Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Noah's C-Section Birth Story

Well I can hardly believe how quickly the time has gone but my little newborn Noah is now 1 week old!!

It feels like I just got home from the hospital this morning but apparently a whole week has whizzed by, and so I thought I'd better settle down and write up his birth story before I start to forget parts of it.

If you've followed my blog for a while you will know that I chose to have my first son Tyne by elective c-section as I suffer with anxiety and panic disorder, and giving birth was a huge trigger for me...because I had Tyne by c-section I was given the option to have another one automatically this time which is what I wanted.

If you followed my pregnancy journey, you might remember that a few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I was struggling a lot with anxiety after being told that I wouldn't be given a c section date at 39 weeks like I had originally been informed but that instead the surgery date would be pushed back to my due date.

I had an appointment with a consultant and discussed my concerns, and she gave me a new provisional c-section date...I discussed this in my 38 week Bump Update and explained that I wouldn't be sharing the date of the c-section with anybody because the consultant had made it very clear that it was highly likely that date would be cancelled and pushed back if someone needed one more urgently than I did.

The date I had been given was 31st March....5 days after Tyne's 2nd birthday.

I think it was a good thing that the date was so close to Tyne's birthday as I didn't have much time to worry about it...

The day before I went out for a baby shower lunch with my mum, sister and nieces which is a bit of a tradition in our family...it was lovely but I spent the whole time checking my phone worried that the hospital might call to cancel the c-section.

They didn't.

That evening I went out for a meal with Jon...we went to Carluccios and had a lovely romantic dinner and chatted all about the next day and what might happen...but in the back of my mind I kept thinking that I'd probably arrive at the hospital the next morning to be sent back home again.

When the morning came, things started off a little hectic - we got up at 6.30 and I took a shower, and we got ready to leave - we were supposed to arrive at the hospital at 7.30 am but at 7.25 I was still at home getting dressed so I decided I didn't have time to put any make up on and would just do it in the car (I know you're not supposed to wear make up for surgery but I don't go ANYWHERE without it and wanted to just put a bit of foundation and mascara on!).

When we tried to leave Tyne woke up and got a bit upset that we were going out without him (My parents were there to babysit), so that delayed us a bit more.

When we eventually got in the car it was 7.40 am and I was too nervous on the journey to think about putting on make up!!

I wasn't too worried though as we had been told that we would be the last people to go in for surgery that day, so it would most likely be around 11.30 am...so I thought we'd have hours of sitting around the ward waiting to be called in to theatre.

So imagine my surprise when we pulled up in the car park 20 minutes late just as my phone started to ring...it was the hospital asking where I was as I was scheduled to be first in to theatre!!

Waiting to go to theatre - no make up and full of nerves!

We rushed upstairs to the delivery ward where a midwife met us - she gave Jon some theatre scrubs to change in to, and me a gown and some compression socks to wear.

The midwives looking after us were Debbie and Leslie who were both lovely.

I quickly changed and the midwife explained that we would be going down to theatre in a few minutes! Oh my goodness...I was so nervous! I had convinced myself I would have hours of sitting around to calm myself down...instead we had just minutes to spare!

The surgeon came and briefly introduced herself, as did the anesthetist.

Then after confirming a few details from my notes, we walked down to the theatre!

Jon was able to go into theatre with me this time, which made me feel lots better as for my previous section in another hospital he had to wait outside until the spinal took effect.

There were around 10 people in the theatre and they all introduced themselves.

I was sat up on the table, and they set about fitting a cannula...they weren't able to find a vein in the back of my hand where it would usually be fitted and so instead they fitted it into my wrist which I immediately didn't like!

The anesthetist then put a numbing agent on my back and set about administering the spinal block...I found this pretty painful but one of the nurses was very good and stood cuddling me while the anesthetist tried to find the right place to administer the injection - she was very comforting and kept squeezing my hand and telling me I was doing well.

Once the spinal was done, they laid me down on the table to wait for it to take effect - it was then that things started to get difficult as they decided that the cannula they had fitted wasn't working properly and they needed to fit another one.

During the procedure...

They tried in two other places but struggled to find a suitable vein...it started to get quite overwhelming for me as I had numerous nurses at each arm, squeezing and prodding at me, and sticking me with needles trying to get the cannula fitted...this went on for well over 20 minutes.

They then tried to fit one in my foot, which also failed.

It was then that I noticed that there was no music or radio on in the theatre like there had been with Tyne...it was silent apart from the beeping of the heart monitor machine which I could hear getting faster and faster...Jon was in there somewhere but there were so many people crowded around me that I couldn't see him.

I was numb now and that is the part of a c-section that scares me the most...not being able to move my legs...I was starting to feel very panicky.

The inability to move coupled with the silence other than the beeps from the machines and all of the people and fuss around me really started to send my senses into overdrive and I was crying...I thought about asking them to stop...I was already numb and I thought about how i'd be sitting around waiting for the feeling to come back to my legs for hours with no baby to show for it if I backed out now, but I was feeling so scared and anxious that I didn't really care...

Meanwhile, the anesthetist had fetched an ultrasound machine and they used that to find my veins and fit the cannula!

Finally it was all set up and we were ready to start after almost an hour of fussing!

The anesthetist used an ice cube to check that I was numb rather than the spray they'd used last time...I noticed I was numb much further up my body this time, right up to the top of my chest in fact.

The sheet was put up and Jon was brought over to my side at last! He chatted to me about how well I was handling it and of course I started to cry as soon as he started talking to me!!

I don't remember them telling me that they'd started like they did last time...I felt a bit of movement but nothing much....people always say it feels like someone doing the dishes in your tummy but i've never felt that...I don't recall feeling much at all!

One of the nurses told me that the baby was almost out and that he looked like he had a lot of hair...then I suddenly felt lighter as they lifted the baby out of me, and we heard his cry!

He screamed loudly for a good few minutes! The held him up over the screen for us to see before they took him to clean him off...I just remember seeing his "Bits" and thinking "Well he's definitely a boy!"...Jon and I laughed as we listened to his LOUD cry and talked about how much louder he was than Tyne...a minute or so later he was brought over to us.

Because of the position they had my arm in with the awkwardly-placed cannula I couldn't hold him, so Jon did...

It seemed to only be a few minutes after he was brought over that the screen was down and I was lifted onto a bed, the baby handed to me and wheeled out back to the ward.

We were put in a private room to recover for a few hours - the midwife weighed Noah, he weighed 8lbs exactly - and she let my Mum sneak in to see him.

I was able to start wriggling my toes again within about half an hour of coming out of surgery, which always makes me feel relieved.

I was given a cup of tea after about half an hour too, and the midwives gave me a bed bath...which I hated the experience of but it did make me feel much better!

We were taken down to the ward at 2pm, and Tyne came to meet his brother which was just the most adorable thing to watch (I'll talk more about that in another post next week!)

By 3pm, the midwife helped me up out of bed...I was able to walk around just fine so my catheter was removed.

That evening we had some visitors - my parents came to meet Noah, and so did my sister and her fiance.

I felt really well all that night and so the next day we were released.

That day we had more visitors as my nieces and nephew wanted to meet their new cousin too...

My recovery this time has definitely been harder than the first time around...I started to feel very sore on the second day, and by day 3 I ended up going back to hospital as my stitches had opened a little.

Now, 1 week on, I feel almost normal again but my wound is still a little sore and may be infected...I'm waiting for the results of some swabs to find out for sure and may need to take a course of antibiotics.

Other than that I just feel very very tired and I'm suffering with painful trapped wind again like last time.

If you'd have asked me up to a few days ago if I would choose to have a c-section I would say no...the experience this time was much more stressful than previously, I felt much more panicked than relaxed, and I really didn't enjoy the experience at all other than the last 10 minutes or so...I have also found the recovery so much more painful and difficult.

But looking back it's hard to remember all of that now that Noah is here...and it doesn't seem quite so bad on reflection.

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