We’d been asked to arrive at the ward between 7:30 and 8am. We arrived at ward and were shown to observation bays. Visited by elective section midwife who I’d met at pre-op, my consultant, the consultant anaethetist and have obs done. Birth reflections midwife I’ve seen through my pregnancy also pays me a visit to see how I’m holding up with nerves. Told there is an emergency in theatre and it may be a while.
Just before 10 the anaethatists assistant had arrived and was walking us round to theatre, that in itself was very surreal, walking into theatre! I hopped up on the bed and had my feet raised on a stool, a pillow to hug and a sexy hair net put on! First off it was cannula time! CA tried to get it in my left hand first, bashing it to get the veins up, to the point I have bruised knuckles! The woman clearly has hands of steel! She popped it in and for whatever reason it hadn’t worked so now it was time to do the same on the other side! Thankfully she hasn’t bruised me as much on the other hand and that one took!
I was fine about the ones going in my hands, I wasn’t concerned about that, now was the big one, the spinal, the one I have dreaded for 9 months! Bent over and with my back in the position she wanted Mum was told to hold onto my shoulders, which I was reminded I needed to relax, I remember her talking to me telling me each step but all I was thinking about was the hypnosis’ that the lovely Tums2Mums had sent me and to make sure I didn’t hold my breath.
Theres no denying it was uncomfortable but it was no where near as bad as I had envisaged! They then helped me lay down as I was starting to get very heavy legs. Initially it only took on the right side of my body so after lots of bed tilting to the left and head down, the midwife then fitted the catheter and after about 5-10 minutes of frequent checks using the cold spray to see where it was working up to on my chest the CA was happy and gave the all clear for them to start cleaning my stomach and prepping everything.
Obviously I could feel the pressure of people touching me, brushing me with the antiseptic etc but not the actual “touch” if that makes sense. Its very surreal.
At this stage I begun to feel quite out of it. I’m pretty certain this was the first time my blood pressure dropped and I was feeling cold to the point I was physically shaking. It felt very similar to how I felt as things started to go wrong during DS1’s birth, I was very aware of this but felt strangely calm, after all everyone around me was calm.
They put up the screen and started covering me and taping me with the lovely blue sheets before doing a roll call of everyone in theatre, a humourous moment was when my consultant failed to answer his name so the nurse shouted at him until he responded! Hes such a chilled out guy hes awesome! By this point we had probably been in theatre a good 45 minutes, they were in no rush that was for sure.
Eventually they said they were ready to start and I expected to hear screaming quite quickly however my consultant was taking his time going through the individual layers and it was another 10-15 minutes if not longer before they said that he was about to be born.
The CA had been frequently shoving syringes into my canula and topping it up with drugs, I was well aware she was doing this and had a good idea it was probably in relation to my heart rate and blood pressure but I wasn’t going to ask and get freaked out even more, I figured I’d let what was going to happen, happen! It transpired afterwards that any time my heartrate went below or above my “safe levels” she was topping me up to bring it under control again, I can’t fault her she was amazing, extremely calm and very on the ball with what she was doing.
The theatre nurse then said I’d feel a lot of pressure on the top of my bump as they helped to push the baby out and as they did I could feel the weight of the baby kind of lift and pressure ease across my stomach as he appeared around the curtain in the hands of my consultant! He let out a good wail and was then handed to the mw for a clean up. By this point the CA was now trying to distract me from my tears with discussions about what he would weigh and if I had names etc.
It felt like an eternity before he was brought over although I’m sure it wasn’t and the CA and her assistant made room on my chest moving all the canula wires and monitors so that I had my hands free and could hold him. They placed him across my chest and I spent ages just staring at him in complete disbelief that he was actually here!
I could still feel lots of rummaging in my stomach and pressures but it was not a pain feeling, just an awareness that I aws being moved about a lot! We had cuddles for a good 15 minutes or so and then he was taken off to be weighed and such.
The CA came and told me he weighed bang on 6lb 10oz or 3 kilos! After he’d been weighed and checked over they brought him back over but I was starting to get quite sleepy again so let Mum sit and hold him.
Eventually they said they were just stitching up the final layers and were almost done. My consultant then popped his head over to congratulate me again and I said some delirious thanks for delivering him safely before he headed off and the theatre team prepared to move us to HDU.
That in itself took a while as they had to remove all the surgical covers off me, clean my stomach again etc, they eventually brought the bed in and slid me over onto it and popped me on my side so that when we got to HDU we could breastfeed.
We arrived on HDU and the nursery nurse was there ready to help me get him to latch on and he took to it immediately. The CA stayed about for a few minutes to explain my heart condition to the midwife and what monitoring she wanted of it before she headed off and I then suddenly realised that everything was ok, there weren’t 20 people around my bed as there had been with DS1’s birth, I felt ok, I was feeding my baby and my heartrate wasn’t out of control and nor was I losing any blood. It was a strange sense of relief that things had gone ok although part of me still anticipated something or other arising, and I did throughout Monday, it never did though. I came out of it the other side with a positive birth experience.
It may not have been the natural birth I always dreamt of prior to having DS1 but it was a complete contrast to DS1’s emergency section and an experience that I couldn’t recommend enough. I was lucky to have an amazing theatre team, a consultant who knows my anatomy as he’s been treating me for 3 years so he knew what he was opening up to. I had a consultant anaethatist who listened to the complications from last time as well as how my body generally reacts to anaesthetic and she was on the ball and kept on top of it.