day can’t describe the feeling I had that day, I just knew I didn’t feel right. At the end of dinner Chris could tell by my face I was worried. We called the Maternity Assessment Unit at Craigavon Area Hospital and they asked us to come in to be monitored as reduced foetal movements is taken very seriously. When we arrived my blood pressure set the machine alarms off and every subsequent reading was also through the roof. A consultant arrived and gave me medication to try and stabilise the blood pressure and to inform me I would be admitted and Chris should go home and get my bag. At 30 weeks I hadn’t even packed my hospital bags yet!

After a couple of days my blood pressure was remaining at a good level with the medication. I was sent for a growth scan just to check baby’s development as high blood pressure can have an effect on the baby. It was at this scan they discovered Alexa was measuring several weeks behind were she should be and that blood flow through the placenta and cord wasnt as good as it should be. I spent weeks 30-35 in hospital being closely monitored and awaiting the day they said she was safer out than in.

That day came and as I had a favourable cervix and was 1cm dilated already they agreed to let me go for an induction instead of emergency c section. 17 hours after I was first induced Alexa made her entrance to the world, all tiny 3lb 13oz of her! It was a moment of mixed emotions as she was finally here but there was no noise. I remember screaming at them to tell me if my baby was alive and why wasn’t she crying, I remember the alarm being pressed and rush of medical staff to room and finally after the longest time I remember hearing her cry…

If you have any concerns about your baby’s movement please call your Hospital/Midwife. Kicks Count website has some great info:

https://www.kickscount.org.uk

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