My husband and I always wanted children and even discussed it on our first date! So we felt very lucky that when we were ready conception came very easily to us.
My pregnancy was very smooth and rather boring, I had a tiny bump but always measured well. I felt very proud that I managed to work until 38 weeks on a busy medical ward in a large hospital.
I feel that I lean towards the more natural side of life, organic food, vegetarian, recycling everything, long walks and fresh air instead of tablets when feeling poorly, we even did the NCT anti natal course.
So when it came to my birthing decisions, I wanted a very relaxed home water birth, with peaceful music and a calm trusting environment. But I had a feeling quite early on this would not happen. I knew instinctively my baby had never turned head down. When I went to my one doctors appointment at 28 weeks he confirmed baby was head down, I argued with him at the time, but he over rode me and documented it in my notes, which I was angry about.
After a long discussion with my husband we opted for a private gender/position scan, which they then confirmed she was extended breech, which means her bottom was engaged in my pelvis, her head was tucked under my ribs on the right side and her feet were stretched up by her face.
I was quite upset as I knew my birth plan had effectively been shattered. They offered us an ECV, which manually turns the baby inside the womb, but I wasn’t keen on that idea. As the success rate in low and even if successful the baby can quite easily turn themselves back. Also the cord can not be seen clearly on ultra sound and I was worried about her becoming entangled in it without realising.
So I sat down and spoke to the consultant, and we agreed an elective c-secton was the best option, what he didn’t realise was the arguments and numerous discussions myself and OH had come from in making this decision. I was so disappointed and felt I had been robbed of my birthing experience and still it upsets me to think about.
On the day of her birth we arrived at the hospital at 8am, I had been nil by mouth since 10pm the previous night. We checked in, had bloods and blood pressure done and they gave me another ultra sound. At this point some babies may have flipped around and women get sent home, but mine was stuck.
So we waited, at 12.30 we were called for theatre, OH had to dress in scrubs and we had to laugh because he is a bald man with a thick goatee and they gave him a hat to wear! He has way more hair on his face then his head, lol.
I went into the theatre first so they could give me a spinal, where the put a one off dose of anesthesia into the spine which numbs you from the chest down, unfortuantely this took a long time to insert and was painful. I have no idea how women experiencing contractions cope. In the end the consultant had to take over and got it in first time. They joked that it was my fault because I was medical it was bound to go wrong!
A cannula, a tube in the vein, and a catheter, a tube into the bladder, were both inserted at this time.
When they laid me down and attached the monitoring my heart rate was 134bpm!!! I was quite worked up, but my OH walked in and that immediately calmed me and it dropped to the normal 80-90bpm.
After doing a few tests to see if I was appropriately numb, they sprayed my nipples with a freezing spray. I thought that was a bit invasive. They also used my surgical gown as a barrier, they lifted it up and bulldog clipped it to a drip stand either side of me, again I found that had an extreme lack of dignity, but I may be being picky.
Then they began what seemed like a procession of people, one person made the initial cut, another came in and air lifted the baby out and then another came in and sealed the wound.
I didn’t get to see the placenta and they suctioned out a lot of the blood so I bleed very little afterwards.
At first I couldn’t see the baby, she didn’t cry but I knew she was ok cause OH had gone straight over to cut her cord and was grinning ear to ear, then he brought her over to me wrapped in a blanket, I would have preferred skin on skin immediately but they were still fixing my wound.
At the end they placed the baby in a bassinet and wheeled her out with my OH, I was transferred onto a gurney and rolled onto my side, there they inserted a painkiller into my bottom to help with the pain, again I wish they had consulted me as I would have refused this as it constipated me and again I felt I had very little dignity.
We went to the recovery ward where I was given the baby and we had lots of skin to skin, my OH was brilliant and didn’t demand to hold the baby or separate us in anyway, he knew we needed time.
I did have a reaction to something, although we don’t know what and my face swelled up, I was offered anti histamine but I declined as it makes me sleepy and as my air way wasn’t effected I could cope with itchy eyes.
I regained feeling very quickly back to my feet, within 1-2 hours, which was good because the midwifery staff refused my parents entry to the unit, so I went to see them instead with the baby, in a wheelchair I may add. I didn’t go far, I was cross at the staffs stubbornness for this, to me especially working on the wards it made very little sense.
I had a settled night with the baby, infact she ended up in bed with me, a trend that would continue for a long time! And at 6am asked the nurse to remove my catheter, she was flustered at this request and said she needed to handover, I said that wasn’t a problem, but she came back with the appropriate equipment and left it on my table, honestly what did she think I’d do!! So of course I removed it myself and threw it away!
I ensured I drank plenty and pee’d a lot! I also made it very clear I was leaving that day or would self discharge, they discharged me at 14.00 and we were home by 14.15 to start our life as a new family.