Twenty two years ago today, I was a frightened nineteen year old in a delivery room at Wrexham Park Hospital. After having an induction at two weeks overdue, everything went wrong. I was rushed from my bed on the ward by a nurse shouting to colleagues that my baby's heart was "as flat as a pancake"...words that still send a shiver down my spine. My baby was in severe foetal distress and had passed meconium so was in real danger. I had drips in my hand, monitors attached internally to my baby's head, a heart rate monitor beeping out alarming decelerations in my baby's heart rate and an epidural in place ready for an emergency C-Section. The epidural had not worked, numbing only my right side. I can't imagine what would have happened had I made it to the operating room. The doctor was disinclined to believe me when I said I still have feeling, and I wasn't brave enough to argue my case further. Thankfully though, even after I had signed the forms for the C-Section, nature took its course and with the brutal help of a pair of forceps, my baby son was born. He was purple and lifeless and was whisked away unceremoniously to be worked on by a team of peadiatricians. "Is he dead?" I repeated over and over again. Eventually, my baby cried and was handed to me breathing independently. He was bruised by the forceps, very thin and so, so sad. But he was my son and I loved him.
When my placenta was delivered, the reason for his problems were evident. Having seen the rich, red , blood filled placentas of my later births, I know that the shrunken, blue placenta that had struggled to sustain my son, was just not healthy. My baby had lost weight in the womb and looked like a skinned rabbit! He maintained the fetal position for weeks, his legs disappearing up inside the body of his babygros.
He wasn't an easy baby. Feeding was difficult. He hated nappy changes, scratching at his own face with unconsolable anguish. He only slept on my chest. But I cared for that little scrap of humanity with every ounce of my being. He flourished.
22 years on, I look at my tall, handsome son. He is loving, funny, kind and considerate. He has made a good life for himself, living with the girlfriend he adores, about to move into a house and doing brilliantly in his new career as a Support Analyst! I am so proud of my beautiful son. Happy Birthday Joe xxx