Thinking she still had 2 months to plan for the arrival of her baby boy, Yolandi Boshoff got the shock of her life when she was told it was time...
2 months to go...right?
It was the end of 2008 and I had just stopped working. I was 32 weeks pregnant and just starting to worry about how I could possibly occupy myself for the next 2 months. Little was I to know that Ben would decide his arrival should be at 32 weeks.
Diagnosed with pre-eclampsia
Earlier in December I was diagnosed and hospitalised with pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure), which was very strange considering that I was usually the one with low blood pressure.
Monitoring blood pressure and protein levels
After my release I had to monitor my blood pressure 3 times a day at home, as well as the protein levels in my urine – apparently if these 2 are out of sync, it could be extremely dangerous for both mom and baby.
So we had just spent a lovely Christmas with my family and they left to go back to Jo'burg on New Year's Day. At this point I was walking around with ankles the size of tree trunks and I could wear exactly one pair of flip flops as nothing else fitted my boat-sized feet. My mother had kept me on my back for most of Christmas but no amount of feet in the air would make these babies go down!
Blood pressure and protein readings out of sync
I woke up on Friday 2 January to find that the 2 readings where slightly out of sync, and I was feeling pretty horrible... but that was how I'd been feeling for a month so why worry now?
But Rob insisted that we go off to the emergency rooms; he felt things were not right. After arguing for about 30 minutes, he basically forced me into some clothes, combed my hair and stuck me in the car!
Admitted to hospital and pumped full of steroids
When I was admitted, the doctor thanked him for bringing me in; they pumped me full of steroids and started monitoring my blood pressure and Ben’s heart rate. I spent Friday and Saturday in hospital thinking things where getting better, and then on Sunday morning at 9am, after another set of tests and readings, the nurse walked into my room and said that they have to take Ben out at 10:30...
What a shocker! I just burst into tears as I was supposed to still be pregnant and not sitting here prepping for an emergency C-section.Poor Rob rushed to phone all the family in Jo'burg and the UK to warn them. Lucky for me I live with the calmest man under the sun and he just took over and made me feel a lot more relaxed.
He had also spent the last 2 nights alone at home making my birthing CD as he was expecting this to happen more than I was. Once I was admitted to the theatre they played my CD and it was so amazing, I still remember listening to our Googoo Dolls song and waiting for the anaesthetist to try and do the epidural while Rob was hugging me.
Having to go under
Needless to say, with the amount of water retention I had (20kg at that stage), the doc could not get the needle into the right spot. I still remember sitting back up and the doctor saying that they needed to put me under for the C-section.
"He was born to one of my favourite songs"
On the mask went and I was out – this all happened in the space of a couple of songs. Rob experienced the birth on my behalf, took tons of photos and my son was born to one of my favourite songs, and I still get tears in my eyes every time I hear it on the radio!
I woke up a few hours later in a total morphine daze, and I remember them putting this little bundle on my chest... He was so small but he was healthy and alive! The rest of the day was a complete blur, but at least I woke up on Monday morning feeling a lot better and in touch with reality.
A healthy baby boy
So Ben weighed in at 1.6kg, and he was the cutest little miniature baby ever. Lucky for us there were no complications and he didn’t even have to go on the ventilators. The doctors made the right choice by starting the steroids on the day I checked in.
3 weeks later he weighed a whole 2kg, I weighed 20kg less and he came home! Ben is now 18 months old and weighs almost 12kg and is the healthiest little boy!