The journey of our little angel Ava
My amazing pregnancy journey began January 10th 2013 when my period was only one day late. I knew something wasn’t quite right and took a test. To my amazement it was positive! I told my partner the following evening who could not contain his excitement of our 4 week old baby that he had to tell a friend which in turn spread to our wider circle of friends overnight. I was still in disbelief so on the Sunday morning I drove to the beach where I’d grown up and took another test. It was still positive. I took a bottle of red wine (that I’d brought a week before and now knowing I wasn’t going to be able to have it for awhile) around to my mums house “Hi mum, here’s a gift for you. I need to tell you something” she knew straight away. The doctor confirmed everything on the Monday also. I was recommended Gail by a friend who had been with maternity matters for her pregnancies. Turned out our baby was conceived on Christmas night.
The next few months moved along quickly. We were both able to feel our baby kick for the very first time together at 19 weeks. We both cried, not only did this bring us closer it made us realise that we were ‘really’ creating our own family.
All my scans and tests came back positive however at around 30 weeks my scan showed the baby was slightly small and we met with a specialist at the hospital to begin what would be regular meetings to discuss induction.
My bestfriends hosted my baby shower on Sunday 18th August at a great restaurant in Grey Lynn. It was amazing, such a great day where our little baby received plenty of gifts. Arriving home that night I unpacked everything and just looked at it all. It still hadn’t quite sunk in that in just over 4 weeks I would be holding our baby for the first time. I went to work Monday, it was a busy day as Thursday would be my last for six months. An uneventful night followed; my regular tv shows and bed. I woke at 5:30am on Tuesday 20th August realising I still had 15 minutes left of sleep before my alarm. I needed to go toilet but it was so cold I decided to stay in bed as long as I could. The urge over powered me and I soon got out of bed. I went toilet, washed my hands and got back into bed. Then I kept weeing… Or so I thought.
I rushed back to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. It was continuous. I got my phone and googled waters breaking. I was only 35 weeks, 4 days and thought this was far too early.
I rung Gail straight away. We were to meet at the hospital in a few hours time. After hanging up the phone I sat there not knowing what to do. I soon began packing my hospital bag which posed a bit difficult due to all our baby items and personal items been at our new house in Huia that we weren’t set to move into until Friday. I packed new born clothes not thinking I was about to have a baby. Early.
I rung my partner (who at the time was still living at his mums) I woke him with the most amazing news, at first he didn’t believe me then the excitement took over. He rung me back after just to double check my waters were still breaking! I woke my mum after that and it was all on. Christian arrived and went straight out to Huia to try find some prem clothes which were still all packed away with everything else. I kissed my dogs goodbye not realising it was the last time id see them without a baby in toe. We arrived at Waitakere hospital and went through to Piha ward. Gail and Kelly were soon there and we began checking baby’s heart rate which was strong.
I was transferred to a ward in Bethells where I’d spend my last night alone. My partner, mum and mother in law stayed with me the whole day. The hospital midwife applied the cervical gel twice but to no avail. I was booked for induction at 9am the following morning.
I tried to relax as much as possible that night with Christian leaving around 9pm.
I woke at 6am and rung Christian who arrived shortly after followed by both our mums. We were taken through to a birthing suite and it all began at 9am. Gail kept me calm with her nurturing and positive energy and kept my nerves at bay. The induction began and by 10am I was in active labour. Around 1pm the pain was intolerable and I requested an epidural which I was given promptly. The lights went off and I rolled over to try get some sleep, I was in for a long run.
Moments later a cramp like spasm started up in my left bum cheek. The pain was worse than the contractions, I was in tears. The hospital midwifes first assumption was that it was a pocket the epidural did not reach. Just as we were discussing increasing the dose Gail walked in. Thankfully she gave me an internal and told me “babys on their way. The heads right here!” The pushing began! It seemed like it went in forever.
There standing at the foot of my bed was Gail holding our brand new baby. “It’s a ginga” was the first thing she said, I still have a chuckle about this to this day. Gail always knew how to make me laugh as well as comfort me at the same time. She handed me my baby, “it’s a girl” – the word ‘girl’ made me burst out in tears. I’d always wanted a little girl and this made not finding out baby’s gender even more rewarding.
Our baby girl Ava was taken down to SCBU where her and I would stay for a week due to having low blood sugar (she later developed jaundice too). Gail stayed with Ava and Christian while I showered etc before joining my family in SCBU.
It was a long, hard, emotionally draining and upsetting, happy, exciting and joyous week where the bond between my daughter and I strengthened by the minute.
Gail came to see us everyday. Seeing Gail always made me feel better I knew we were in the best hands. Gail supported everything, our decisions, birth plan, everything. She knew I was quite nervous about developing pre eclampsia due to genetics and tested my urine everytime which put my mind at ease. Gail provided the utmost excellent care for my family. Always ready and willing to answer any questions or concerns no matter the time of day. We are really looking forward to having another baby as we know that our next baby will be as supported and cared for as our little angel Ava was.
We can’t express how thankful we are for everything Gail.
On the one year anniversary of our conception (Christmas Day 2013) my partner Christian and our beautiful daughter Ava sat before me in front of the Christmas tree. There was a large box with my name on it. Inside was gold and silver Crete paper. Pulling it all out I found a small red box at the bottom. Not only will I always cherish Christmas as the day we created our daughter, one year to the date it was the day my two everything’s would sit before me and propose.
Ava Akasha Catmull-Gillespie
21.08.2013 ~ 2:21pm
2.280kg ~ Our perfect angel