This is my first ever blog, in fact it is really the first time I have publicly written about my life. It always seems trivial when you are living your own life, always somehow tedious and uninteresting, but it is not until you start to tell people (largely strangers) that you are informed that your life is actually quite interesting, at least worth sharing.
You see, for the past 15yrs life has been nothing if not challenging, heart breaking and inspiring. Life has been tough.
In May 2002 we were over-joyed to hear that we were expecting (well I was) following a year of medical intervention and treatment for endometriosis and abnormal cells present after a routine cervical smear. My body had been medically induced into early menopause at the age of 23 to 24 (hot flushes, dry skin and major issues down below) were all enforced and endured curtesy of a hideous nasal spray administered twice a day. It was awful. Six months after the treatment we were informed by what I can only describe as a cantankerous old gynaecologist who thought he was God incarnate, that we would not conceive naturally. As you can imagine we were in utter shock.
We walked home in silence. I cried. My husband, Dav, told me it will be ok.
Well, he was right. I fell pregnant 4 months later.
A shock was an understatement. It was pretty surprising when I had not had my period for that month, especially since coming off the hormones I had pretty much bled ever couple of weeks, but now nothing. Dav was in America, sent there by his mother to attend a family wedding and I was still in the UK when I took the pregnancy test. If I’m honest I kind of knew I was pregnant before the test. Im not sure how or why but I believed I was pregnant. My skin was becoming dry, my body was itchy and my breasts were feeling tender. All the signs of pregnancy that I had read about in my earnest quest to understand what ‘being pregnant’ would be like. Im not sure about anyone else but once you think about having children, you go out of your way to read every article, blog and book about the process, bodily changes and birth. I remember ringing Dav and telling him. He was silent, definitely out of shock. However, Im sure he was secretly over-joyed that his ‘super sperm’ did the job!
It was a pretty uneventful pregnancy, except for the bleed at 3 months which transpired to be ‘one of those things’.
It was not until my 36th week that things became a little scarier. I thought I was experiencing Braxton Hicks as I ran from my office (my career was taking off and I had been promoted to Head Of Year; over 400 pupils were in my care), to my first lesson of the day when I felt a strange and extremely painful tightening of my stomach. The school nurse was called and I was advised to see my midwife. She suspected I was in labour.
I was marched off to hospital by the midwife later that day and was scanned. The baby was small for its dates. I was sent home and told to rest. No baby yet.
Another check-up was performed four days later and again everything was said to be fine and I was to rest. We had not long moved into our first home and still had cupboards etc to get up so as I laid in bed that evening watching Dav building wardrobes we waited for our baby to come.
Then this happened.
48hrs later my waters broke.
25th January 2003
6.04 am : Waters broke, spontaneously.
6.25 am : Maternity Ward rung to ask for advice. Advised not to rush but to make our way in after a shower and some breakfast. Contractions minimal.
7.30 am : Arrive at maternity ward. Given a room and asked to change into a robe in preparation to be checked for dilation. Placed on a monitor to check heart rate.
8.05 am: Midwife arrives and checks readings. She seems confused and then a little panicked. She leaves the room in haste.
8.10: Midwife arrives with a glass of water. She tells me to drink it to try and ‘wake the baby’.
After this is all became a bit of a blur. Timings went a stray.
A doctor came in and informed us that the baby’s heart rate viewed on the monitor wasn’t as expected so we need to prepare for an emergency c-section.
I am shaved and catheterised. The anaesthetist arrives and asks if I am allergic to anything and that I will be given a spinal block. I have no idea what this is or what any of this entails. We are in total shock as everyone around us rushes around like headless chickens. Denial comes to mind. How could this be happening? What had I done for this to happen? We had no idea what a c-section actually was. They don’t tell you any of this in the anti natal classes. Here everything is rose tinted. No one dare speak of anything going wrong.
Dav was sent off to get robed. I was led into theatre.
Raj – Arjun Singh Sanghera born at 10.14 am.
No cry. No scream No holding him up to show the proud parents.
I remember asking “why is he not crying?” as a male nurse stood in front of me blocking my view of Arjun as he was taken to the to resuscitation table. Dav tried to look too.
Then we heard one cry.
Silence. …we did not hear him again for months.
Arjun was taken away without me seeing him. I told Dav to go with him. I was told he was ok but just needed to be checked over in another room because of the Caesarean.
He wasn’t ok. They lied. He was born flat lining. He was still born.
They had managed to resuscitate him, this was when he let out his scream. He had had a major injury at birth and no one could tell us why, only that he had to be transferred to a specialist unit in Leeds.
Dr Rahman came into see us on the ward in out side room. He asked us if we were related. He had taken one look at us and thought we were inter-married, he obviously hadn’t read my notes. ‘We are Sikh and we don’t marry relations’ unlike other South Asian cultures. This ruled out any genetic abnormalities. He then went onto inform us that our son was extremely poorly, he had blood coming from his mouth and a huge swelling on his neck. He was unable to breathe without aid and he was very unstable. He asked us what we wanted to do. In that split second Dav said “do whatever you needed to do to save him”. And that was that.
He was transferred 5hrs or so later to Leeds General Infirmary, Peter Congleton Unit, I was transferred a few hours later, where things took a turn for the worst.
I posted this on my previous blog but wanted to share it here as part of ‘My Journey’. I know some of my readers have read it before but for those who are following me hear for the first time, I felt it is important for you to this part of my life.
(My blog was called mommaupnorth)
Northern Bindi xxx