I’m not going to lie, I was a little scared about the actual having of this baby. Even though I had, had a fairly straight forward C-Section before and even though I had ultimately opted to be in this situation. I still had the bad feels about it. I still had to talk myself down a bit as the time grew nearer. I still weighed up the odds and probabilities and became increasingly anxious and agitated. I think it was all the signing of the forms, with the lists of risks and the Consultants then reciting them to me like their weekly shop. It also didn’t help that people kept wishing me luck.
“Good luck with next week!”
And instantly my mind would go to “Good luck? Good luck with what? Good luck with not dying? Good luck with having a healthy baby? What the hell do you mean GOOD LUCK?”
I had a few dreams about people putting their hands inside my body. About being held together with safety pins and my guts falling out. I had a couple of dreams like that and I don’t know why because I wasn’t traumatised by my sons birth, nothing bad happened.
I guess maybe I Googled too much and obsessed too much and watch far too many American hospital based dramas.
The truth is an elective c-section is a very strange animal to be involved in. It’s nothing like the bungling mess that was my first birth – delays, failed inductions, a constant stream of changing Midwives and Doctors, finalised with an emergency cesarean in the middle of the night. No, a planned one is very organised and the staff are all a bit nonchalant. Whilst I went through various stages of apprehension and impatience, the Midwives and Surgeons may as well have been preparing to pierce my ears in the shop window of Claire’s Accessories for all the fucks they gave.
Not that they didn’t care, they were all very kind and considerate but for them this was obviously just a typical day at the office. They’d done it a hundred times before, it was a no-brainer.
We were told to arrive at midday, as specified on my purple letter. I had barely slept, but I hadn’t slept that much during my entire pregnancy anyway so in that regard I felt relatively normal. I set my alarm for 5.45am because I wasn’t allowed to eat past 6am and took my first lot of anti-acids. I was supposed to eat a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal but I actually ate two digestive biscuits because that was all I could stomach.
In hindsight this may have been why I threw up on the Operating Table mid operation. If you ever wondered like I did, can you successfully vomit whilst paralysed from the tits down – the answer is decidedly yes. Someone gets a bowl, they mop you up a bit and your anesthesiologist presses a few buttons on your machine thing and you feel better within about sixty seconds.
We had spent the morning tidying the house, part by design (to keep me busy) and part by necessity (we knew nothing would be tidied again for a long time). Everywhere was hoovered, the kitchen floor was mopped and new bedding was put on all the beds. Then we left to go to Argos, so Adam could buy a sleeping bag to make the hospital floor more accommodating. We got to the hospital early and just before 12pm I took my second lot of tablets – more anti-acids and additionally some ant-sickness medication. I had these with the bottle of Ribena I was instructed to drink and after that I was nil by mouth. Then we headed up to the Post Natal Ward.
Yeah I found that weird too as I still very much pre not post anything. But it was because we were supposed to be allocated a private room, the room we would have post birth for recovery.
We were seen almost immediately by a Midwife and I was optimistic that this would be a quick turn around. I had all my checks done- blood pressure, weight etc and more bloody form signing. Then we were told that there weren’t currently any private rooms available and asked to wait in a side room. This wasn’t a problem in itself, the room was comfortable with a sofa and chairs.
Well it wasn’t a problem until they asked me to change into my hospital gown. We took this to mean that the Operation was imminent and I made the point of asking as much. I didn’t want to get changed yet unless I was going to Theatre first, because I didn’t want to sit around in a public room with my arse hanging out for hours.
I was reassured that I would be first and things would be happening shortly. So I changed (in the ward toilets, nice) and we waited. We then had several visits, from the anesthesiologist and the surgeons. All detailing the risks (give it a rest), all detailing the procedure.
‘Are you happy for a suppository pain killer to be administered in the Operating Theatre?’ I’m absolutely thrilled mate, you go right ahead.
And the whole time I was sitting there with no knickers on thinking “Jesus Christ, can you please just shut up and get this done!”
In the end, I wasn’t first and I did end up sitting in a public waiting room with my arse hanging out for several hours. To be honest that did piss me off. I didn’t mind about not being first, until they told me that I was first and then I wasn’t and I was knicker-less. Had they never told me that so early on, it wouldn’t have been a problem. We would have assumed that we were in for a long wait and I would have kept my under garments decidedly intact! Obviously something happened in the meantime that meant another lady went ahead of me and that is completely understandable. However in my opinion they shouldn’t say anything about the order of surgery until it is set in stone and happening. We had no idea how long the wait would be but didn’t think we would be having a baby anytime soon.
Then at about 3.30pm a Midwife appeared and said “they are ready, lets go” and suddenly we we were off, down the corridors and into the lift…
This Birth Story is continued in Part Two (link will appear here once published).