Son of Sergey and Natasha Yakubov
Born on the 4th of August 2013, at the Whittington Hospital,
Weighing 8lb 11oz, Brother to Max, 3
Sergey and I met in Russia, when we were both at university. We fell in love, but I had to return to the UK to complete my degree. After graduating, I went back to Russia for a couple of years, and that’s where we got married.
We wanted to have children, but not straight away, so when I fell pregnant just three months into our marriage it was a big shock.
With our second baby we really wanted to plan things well and have a reasonable age gap between the children. Ironically, it took a little while to get pregnant the second time round.
This pregnancy could not have been more different from my first, which was very easy. At 29 weeks I had really strong pains in my lower stomach and back. It was nothing like I’d felt before, which got me worried, so I went to A&E. Sergey took the day off to look after Max at home, and I went the hospital alone. When I got there I was seen straight away, and the medical staff looked worried, which added to my anxiety.
I was sent to the labour ward, which, at 29 weeks, was terrifying. When I saw all the equipment and the crib I burst into tears, and kept saying that my baby wasn’t ready yet. The doctors were great, and they reassured me that everything was going to be okay. After a number of tests it was clear that I was not in early labour, which was a huge relief. The pain was still there, but having been prescribed strong pain-killers I was sent home.
Over the next ten weeks I went back to hospital with the pain another four times. Eventually I was diagnosed with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). As I grew bigger the pain grew stronger and on some days I couldn’t drive or do the simplest household tasks. This made looking after Max very difficult, and Sergey’s parents came over from Russia to help out, for which I was very grateful.
To keep the pain at bay I tried to keep as active as possible. I was offered four sessions of acupuncture by the hospital and I went to weekly pregnancy yoga and aquanatal classes. I think that these things helped me to have a natural birth. The possibility of a C-section had been mentioned, as SPD could have affected my ability to push, but I was really hoping for a water birth.
My waters broke at 39 weeks, while I was asleep. We rang the hospital, and they told us that there was no room at the birth centre but said that I should come in anyway. Because of the lack of space, I had to go onto the antenatal ward, which was far from ideal. To pass the time we went to the canteen, but by the time the food arrived I was in quite a bit of pain, and the contractions were now regular. We had to leave the food – much to Sergey’s disappointment – and return to the ward.
When we got there we were told that there was still no room for me, and I was now getting quite anxious. As the contractions became really strong I kept positive, and told myself that I would get a proper room, and have my much longed-for water birth.
Eventually a room did become available, and as soon as I got there I asked the midwife to fill up the pool. It felt as though I was in the water for just a few minutes before Nicholas was born. We were so happy to see him – and he was perfect. Sergey and I both cried. To have a water birth after all the anxiety and uncertainty felt amazing.
We went home the next day. It felt really strange – suddenly we had another little person in the house. I’d worried about how Max was going to react, but I needn’t have – he was great. Though, after a couple of hours he did say ‘you said I’d have a brother to play with, but he isn’t doing anything!’
We had to go back to hospital when Nicholas was five days old, because he had lost too much weight and had a fever. We stayed in hospital for five days and Nicholas was given antibiotics. It was a very stressful time, but thankfully it was nothing serious and we came home again when Nicholas was ten days old.
Sergey has been incredible – he was my rock throughout pregnancy, birth, and when Nicholas was poorly. I couldn’t have done it without him. His parents were also massively helpful, looking after Max and supporting us when Nicholas had to return to hospital. ✿