Thursday 23 February 2017

An Elective C-Section - Erin's Birth Story

When I fell pregnant last year, I soon started thinking about giving birth and how I planned to do it. In my first pregnancy with Elliot, he was 2 weeks overdue and I ended up being induced with not much success. He was far too happy in my tummy and in no rush to come out so I eventually had an emergency c-section. ( Good job too because he was enormous at 10lb 13oz!)

This time round I knew immediately that I would be having another c-section. I know alot of ladies go onto have successful VBAC's but in my mind I had visions of having another unsuccessful induction and the whole thing being dragged out over a few days again. I liked the idea of knowing exactly when the baby would arrive - this meant we could arrange childcare for Elliot and not be rushing around like headless chickens! 

A few days before my c-section date my husband and I went along to the hospital for a pre-op meeting. I had no idea what to expect but there were several other couples there who were all booked in for the same day. We were given lots of information on what to expect on the day and the all important consent forms to sign. They took some bloods from me and I was given some anti-sickness tablets to take on the evening and morning before the op. 

I didn't get alot of sleep on the night before my c-section, other than needing to wee about 50 times I just felt really nervous and kept waking up! We arrived at the hospital for 730am and were greeted by the lovely midwives that we'd met at the pre-op meeting. We were taken to the ward and straight away we were given gowns and scrubs to change into - eek, things were moving fast! Standard obs were done - blood pressure, pulse etc and I was given some sexy compression stockings for after the operation.

We were the second couple to go down to theatre and we got called in just after 10am. I'm not sure what I expected but it was all very relaxed! The radio was on and all the staff were chatting away and cracking jokes. I was feeling petrified but the atmosphere did calm my nerves a little!

I was told to sit on the operating table with my legs dangling down - I had to kind of arch my back and push my chin down onto my chest so that the anaesthetist could find the right spot in my back for the spinal. Paul tells me the needle was ginormous but I didn't really feel it go in, the worst part was feeling the anaesthetist pushing onto my spine - this really bloody hurt!! It's also really tricky to keep your back in the correct position and they had to keep telling me to " keep your shoulders down, don't move!". Eventually they told me the spinal was in and that I would feel my body go warm - immediately my lower body went all numb and it did indeed feel all warm. They helped me swing my legs round and onto the table and I was told to lie down as fast as I could. It was a really peculiar feeling, I literally couldn't feel a thing!

It felt a bit strange to be lying on the operating table as it was slightly tilted - I had no idea why at the time but apparently its so the weight of the womb doesn't reduce the blood supply to the lungs, causing blood pressure to drop. All I know is, it felt a bit odd to not be lying completely flat!

Up went the screen and the midwives were constantly monitoring me while Paul sat up the top end near my head. They sprayed a cold spray up my body so they could check the spinal was working - it was, thankfully! It's a very strange feeling having a c-section because you know the Drs are working away down there but you just feel a bit of tugging.

Within about 10 minutes we heard a baby's cry and Erin was lifted up for us to see! I couldn't believe how quickly it all happened. She was cleaned and wrapped in a blanket and was given to Paul to hold. My first thought was wow, she looks just like Elliot! He sat with me while I was sewn back together and this part is a bit vague as I suddenly felt really sleepy and couldn't keep my eyes open. I just remember hearing Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop the Feeling being on the radio!

We were wheeled down to the recovery room and I was given oxygen as my blood oxygen levels were low - this is why I had felt so sleepy after Erin was born. It was a bit of a pain, the mask kept getting in the way when I was finally allowed to hold her but I was told I needed to keep it on for a few hours until they were happy with my levels. Erin was weighed and we found at that she was 9lbs - not quite as large as her big brother but a pretty decent size!

After around an hour of being prodded and poked in the recovery room, we were taken to one of the post-op rooms where we spent the rest of the day. Slowly I started to regain feeling in my toes but I felt pretty groggy otherwise, the room was baking hot so I think I just drifted off to sleep on and off while Paul sat with Erin and the midwives came and went. One of the stranger things I experienced was itching! Apparently this is a common side effect of the spinal but my tummy and chest was so itchy, uncomfortably so!

Towards the end of the afternoon my oxygen levels had increased and I was allowed to finally take the mask off. I was also encouraged to stand up and walk around a little once they had removed the catheter. I managed to hobble to the toilet - it wasn't overly painful but I made sure I said yes to all the drugs they offered! I was also able to eat for the first time in hours but it was probably a bad idea choosing fish from the hospital menu - one bite and I puked all over the floor and my clean top which I had only just put on! I was sick a few times through out the rest of the day and I didn't really get my appetite back until the following morning. Nausea is quite common after c-sections.

My parents brought Elliot in to visit that evening and I was glad I was able to be up and about and not in the hospital bed, I didn't want to overwhelm him too much and I know he'd get a bit freaked out if he saw me looking poorly in bed!

Later that evening I was taken up to the postnatal ward and my husband went home for the night. I noticed that the other ladies had their husbands staying with them but I didn't mind Paul going home, it had been a long day so I knew he probably needed a good nights sleep, something he wouldn't get on the wooden hospital chairs!

Erin actually slept pretty well on the first night - unlike the other babies on the ward! I'd forgotten how noisy it can be on the postnatal ward, not to mention being woken up early to have observations done. I did enjoy a breakfast of white toast and butter though - it's something I've not had in absolutely ages due to the gestational diabetes so toast has never tasted so good! (not to mention that I was starving having not eaten anything the day before!)

I was itching to get home but I ended up staying another night in hospital and I was finally discharged on the Thursday morning. It was all rather fast, the midwife came round after breakfast and said she was happy for me to go home and that was it...half an hour later I was packing my bag and waiting for my husband to collect me!

It was so lovely to get home and be able to relax in our own surroundings. It was nice for Elliot to be able to have proper cuddles with Erin too, he was certainly pleased we were home!

The first week went by in a blur and I did feel quite sore. It didn't help that I had a cough too so every time I coughed, it bloody hurt. I also ended up sleeping on the sofa for the first few nights too as it was more comfortable to be sleeping upright and not flat in a bed...the hubby didn't mind this as it meant he couldn't hear the baby crying downstairs ;)

It's been 4 weeks now and I feel about 90% back to my normal self. My c-section wound seems to be healing well and I'm not really getting any pain. I drove for the first time yesterday too which was amazing, I've missed driving so much! Fortunately my husband has been able to work from home since Erin was born so he's been around to help with lifts, housework and the pre-school run. I think he'll be glad when I'm able to do the hoovering again though!

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  1. Aww what a beautiful birth story and daughter you have! I'm currently pregnant with our second and seeing your photos of Erin and Elliot make me so excited for what's ahead :) #ablogginggoodtime

    Helen x

    1. ah thank you! Wishing you all the best with your second :) x

  2. Awe...what a cutie! Makes me miss that newborn stage. Congratulations!

    1. thank you! The newborn stage seems to be flying by already!

  3. I really enjoyed this, its fascinating to know just what the procedure involved. Congratulations on the safe arrival of your beautiful daughter. Beautiful photos too #Coolmumclub

    1. I thought it was important to write it up as I struggled to find many positive c-section stories online! x

  4. Ahhhhhhhhh , what a lovely story, and such lovely memories for you all to cherish in the future. I love reading birth stories. It was so nice to meet you today and do Erin's photographs.

  5. OMG she is gorgeous. So adorable. I love reading birth stories so interesting to read more about a section. That toast after a baby is amazing!! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

    1. thank you, I think she is too but I might be biased ;) x

  6. She's adorable! Congratulations. I too had a c-section when Peachy was born. Not elective though. I didn't have to arch my spine and didn't feel any pushing like what you descrbed. It did take effect rather quickly. I was sitting on the bed with my legs hanging over the edge and the nurse asked me to lie down. I looked down at my legs and realized I could not command them to move. Very strange feeling. They just wouldn't listen! #ablogginggoodtime

  7. Congratulations. I had c-sections with both my girls so understand what you've been through. #SharingtheBlogLove

  8. thank you, it feels like shes always been here! x

  9. Congratulations! I love a good birth story and it's good to know exactly what's involved in a c-section. I'm glad to hear you're healing so well and not finding things too painful. Erin is a huge cutie too - I love the photos of her with her brother, he looks so proud! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  10. Congratulations! What a little cutie and Elliot has a beaming smile, when he is with her. I love reading birth stories, as no 2 are ever the same. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  11. Congrats how utterly gorgeous and I am glad you are doing well too!!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime


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