If you have been keeping up to date with my blog you will know I had a planned c-section due to baby being breech, I hate it when they call it 'elective' although you do have a choice to go ahead with a natural delivery it's not advised or encouraged and to be honest no one really discussed it as a possibility with me, I am sure if I had pushed for natural delivery my hospital would have helped me to achieve this, but with all the risks associated this wasn't an option for us.
I was so upset when I was told I would be needing a C-Section. Don't get me wrong I'm not a pain seeking weirdo but I felt robbed of a 'birth story' and I was really about the recovery process, well... I can assure anyone in the same position that as soon as baby is with you safely and in your arms, how he or she got there is totally not an issue!
I want to talk about the day Albie was born in detail, I know a couple of bloggers and friends all pregnant with breech babies so I want to make sure any concerns they have are covered, I'm not a big worrier especially when you have no control over a situation but I was really struggling with a couple of things and was constantly looking up things in google/mumsnet/netmums for answers to the most random of questions.
Wednesday 18th September - the most magical day of our lives
I had to starve from midnight on the 17th, so it's fair to say when I woke up at 5am an hour and a half before our alarm I was starving, I couldn't even have my morning cuppa. I did however have a small drink of water to take an anti-acid tablet given to me by the anesthetist in a previous appointment. I was pretty nervous and excited all in one, I thought within a few hours we would be parents.
We arrived at 8am and we were taken straight to a delivery suite, I was fitted with some very flattering compression stockings and a lovely hospital gown. How Mr.C kept his hand off me I don't know, Fit right???
Yes we shared the bed and yes Mr.C feel asleep. We had to wait until 2.45pm to be taken down as there was one person in front and an emergency to be dealt with. I was starving, OK, Look and Hello Magazine had all been read so it got pretty boring. We were however kept up to date all the time and were visited by a few doctors and midwives during this time. We also had a scan to double check he was still breech, he was of course.
We met our charge nurse and I'm annoyed that I can't remember his name but. he was so lovely, friendly and relaxed, he took Andi away to get into some scrubs, which he had a great deal of fun posing with.......
He thought he was in ER- not quite George Clooney Love ay? He does make me laugh and helped me to chill out.
I was then given another gown to cover my butt cheeks when we walked through to theatre.
Eeek here goes.
The first thing I noticed about the theatre was the temperature ! It was freezing cold and I had adrenalin warming me up!! I was then asked to sit on the bed by the anesthetist (she had already been in and introduced herself) she really took care of us and stayed up my end the whole time with the charge nurse. She gave me a local anesthetic in my hand- it didn't hurt, no worse that a blood test ladies! A Cannula was inserted to hook me up to some fluids, I did feel a slight cold feeling run through my arms, normal apparently. We were asked if we wanted skin to skin, I chose not to, there was enough going on and I didn't want to risk holding baby whilst being operated on. They were totally cool with this. They placed a blood pressure band on my arm and told me this would be going on and off throughout. The anesthetist then moved round to my back and undone my gown, I was spayed with a cold liquid, when I say cold it's like ice so be warned. I was then given a pillow and Andi was asked to stand in front of me and help me drop my shoulders whilst I curved my back into a C shape, easier said than done when you have a baby tucked up under your ribs.This was probably the most painful part, and when I say painful It wasn't bad just the worst out of everything, again I was injected with a local, no pain, just a slight bee sting sensation. The anesthetist then had to find where to put the spinal, it was the pressure of her on my back that hurt (slightly) I didn't feel her put the needle in at all! Honestly if this is a concern of yours, don't let it be. Obviously everyone is different but I didn't feel a thing. They then told me to lay down and after a minute I could feel slight pins and needles, the feeling was so funny. They did warn me I might start to feel nauseous, which i did, I told them and within 2 minutes I felt normal again, during this time a curtain had been put up just below my boobs.
The anesthetist then told me she was going to test the spinal by spraying me with an ice spray, she tested on my arm so I could feel the temperature, she started at my legs and worked her way up to under my boobs, it was so strange I could feel the spray but I couldn't feel the cold at all, I was slightly worried that this was the only test they perform before cutting me open !! I could still wiggle my toes so that freaked me out a bit. I told them. They said its normal, I will still feel touch pretty much but would feel no pain. After a couple of sprays she told the surgeons I was all fine and a catheter was inserted. I have always hated the thought of a catheter, it was the main thing that put me off an epidural, they make me wince when I just think about them. However I didn't feel a thing.
About 5 mins later and knowing I was being touched the charge nurse let us know that they had started and were in, we would have a baby by 3.30pm. Andi was up with me the whole time checking I was ok. I was fine, we just had a little chat with the anesthetist and the nurse. It's mad!! They told me I would start to feel some pressure when they try to wiggle baby out, I did feel pressure, I can only describe it as knowing exactly what's going on but without feeling any pain with it, if that sounds possible. After about 4-5mins of pressure we heard our little boy start to cry, Amazing. They held him up to show us and said they would take him to double check him over, Andi went with him. He came back and told me how gorgeous the baby was. During this time, the nurse and anesthetist continued talking to me. I could then feel a bit of pain, well not pain but pressure, it was like I could feel them putting things back where they should go but no pain!! I'm sure I heard one of them say 'the bladder is slightly to the left' ewwww TMI thank you very much!
They then weighed Baby and asked if we had a name, which we hadn't decided at the time. Baby C weighed 7lbs 12oz. Check out those long feet!!
Andi then went with the midwife to the the other side of the room and dressed baby in his clothes and hat that we had taken down with us. Andi came back over and sat down next to me with baby.
Our first official photo- excuse me in this I was being put back together, I love this though. I have never seen Andi smile so much. Such a proud husband and daddy moment.
Once I was all sewn up, Andi passed baby to the midwife and was taken to get out of his scrubs, I'm sure they time this right as during this time I was rolled from the surgery bed to my bed, not the most graceful of moves being that I couldn't move my lower half! I felt like such a lump. Haha.
Baby was then given to me for our first cuddle as mummy and son. It was the best feeling ever, and baby was wide awake with both eyes examining what was going on around him! Andi was waiting for us outside the room. I was taken straight back to the room we were previously in.
We decided to name him Albert Rodney Clarke, just Albie to us. I don't know how he smelt so nice but it's the most amazing natural smell. We fell in love ! Here is a pic of his first proper cuddle under my gown.
So that's the op covered.... Maybe take a break and put the kettle on and grab a biccie for the rest :)
I was obviously unable to move my bottom half for the first evening pretty much- once I started to get feeling back I still couldn't go anywhere as I had my catheter in. I had already had my fluids stopped so my hands were free for lots of cuddles. I have to give my husband full credit for the first evening and day, I couldn't do any nappy changes or get baby dressed! So ladies think of that as a positive, this yucky meconium poo everyone tells you about, you never have to clean up:) it totally throws the guys in the deep end, it was amazing to watch Albie and his Daddy together. I saw on a quote on facebook this week 'I never knew how much I loved your daddy, until I saw how much he loved you' This is so true, it's a total melt your heart moment when daddy talks and kisses baby adoringly.
I felt fine in myself, I didn't know the catheter was in and it was actually quite nice not to have to worry about getting up, I was paranoid about it filling up though so did keep asking them to check as it was the other side of my bed. I couldn't lean to get Albie out of his little cot during the night so had to keep ringing the bell and ask them to come in and help me change him and pass him to me for feeding etc. We had a private room so it was nice to not to hear everyone else's babies and try and sleep, even if Albie had other ideas. I can not give the midwives and the other staff of Basingstoke hospital enough credit, I was really well looked after and nothing was too much trouble for them. Albie was born on a full moon, well a harvest moon- extra bright, the midwife mentioned that all the babies were pretty restless that night, Albie included (our 3am photo is below) He was sick after his milk quite a lot but they told me it's normal for c-section babies to get the fluid up and out.
Mr C returned the next morning to a sleepy mummy and a fast asleep Albie. I had my catheter removed after visitors left at 4pm. I forgot to mention during my stay I had been washed by the nurses and all padding changed. My dressing was still on my scar though. I was terrified of the catheter being taken out, the nurse promised it didn't hurt, she drained a little fluid from the catheter which is how the it stays in place and then asked me to cough a little (errrr not easy when you feel as though you will tear open) she was right it didn't hurt, I felt it coming out but no pain. Phew!!
The worst part of my stay was probably trying to stand for the first time. The only criticism I have is that I wasn't really advised how to get out of bed so I kind of just guessed to roll and push myself up using my arms not tummy muscles. That was fine. Standing up was not so fine, I felt like everything was pulling me downwards into a hunch, I was scared to stand straight. I sat back down and the nurse left. I was glad to be free of tubes. I attempted to walk to the other side of my room, I had to sit down once I was there, I didn't feel right and started to sweat, I was next to Albies cot and didn't want to fall or pull him over so attempted a walk back to the bed, I just made it in time to press the emergency button, I could feel cold sweat dripping off me and I was really dizzy, as soon as they came in they saw how white I was and put me gently on my side, luckily they made it before I passed out, I was patted down with cold wipes and my blood pressure taken, it was really really low, they told me I was the colour of the sheets, I started to feel more normal after a minute or so, they took my blood pressure again and it was creeping back up. I was so upset as I thought it was a real set back, then I remembered I had to get up again as I had to wee at some stage and there was no way I was getting a catheter put back in. We had a few visitors come and see us, luckily my mum was there to come to the toilet with me, I managed to get up this time, I would advise you to take your time once you are sitting up, I felt quite breathless but they told me it's normal or it could be low iron levels. They told me I didn't lose much blood during the op so unlikely to be iron they checked the following morning and levels were fine. I was given a pot to pee in and only when you go for three wee's over 300ml will you be let out. I had to get my mum to hold it under me whilst I went the first time - Nice!! I would recommend making someone come with you the first time either a nurse or a relative, I couldn't imagine leaving over enough to catch my pee.
It felt good to be able to get up. During that night I wasn't sure how much I could and couldn't do, my tummy was a little tender but not painful, it was still pretty numb around the scar and still is to be honest. I was still calling the midwifes to pass him out however she said I needed to try and do it myself and showed me how to do it, she really encouraged getting on with things to help my recovery. I did my first nappy change that night. It was nice to feel I could do it!
On Friday, (day three) I had done all three wee's so my Cannula was removed, again no pain at all- it's pretty big so I was expecting it to hurt but nothing. I did start to feel a couple if twinges on my scar area so I called the midwife again, she came and removed the dressing, I was so worried about it opening the scar so was pretty tense, she told me the sticky part was no where near my scar so not to worry, once she said that I relaxed and it was fine. She told me it looked all normal and some discomfort was to be expected. She then came and talked over a few things with me and told me I was free to leave when I was ready, I called Mr C who was busy getting the house ready for our return home. Once he arrived he helped me into the shower, he was so good passing me all my things and helping me get undressed and dressed again.
I was given my meds to take home and off we went on our way home as a family for the first time. Ladies, make sure your driver takes it easy over speed bumps they can hurt a little!
If you have stuck with this then well done you. I didn't want to miss anything out, as I know a couple of readers might be in the same boat.
We have been home a week now and all is going amazingly well. We love our little family and couldn't be happier.
Excuse Mr.C he had been down getting the garden ready for winter so in his work clothes.
I'll do a separate post covering my recovery, but so far so good. Fingers crossed it continues that way.
Are you having a C-Section? If you have any questions please get in touch and I'll be more than happy answer them.