The days of Rex’s birth were such a whirlwind. Saturday during the day we took pregnancy and family pictures then that evening we went over to a friends house for dinner and to play with Eli and their son. On the way home I started getting what I thought was Braxton hicks contractions and stopped walking a few times on the way home due to increasing pain. I got home and within an hour or two they settled down and I was able to fall asleep. I woke up at 1:30 am in pain. At first I thought I was just in labor. I was having contractions every few minutes and my stomach felt sore in between contractions. I tried to take a bath, lay in different positions, walk, ice, heat, drink water, eat, but nothing was making it better. I was texting my mom and sister since it was daytime in the states, and we were all googling how to stop preterm labor. At 5 am I woke Joseph up because the pain was getting excruciating. By 7 am, it felt like I was having one long contraction that was never ending. I was trying to wait for Eli to wake up before going in, and as soon as he woke up I was ready to go! I remember telling Joe at one point he was either coming with me or I was calling an ambulance.
I called the hospital to let them know I was on my way, and within minutes of me arriving my OB was in the room. Her, the midwife, the pain doctor, and the nurse were in my room constantly for the next 3 hours. I was pricked in every place possible for blood, I had a shot to develop Rex’s lung since I was only 33 weeks, I had a shot for pain, ultrasound… you name it and I had it. They determined I was not in labor so they were trying to figure out the problem. When we arrived my temperature was 94 degrees, my blood pressure was extremely low, and my hemoglobin level was low. I stayed overnight and they continued to watch my hemoglobin level and monitor Rex constantly. By the next morning, my hemoglobin was still constantly dropping and was dangerously low, my pain had spread to a larger area of my stomach, my heart rate was increased, and Rex’s heart rate was dropping, so I was advised by multiple doctors with separate assessments that they needed to take the baby via emergency c-section ASAP. I was told this by the first doctor at 9:30 am and by 11:14 am, Rex was born.
Joe had left to take Eli to school, so I called to let him know to get back ASAP because Rex was coming. He was just a few minutes away and was back by the time the anesthesiologist was explaining what was going to happen during the c-section. Within minutes of Joe arriving, Joe was getting scrubbed up and we were taken to the “theatre room” (as they call it in the U.K.) for surgery.
Rex Joseph Wiesner was born at 11:14 am at Chelsea-Westminister Hospital in London in the Kensington Wing. He was 5 lbs 8 oz, and when we measured him later, he was 19.5 inches long. They don’t take babies length measurements here in the U.K., so we measured him a few days later. I heard him cry immediately which was such a relief. I didn’t see him for the first few minutes due to the NICU nurses and doctor assessing him, but Joe got to walk over and see him immediately, take pictures, and share them with me. As fast and surreal as his birth was, I was so in love with him and longed to hold him so bad. He was immediately put on oxygen due to fast breathing and his temperature was a little low at birth, so they had to wait until he was warmer to leave the operating room and head to the NICU.
I cherished these few minutes because I had no idea when I would see my baby again. The NICU at my hospital was already over capacity, so even before he was born I was informed that he would be transferred to another hospital. We had no idea where he would be transferred, but we were hopeful it would be close. Thankfully, the transfer team was delayed so he didn’t get transferred out until after 8:00 pm that night, so I got to make two quick trips to the NICU to see him. However, unfortunately the hospital he was transferred to was an hour from me.
As I saw him in the NICU before he left my hospital, he was laying in his cot, completely closed in, and I could only touch him through the small holes on the side of the cot. He was hooked up to every machine imaginable, had a C-PAP machine on, and he looked like a little baby just wrapped in a bunch of cords. I held on to the fact that he was bigger than most baby’s his age, so I was hopeful that would decrease his NICU time. Thankfully, when the sweet transfer team arrived, the nurse let me give him a kiss and hold him long enough to get a quick family picture!
I watched as my baby was strapped down in a transfer unit to get ready for transfer. We had no idea what the days ahead would hold, but for now, Joe was going with Rex and I was staying at the hospital. I longed to be with my baby. I felt like my body had failed him. He should still be inside of me. He shouldn’t be in a transfer ambulance moving to another hospital far away from me. This was not my plan.