A Father's story
For our She Gives Birth, You Give Blood initiative, we asked a number of women about their experience of giving birth and receiving blood – you can read some of those in our news and stories.
Now we’ll hear from some partners about what it’s like to become a parent. Andy became a father in November 2017, when his son Arthur was born. It wasn’t all smooth-sailing, but thanks to donated blood, everyone is happy and healthy today.
On the evening of 10th November 2017 we returned from having dinner with some friends, and my partner Emily, who was 37 weeks pregnant, said she had not felt any foetal movements for a few hours. This was on the background of 2 days of concern around reduced foetal movements, so after much deliberation we decided to make a 1am trip to the hospital, thinking that we just needed to be reassured that everything was ok.
“The baby needs to come out right away”
By 3:30am the Senior Registrar reviewed the irregular trace and dropped the bombshell: ‘I’m concerned. This baby needs to come out right away’. Before I knew it they were jogging Emily through to the surgery suite. I struggled to keep up.
Arthur was born at 3:50am by urgent caesarian section. The anaesthetist gave Emily and I running commentary of his first 5 minutes of life as she peered over the barrier: "He’s been born. He’s white. He’s very white. They’re performing CPR. OK he’s breathing by himself". One of the midwives rushed to get some blood for an urgent transfusion. Emily was taken to recovery and on her way out, one of the midwives asked if I would like to go and see my son.
As I approached she suggested I could hold his hand. I wrapped his tiny white fingers around my index finger and watched as a midwife depressed the plunger from a bag of donated blood. I could literally see the colour slowly entering his body, little streaks of purple and red appearing in his legs, arms, chest and around his face. It was an unforgettable experience, watching my newborn son being given life.
He spent a few days in NICU where he received another blood transfusion, but he made a remarkably quick recovery and we were able to take him home within a week. We later found out that due to a haemorrhage in the placenta, he had lost more than three quarters of his blood into his mother’s blood stream. He was very lucky to survive.
He’s now 8 months old and he’s the happiest little thing - he’s barely stopped smiling since.
She Gives Birth, You Give Blood
Every blood donation saves up to 3 lives, so when you donate blood, you’re not just supporting your partner; you’re also helping thousands of other Australian mothers and babies.