"With so many false alarms, I didn't want to rush to hospital until I was completely sure."
When I found out in October of 2012 that I was pregnant, it came as quite a shock to my partner and me. A baby wasn’t something we had planned for, having just got engaged a couple of weeks prior. Regardless, when the initial shock died down, our excitement came into play.
My pregnancy wasn’t a smooth ride. My body didn’t quite agree throughout, but when at 27 weeks I lost my mucus plug and began to have complications, my pregnancy went from bad to worse. My partner is an American citizen, and I myself am from the UK. At the time, we were on different continents, he wasn’t supposed to arrive in the UK until the middle of May—it was still March!
I was told that Arthur would arrive early, but how early they didn’t know. I was discharged from hospital and allowed to return to work. Within one day, my water broke. Things got more real by the day.
I returned to hospital where they confirmed my water had indeed broken at 28 weeks, but doctors feared the baby coming so early. They informed me they would try and keep me until 34 weeks at which point they would have to induce me.
Nevertheless, Arthur had other ideas!
At 29 weeks and 3 days, I returned home after a long day of check-ups in hospital to find myself contracting. With so many false alarms, I didn’t want to rush to hospital until I was completely sure. Sure enough, a couple hours passed and my contractions became more intense and closer together. I was terrified! My partner was 4,000 miles away and my baby was coming!
My parents rushed me to hospital where I was immediately given a scan and put on a drip of paracetamol to narrow down what my “pains” could be. I knew he was on his way, but the doctors seemed to be in denial. They didn’t want him out, and were convinced that telling themselves he wasn’t coming would work! I was repeatedly told it was probably just a water infection. However, my contractions worsened.
A consultant came into the room I was in, saw my condition, and immediately I was rushed into the delivery suite. By this point I was in serious pain, I had began to bleed and knowing that my tiny baby was on his way was all too much for me to handle.
Within minutes, people flooded into the room and everything became hazy. Pediatricians tried their best to inform me of what would happen next. I tried to listen, but with intense contractions seconds apart, it became increasingly difficult. With every blink I took, more people would appear.
Suddenly, I had the urge to push. Pushing a tiny, premature baby out is hard work and at one point, I didn’t believe I’d get through it.
Nonetheless, a little later, Arthur James Alvarez came into the world on April 3rd at 4:39 a.m. I saw my tiny baby for no more than a few seconds before he was whisked away to the neonatal unit. It was upsetting, but I knew it was necessary.
I waited until 12 p.m. to see my baby boy in his incubator, plugged into a number of different machines and monitors. It was a terrifying, but beautiful moment. My baby boy weighed 3.3 pounds at birth, which is an incredible weight for a baby at his gestation and without needing oxygen, I knew from day one he was one tiny fighter!
He had a rough ride and dropped down to 2.7 pounds, but he fought relentlessly through every day to get to the 7-pound term baby he is now.
I am one proud mama! Although difficult, I would do it all over again! It’s a cliché, but the pain is so worth it!
Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!