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I’m Sam! I am 29, an Early Childhood Educator and a first-time mum to my beautiful 6-month-old baby girl, Abigail Rose.
Here is my back story for you all to read before I tell my birth story! I am so excited to be a part of the Avas Things Blog!
I had always imagined having children around the age of 25, I never imagined myself having my first bub so close to 30! But as I now know, sometimes things happen that are out of our control. We just have to sit back & have hope.
My husband Glenn and I began our TTC journey at the start of 2018, hoping to fall pregnant and have our baby before our wedding in September of 2019. We were trying for a little over a year and nothing. …. We knew it was time to see someone for help with trying to figure out why we were not pregnant yet!
It took us a few months, but we ended up getting in to see Dr R! Dr R is a very well-known infertility and endometriosis specialist. We went down many paths during our time with Dr R. Both Glenn and I had lots of tests done and everything came back completely fine and still no reason as to why we weren’t falling pregnant. I was hoping and pushing for a laparoscopy to see if there was something wrong internally that no test would be able to figure out. We spoke about this, Dr R ended up prescribing me with letrozole to take for 3 months before seeing him again as he really hoped it would help us fall pregnant.
Unfortunately, the letrozole did not help. We went back to see Dr R after the 3 months of using the drug and we all decided it was time to do the laparoscopy as Dr R believed I had endometriosis. Finding out that I might have endo really shocked me. I have many friends and family members who have suffered for years with endo and I have never once had any pain that would even make me think this was possible. We went ahead and booked the laparoscope but sadly had to delay by an extra 3 months because of covid and the lockdowns.
We’re now in June 2020, the month I finally had my laparoscopy! I’d been wanting and waiting for since December 2019. The procedure, performed by Dr R went very well. He visited me after my surgery and told me that I had endometriosis, it was all over my uterus and bowels. He explained that this was the sole reason for my infertility. I started the healing process from the loophole surgery, I ended up with my 2nd lot of scars over my stomach area. The first lot of scars being from having my appendix taken out the year prior.
We went back to see Dr R for the follow up laparoscopy appointment where he further explained about the endo. I was still very surprised and very much in shock that I had endo as I had no symptoms and simple no idea! Dr R ended up prescribing me with letrozole once again.
Fast forward 3 months, the news we had been hoping and praying for had come true! We finally found out we were pregnant in September 2020. Funnily enough the week after finding out we were pregnant we had an appointment booked with Dr R to discuss IVF options.
Our pregnancy was such a breeze. I found myself incredibly lucky! Never having any morning sickness or any sickness at all throughout. The worst symptoms I had were headaches in the 2nd trimester and back pain from 20 weeks onwards.
We decided after everything we had been through with trying to fall, we wanted to go into a private hospital and have familiar doctors deliver our baby. We started seeing Dr N and had ultrasounds each month. At the 12-week scan everything was fine, and bub was looking healthy. That same week we paid for the harmony test to be done, testing further for any abnormalities and mainly just to find out the gender as we had been waiting so long for this moment & I was super impatient. I was always going to find out the gender of our first baby.
We found out at 13 weeks that the little babe we were growing was indeed a girl and after finding out I cried so many happy tears as all I wanted was a daughter. It was as if all the months spent trying and the tears cried were worth it.
At our 20-week scan something was noticed and picked up on by the sonographer as we received a phone call to come in and see Dr N. It turns out that our little bub had only 1 umbilical artery instead of the 2 they are supposed to have. We were reassured that this wasn’t a major issue and is quite common. This just meant that she was going to be on the smaller side of the scale. Once finding this out we ended up having to have growth scans monthly and fortnightly- more often than it would normally have to be. This was to ensure her heart was growing at the same size/rate as her body, which thankfully it was.
As we continued attending ultrasounds and growth scans, watching our little babe grow. At 32 weeks we came across another little hurdle…. Our little bub went from being head down from 26 weeks onwards to being in a breech position at 32 weeks. As it was so early, Dr N wasn’t at all concerned and said there was plenty of time for her to turn back around.
We were doing the fortnightly checks at this stage, and it was the same story at 34 weeks. Knowing we only had 2 more weeks for her to hopefully turn back to being head down it was a bit of a worrying and stressful for us. We tried many things to turn her, but she was being very stubborn, just like her daddy.
Our 36 weeks check-up came, and you guessed it…she was still in a breech position. It was at this appointment a c-section became a very possible outcome for us to ensure the safe arrival of our babe. We had to book in to have an ECV (External Cephalic Version) for Dr N to try turning bub manually, but we were still hoping it wasn’t going to come to that. After this appointment we also learnt that if she was still breeched a vaginal breech birth would be ruled out- due to the size of what her head was measuring at, as opposed to the rest of her body.
It was week 37 and we were on weekly check-ups. With the ECV being booked in 2 days’ time we were really hoping she had turned around. However I knew quite well she hadn’t, feeling her head still high up in my ribs quite often. Indeed, I was correct.
It was the day of the ECV and I was feeling very nervous and unsure after reading many peoples experiences around this with the success rate quite low. Dr N ensured me that with bub measuring under 6 pounds, there is quite a high chance of it being successful for us as she still had plenty of room to move around unlike a larger baby would.
The ECV wasn’t painful at all it was just an uncomfortable and strange feeling having someone pressing on your stomach for that long with your baby inside. I was monitored the entire time with regular stops to check on bubs heart rate. Dr N tried turning her multiple times and after the 3rd attempt, they checked on bubs heart rate. The Doctor couldn’t find her heartbeat for a good couple of minutes which did send me into a panic. They had me twisting and turning into all sorts of positions to try and find it. Finally they found the heartbeat, it was quite low so they ended the ECV.
We went back in to see Dr N a few days later where we discussed and booked our c-section date to which I had all sorts of mixed emotions about. As the days following the ECV and my follow up appointment went by slowly, I ensured we had everything packed for hospital pretty much each day leading up to c-section day.
The night of, I was so excited & nervous knowing in a few short hours I’d be meeting the love of my life, my little best friend, my daughter.
It was around 5am on the 6th of May 2021, I was 38 weeks & 6 days pregnant. I got up, got organised but everything was already in the car the night before-I like to be organised. I had to be at Newcastle Private Hospital at 6:30am ready for surgery at 7am. We arrived, we were greeted and showed to our room. I got changed into my gown and lovely compression socks when the nurse came back and said we would be heading to the theatre room in around 10 minutes. Glenn and I were surprisingly calm and collected. We thought about how quickly the time had flown by.
Once we were in the theatre room, there was around 15 Doctors, Nurses, midwifes etc in the theatre with us. Many of them had a trainee so the room was very crowded. Soon after starting the process of putting in the spinal block, which was the only part, I was worried about-not having any experience with this before. It was a very strange & indescribable feeling, one that if I press on that spot on my back now, I can still somewhat feel. Once the spinal was in, I started to go numb with my bum becoming quite warm-they said this would happen, again another super strange feeling.
With everyone gathered around me and hubby right by my side, Dr N and her team of Drs, Nurses and Midwife’s started cutting away at my stomach. The sheet was up, I was completely numb but could feel the pressure of everything that was happening inside me. One would almost describe it as a washing machine feeling.
A whole 7 minutes later, the sheet was down and out came our baby girl! It was the most surreal thing I’ve ever experienced and the c-section itself was so positive and beautiful with all the staff talking to and checking on me the whole time.
It took us almost 3 years of trying & unexplained infertility that turned out to be unknown endometriosis to finally get us to this beautiful moment. Our daughter, Abigail Rose Hagen was born at 7:39am, weighing a tiny 2.89kg. It was definitely love at first sight 🥰
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, seek professional legal and medical advice.
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