Around the third trimester of my pregnancy, I noticed my baby had stopped moving, I knew something was wrong, and that was what saved our baby. After the delivery of my baby through C-section, my gynae congratulated me for my motherly instinct which I listened to thereby saving my son’s life.
Victor was born prematurely at 33 weeks on the 14th of April 2015 through C-section, the whole process was fast and dramatic, I remember being rushed leisurely driven to the hospital by my husband with the intention of finding out what’s wrong and getting back home. Instead, the doctor ordered his colleagues to prepare for surgery and I remembered the doctor muttering “Madam, you just saved your son’s life” just before the anaesthetic started it’s work and I couldn’t feel anything again.
Six weeks before my due date I had already taken my maternity leave which is early but I couldn’t help it. I could barely walk to the junction of my house without feeling pains in my hip and my legs felt like lead. I had pelvic instability and sitting down at my desk at work was torture.
My sweet husband chose that time to take his leave from work so we could spend some time together, but while he was always out with friends I would stay indoors enjoying baby’s strong kicks and punches. His kicks were pretty strong and he squirms constantly.
From the moment I felt him kick at 20 weeks I knew he is strong, his kicks were intense and frequent and I felt a surge of pride when I told my husband “we have a strong boy in here” he just rolled his eyes “you would know” he said sarcastically.
The morning before my pregnancy would be 7 months he didn’t kick to say good morning, normally he would say his good morning with a sharp kick and I would respond by rubbing my tummy and muttering a “good morning” in response. We did this a lot so I was familiar with the routine.
So it came as a surprise when he was so silent on this day, what could have made him go silently suddenly? I asked, and I immediately told my husband about it.
My baby had never been quiet for more than one hour but on this day I felt no squirming, kicking or punching against my belly, then I started crying. Worried that something must have been wrong for my lil champ to be so still.
My worried husband called my gynae who told him to bring me to the hospital, we got to the hospital, and I held my heart in my mouth as the doctor listened for my child’s heartbeat. His heartbeat was normal and he was still breathing, that was when I breathed properly.
As one of the nurses monitored my baby’s vitals, my husband gave me a foot massage, baby is in there breathing, but why isn’t he moving? I thought. Before I could hold that thought I had Braxton hick’s contraction and my baby’s heart rate dropped from 140 to 80 on the monitor. “Go get the doctor” I shouted to my husband.
The doctor arrived, and every time I had a contraction, my baby’s heart rate dropped. It would seem that my little one’s hand was near the umbilical cord, so everytime I had a contraction he would grip it, cutting off his own oxygen supply.
And that was it, a C-section had to be done, and quickly too. Things happened so fast
I was undressed, given an anaesthetic, and then moved into the theatre, there the procedure to bring out my baby as fast as possible started.
I trusted them and didn’t want to go home with an unhappy baby in my belly. I shook like a leaf as they inserted an IV, undressed me and wheeled me quickly into the theatre. And it didn’t take long before my baby was born. The doctor held him as he cried “me me me” in her hands. I only got a glimpse of him before he was taken away where he was given aid to help hm breathe.
Before sleep could take me out, he asked, “do you have a name for him?” “Champ” I mumbled before sleep took over me.
For the duration we were at the hospital, I loved the nights when I’d walk into the NICU room to feed him, the place was dimly lit and quiet so I was able to bond with my baby.
Before we left for home the doctor told my husband about how we could have lost the baby but for my instincts which was what saved our son’s life. I’m grateful that I was able to bond with my baby and know what’s normal and what’s not on time to be able to know when something was wrong.
After 3 weeks that felt like forever, my baby was unplugged and we took him home with us. We bundled him and careful drove through the road leading to our house. My Champ was never named Champ though, he’s a champ who called on me when he needed help and fought through to the end. Victor suits him more though.