I would do it all again
Cathlen Fourie recounts her turbulent pregnancy journey and says that despite the difficult experience, she wouldn’t change a thing!
Iwas 32 weeks pregnant when my waters broke with my second child. My husband is a pilot and he was in the Central African Republic on tour at the time. At first, I thought it was just one of those things that happen during pregnancy, but as I realised I couldn’t stop the flow, I went cold all over. It had been a difficult, high-risk pregnancy. I had suffered two early miscarriages, so this child would be our miracle baby.
I phoned my mom, my husband and a friend, and finally accepted that I was in labour. I had a full emergency plan and was able to quickly set it in motion. An hour later, I was admitted, still leaking amniotic fluid. The baby’s heart rate was checked and the nurse called my doctor. Luckily, contractions hadn’t started yet, so I was put on medication to help mature my baby’s lungs. My husband managed to get a flight back and spent the next 10 days by my side as we waited for our baby to gain enough weight to be delivered safely.
The C-section was surreal and although I was awake, I can’t remember much. It was cold, and I was shaking and nauseous most of the time. The doctors had to put immense pressure on my chest to help push the baby out and since there was no more amniotic fluid, the amniotic sac had to be cut carefully to free my baby. My son, Hano Liam Fourie, was born on 7 June 2017, weighing only 2.2kg. It was both the scariest and happiest day of my life. The time lapse between delivery and his first cry felt so long. The doctor laughed happily when Hano gave that first cry, satisfied that the medication had helped his lungs mature. Hano spent 13 days in the neonatal intensive care unit; he couldn’t latch properly as his sucking reflex wasn’t fully developed. He also started bringing up his milk after feeds.
There are no words to describe how awful it felt to leave him in the hospital when I was discharged. When he finally reached his goal weight and was able to drink enough milk per feed, he was free to go home with us. Rudi, our firstborn, was ecstatic to finally meet his brother.
The first five months were rocky; Hano had reflux and couldn’t sleep on his back in his cot, so he slept on his tummy on my chest. Then, on returning to work after maternity leave, I was retrenched. I managed to start up my own PR and social media marketing agency and was lucky enough to find full-time employment a few months later.
Hano is now a very active and bubbly 11-month-old boy. He has just cut his first tooth and started crawling. He loves having stories read to him, playing with the dogs and bath time. We are so blessed to have him in our lives and even though the pregnancy and birth were stressful, I wouldn’t change anything. Hano means ‘God is gracious’ and Liam means ‘warrior’. We chose his names at the start of my pregnancy, not knowing how suitable they would be.
‘ I had a full emergency plan and was able to quickly set it in motion’