Wow, so so much has happened since the last time I have written a post, I hardly even know where to start.
It’s no secret that we struggled to fall pregnant with Sienna and no secret that I really didn’t have an easy pregnancy, but what happened next, came as a complete surprise and changed who I am forever. This is my birth story – Sienna Faith.
The first week of November 2015 Damien went to China, I was 31 weeks pregnant. When he asked me whether he could go to China or not, I said “sure there’s NO way I’ll give birth to Sienna when I’m 31 weeks, that’s too early”, so he went to China. On the Thursday I felt shooting pains going up into my cervix, so I was worried and went to my hospital where I was scheduled to give birth to Sienna to do a Stress test. They put the machines on my belly and said everything is 100% fine, no sign of labour, but that I should take things easy in terms of stress, work etc. Of course I never listened (I hardly ever do – defiant nature I guess) and carried on as normal, stress, long hours, tight deadlines etc.
I always felt in my heart that my second baby would come early, but I was thinking maybe, 36/ 37 weeks….
Damien returned from China on the Sunday and JHB was experiencing yet ANOTHER heat wave, I was hot, bothered, miserable and HUGE! I was thrilled that Damien was home, after a week away, as I don’t cope very well without my soul mate nearby.
Monday we all started work as usual and the deadlines got more hectic, requirements from head office more intense and my hours longer. By Thursday (32 weeks exactly, 12 November 2015) I was pooped, not even having time to go to the bathroom or to buy lunch. I remember asking a friend to get me a pie and a tab – YUK! I was about to leave to go home, swim and continue working from home and went to the bathroom before I left (as I always do). I looked down and just saw RED everywhere, I panicked to say the least.
I phoned Damien and asked him what to do. He said to go to the nearest hospital. So I drove myself to Morningside Medi clinic (not where our doctor is, but close to work and close to home). I was crying as I was driving and praying at the same time, “Dear God, please protect this baby”. I couldn’t feel her move and the fear of losing her was all I could think about. I phoned my mum on the way and all she could say was “stay on the phone, stay on the phone until you get to the ER.” I ran in and shouted “I’m 32 weeks pregnant and bleeding”. The staff were so efficient and helpful and got me to the gynae’s rooms within minutes. I met Dr Andre and the first thing he said with a smile was “Oh no man, why are you crying, everything will be ok”.
He started examining me and found that Sienna was still fine, amniotic fluid fine and that she was not in danger. I was 32 weeks and she was a enormous 2.10kgs! That’s huge for me, as Erin was only 2.88kgs at 39 weeks. He explained everything to me in a calm manner and said that I’ll be admitted to be monitored over night. I remember my midwife telling me that I have placenta previa, but not a severe case of it. My original gynae confirmed that it was not a serious case but that the placenta was low and that she would monitor it.
I spent the night in hospital in the labour ward, but first underwent an MRI as I lost my speech and my entire right vision was blurry – BLOODY scary! I remember thinking, I’ve never gone into labour before, but not being able to speak and losing your vision just doesn’t sound right. Side note – for anyone about to undergo an MRI, wow, that space is SMALL (and I’m not a big person). If you have claustrophobia, I suggest they knock you out before they do it and the NOISE. Must’ve been one of my scariest experiences of my life, but I had to be brave, for me and more importantly for my unborn baby.
I was wheeled back to my room around 10pm when the nurse put the monitors on my tummy again – to check for contractions. I was about to fall asleep and thinking, yay tomorrow I can go home, when the nurse came in with a drip tray and put a drip in my hand. She said that I had started contractions and that the medicine in the drip would stop the contractions. Dr Andre sent me an sms to say MRI all clear – yay, nothing serious!! I remember lying in the labour ward feeling so so alone, but so calm and realizing that God has this, this is out of my control.
I felt safe knowing that I was in the best hands possible. The nursing staff were so kind to me and the doctors treated me with such care. My new gynae (that I’d only met by chance) is one of the most caring people I had met. He assured me that everything was going to be fine, he even gave me his cell phone number and said I could phone him anytime, even in the middle of the night – something not many doctors do.
The next morning I woke up positive, I’m going home today. Well, not quite…
Dr Andre walked in and said that due to the bleeding and possible tearing of the placenta combined with early contractions that they’ll need to do the c section within the next 48 hours. He asked me which Paed I would like to which I answered Dr Dimitri (he’s Erin’s paed and also one of the kindest people you’ll ever come across). They both spoke to me and said that her c section would be tomorrow – Saturday 14 November 2016 at 9am.
I remember looking down at my phone and having many missed calls and about 20 unread messages, so I started replying and sifting through them, just as an OCD a type personality would do 🙂 Then I got on the phone to Damien and told him the news. He was very shocked and said “I haven’t even decided on a name yet”. This was not supposed to be, it was not how we planned. But it WAS how it was supposed to be – How God planned!
I phoned my mum to tell her the news and to ask her to buy prem nappies and prem clothes. I messaged as many spiritual mentors as possible, asking them to pray for me and having this extreme sense of calm come over me. People came to visit, so many I can hardly remember who was there, but each of them said, Amy you are so so calm. It was a supernatural calm that came over me for sure, as anyone know knows me knows I AM NOT CALM.
Sam came to do my nails, as I couldn’t have a c section without my nails looking good. My mum blowed dried my hair the morning of the operation. My make up wasn’t entirely as I had hoped, but then again, nothing was as planned. At least the bags were packed (as I’m organized like that 🙂 )
I never slept a wink on the evening of the 13th November 2015, I’m normally a VERY good sleeper.
The morning arrived and I remember singing “This is the day that the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it” My folks arrived first, both very excited (putting on their brave faces for me, but I knew inside they were very worried). Damien and Erin arrived 30 minutes before the operation and I could see in their eyes, neither of them slept well. Erin looked amazing in her Elsa dress from China!
The nurses prepped me, doctors spoke to me and I was wheeled off. Unfortunately the spinal block never worked and I needed general anesthetic. But by God’s grace, Sienna Faith Westerman was born at 32 weeks at 9:45am on 14 November 2015! 2.065kgs and 45cm tall, she is PERFECT!!!
I never got to see her on 14 November 2015, but when I saw photos of her I was immediately in love! She was sent to NICU where she spent the first 12 days of her life. More about my NICU experience in another post.
8 weeks early, yet perfect, Sienna Faith, I ADORE YOU!