My pregnancy was incredible. No problems, everything went according to plan, she measured perfectly for her dates and in a nutshell, it was yet another phenomenal experience of butterflies, kicks and movements, enjoying falling in love with the idea of another precious little girl. However, on Saturday 28th November, we had a maternity shoot scheduled to capture our little family along with my growing belly. I was 2 days away from 34 weeks pregnant. After the photo shoot on the beach that evening, my stomach started to feel a little strange. It felt uncomfortable and a little tender to the touch. I didn't say anything but took it easy that evening and went to bed. The next morning it was even more tender to the touch and I told hubby that something felt "off". It was a beautiful summers' day so we spent time in and out of the swimming pool until I eventually thought I better go to the maternity ward at the hospital just to ensure all was still okay.
|Maternity Shoot: Who knew baby Ella was ready to make her appearance!|
After the 48 hours, my doctor stopped my anti-contraction meds and said we were to wait until the evening. I was now exactly 34 weeks pregnant on 1st December. I then knew what was coming... Contractions started again and the monitor was registering spikes up to 80 out of 100! Baby was on her way. We were told at 5:30pm that she was coming NOW! Hubby had to get the kids out of the hospital, I had to put on my scrubs and we got ready to head down to theater. What a rush!
|In our hospital scrubs, waiting...|
The whole c-section experience prior to the baby being born is quite barbaric and it felt far more extreme than my other two deliveries. Injections, feelings of nausea, extreme chest pains from the air entering my open stomach and tremendous tugging and pulling. But as per Lily and Zac, I felt tremendous relief when little precious Ella was pulled out crying and looking absolutely perfect in every single way at 19h10 on Tuesday, 1st December 2016 weighing a tiny 2.4kg and measuring 45cm long. Unfortunately I couldn't hold her but was given a quick glimpse of her beautiful face before they whisked her away to the ICU with daddy. Goodness but she had loads of hair! Far more hair than any of my babies!
After I was sewn up, I was wheeled back to my room, but this experience was different as my baby wasn't waiting in the maternity ward or in my room for me. I had to spend the evening without her which was quite a strange experience. I was told I needed to start expressing collostrum so that they could tube feed her and this the nurses did for me and my baby got the liquid gold she needed to grow. Daddy was lucky enough to see and spend time with her and he showed me plenty of videos and photographs. He said she is beautiful and was doing really well. It was sad to see that my precious, tiny newborn baby had already experienced drips in her arms and tubes down her nose, but it was reassuring to know that it was all for her benefit and that she was doing well. We were told that she would be spending 2 weeks in the ICU.
|Our little fighter!|
2 days later I was finally allowed to hold her and have skin on skin contact. It was incredible! I loved every single second of that hour I had her on my bare chest. The following day I was told that they would like to try breastfeeding for the first time. I was anxious and excited at the same time. The nurses warned me that it was highly possible that she wouldn't latch with her being so small and that their brains sometimes haven't quite "switched on" at 34 weeks yet. But, my precious, strong little fighter was a super star and latched perfectly! I was elated and loved it! She was an absolute star and a very strong sucker!
|In absolute heaven! So in love!|
I spent the next few days expressing milk and delivering it to the hospital. Hospital hours were very strict in NICU and I was only allowed to see her between 12h00-18h00 and then again from 20h00-22h00. The mornings were strictly not allowed due to doctor's rounds. Grandparents are only allowed at certain times on the weekends and I was so pleased that my parents got to meet her too - a very special moment for them both.