Having been reading blogs by a number of lovely parent bloggers of late, (namely Mammasaurus, HPMcQ and Mother.Wife.Me) about the Save the Children campaign Build it for Babies and the subsequent Blog it for Babies campaign I felt inspired to get involved and share my birthing story again as part of a Blog it for babies initiative to raise awareness of the campaign.
But before I post my story here’s a bit of information about the Save the Children Build it for Babies campaign.
In Bangladesh 1 in 19 children don’t live to see their fifth birthday because of limited access to basic healthcare services. This means that preventable diseases are claiming the lives of innocent young children and babies.
Save the Children is appealing for £1 million to build life-saving clinics in some of the poorest and remotest areas of Bangladesh.
The clinics will reach:
- 21,500 women of child-bearing age with family planning services
- 3,000 pregnant women with antenatal care
- 2,190 newborn babies with postnatal care, breastfeeding support for their mothers and antibiotics when they become ill
- 2,218 infants aged up to one year, by helping their mothers to breastfeed and wean them safely and reducing the chance of life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea and the risk of malnutrition
- 43,600 people in the area with information on how to stay healthy and where to get help if they do become ill
I had to have a c-section due to problems with my hips and back meaning that I may have struggled with a natural birth. It just so happens also that my daughter was breach so it kind of sealed the deal anyway if there had have been any question about it. However what I didn’t bank on was the fact that it would all happen sooner than expected!
At 37 weeks I had an appointment with my consultant who felt that the baby was measuring on the small side so they decided to send me for a growth scan and booked me in for the next day. At the scan I was told that my amniotic fluid levels appeared low and they were concerned about the blood supply from the placenta as this also appeared low. I was asked to go along to the day assessment unit straight away for a CTG (listen to the baby’s heart beat), the results of which luckily came back fine.
I was booked in to see the consultant again the next morning and when we arrived he had a chat to us and said he didn’t think there was any immediate serious concern but since the baby was measuring on the small side and I had just hit 37 weeks he felt it better to be safe than sorry and that we should just get her out. He picked up the phone to check availability for a c-section the next week and I suddenly then heard him say “tomorrow? yes sure”. He put the phone down and said “How does tomorrow first thing sound?” I immediately laughed in a rather hysterical manner and looked at the midwife in the room, I genuinely thought he was joking but from the blank and serious expressions staring back at me I soon learned he wasn’t!
With an appointment scheduled and a shake of the hands my husband and I left the room in a state of shock, I’d been expecting to have at least another couple of weeks on maternity and hadn’t long been finished work. However it seemed my little girl was going to make an early appearance! We were sent back along to the day assessment unit for my bloods to be taken and consent forms to be signed etc. The ladies were lovely and made us feel at ease, even making us a cuppa! After an hour or so we were done and dusted and headed out to prepare ourselves for what was about to happen. I did in fact spend the whole day in a bewildered and hysterical state of shock and fear, rushing to prepare for the arrival of my little girl the following day!
That night I just couldn’t sleep, I kept thinking of the fact that the next day I was undergoing major surgery let alone about to become a mum! I suddenly started panicking about what if something went wrong and started muttering about not having a will to my husband and what I wanted to happen! I’ve had several operations on my hips over the years but not for quite some time and I suddenly felt very vulnerable. I don’t think my behaviour put him entirely at ease but I felt I needed to express these things!
The next day after a restless nights sleep and being nil by mouth from the early hours I headed to the hospital. I was greeted by a lovely nurse called Claire, she showed me to our recovery suite and helped me settle in. She was lovely, so calm, so friendly, instantly made me feel at ease. All the necessary checks were done and we were left to sit and wait until the theatre was ready. We were first in but we had to wait until an emergency c-section was completed so we ended up being called a little later than expected. It seemed like an eternity! I can’t even recall how we passed the time!
Once we finally got the nod hubby was dressed in his scrubs and a final bump pic was taken for good measure. I had my pre-med done and the lovely hospital gown donned! I was walked down to the theatre, bare bottom showing to all, to have my spinal put in and was shaking like a leaf! However the fabulous team that met me again instantly put me at ease. I just remember a lovely calming voice of a Scottish nurse and a really friendly anaesthetist, they were like a welcoming committee and chatted to me and really relaxed me totally. The only one freaky moment was the fact that I almost lost consciousness as they were putting my spinal in, I kept telling them I didn’t want to go to sleep and I was going to sleep and then I started to keel over so they grabbed me and laid me down quickly and I came back round. Turns out I had a slight dip in my blood pressure but it corrected itself (freaky though!) Once I was settled they brought my husband in and he sat by me at the top of the bed. The large sheet shield went up and neither of us could see anything. A nurse sat with us at the top end talking to us, as did the anaesthetist, it was all very jolly and surreal. My husband tells me that they hit play on a CD player and David Bowie’s “Changes” came on. I began to feel a bit of tugging and pulling but nothing too bad and then suddenly at 10.09am I heard a cry, it was my baby girl, MY baby girl, I was a mum! They hit stop on the CD player, it had all taken less than the time the track had taken to play out! Incredible! My little girl was wrapped in a blanket and handed to my husband who sat with her against my shoulder. We both just sat in utter amazement staring at our daughter, all the tiny 5lb of her! It took a further 40 mins or so for me to be sewn up and all I can remember is at one point my legs being lifted in the air, I could see them rise above the sheet that had been put up but couldn’t feel them, it was surreal, it was like one of those magic acts where body parts suddenly become separated from one another. I just looked at hubby and in a rather slurred voice said “are those my legs?” to which he started laughing and that in turn made me laugh too!
After around 20 / 30 mins my husband was taken back to our recovery suite by Claire with our daughter so she could be checked over, weighed, cleaned and dressed. By the time I was wheeled back round hubby was sat holding our little girl. It was then that I got my first chance to hold our daughter, skin to skin and try her on the breast, It was an amazing experience! Do I wish I could have held her instantly? Yes. Do I feel I lost out though? No. I still got my moment with my little girl and the important thing was that she was safe and I was safe.
The rest of the day admittedly is a bit of a blur… the drugs were great! ha ha! I remember being brought tea and toast quite soon after coming back to my room and my husband standing holding our little girl as we listened to screams coming from down the corridor. We joked that it was all quite quick and painless really! We spent a few hours in the recovery suite before being wheeled to the labour ward at around 4pm. The flurry of family started, the first being my proud mum and dad to welcome their first grandchild, followed by my sister and her husband and my best friend and a family friend. Our inlaws arrived the following afternoon after a mad dash back from France and they were over the moon!
The first day I didn’t feel much pain but over the next few days I was very uncomfortable, I take strong pain killers anyway for my back and hip so what they were giving me wasn’t doing a thing and I had to ask for something stronger. I don’t think I expected it to hurt as much as it did, every day I was in agony and smiled through the visitors before finally bursting into floods of tears when they left. I think the first night was the hardest, I had the crib laid next to me and could hear my daughter being a little sick, it sounded like she was choking and freaked me out. I was in such agony I couldn’t move to get to her and had to buzz the nurse to come and het her for me. I didn’t like that! However the next night was easier and the electric adjustable beds were a god send! It was quite hilarious watching myself and the girl I was on the bay with taking it in turns through the night to raise up and down like something from Dracula!
When they first got me up out of bed it was horrible. The stitches felt so tight I literally couldn’t stand up straight! I begged the healthcare assistant to stay in the bathroom for me… dignity out of the window! I think I was disillusioned too as I didn’t think I would bleed as much having had a c section… naive! I actually stayed in hospital for 5 days to get my pain under control. I know many women who have been out in 2-3 days no problem and with little pain, but this was just my experience and I felt comfortable knowing I had help close by. Having spent those 5 days in hospital I had got a good handle on looking after my daughter and excellent support breastfeeding so felt comfortable on returning home.
- Text BRICK to 70008 to donate £5
- Visit Save the Children Build it for Babies to find out how to get involved and raise funds
- If you are a fellow blogger join Mammasaurus’ Blog it for Babies campaign
- Share your birthing story to help raise awareness of the campaign and if you feel like it link back to or tweet Mammasaurus to let her know you are supporting the campaign too.
- Oh my god my baby’s coming early?! (amummysview.wordpress.com)
- blog it for babies (hpmcq.com)
- Calling all Bloggers! (mammasaurus.co.uk)