I had known right from the day I discovered we were expecting again that the baby would be born via scheduled c-section. Both K and T were emergency caesarean babies due to a ‘failure to progress’. Man, I hate that saying because it sounds as if you have failed at your very first job as a mother – to birth your babies. Let’s just say, my boys preferred to exit through the alternate route as they cared so deeply for their mother, that they wanted to ensure her vagina remained unscathed. Thanks boys, my vagiburger is very much obliged indeed. D thanks you too.
Caesarean births can be beautiful too, it’s all in your mindset. You need to be focussed on your goal. Whether you planned to fall pregnant or had a happy surprise, what were you looking forward to? What did you dream of during your 9 months? What did you foresee as the end result? Was it to have a baby to love and nurture? Were you looking forward to being a parent and raising a child to become an independent, responsible and caring young man or woman? Or was your sole purpose in getting pregnant to have a vaginal birth – end of story? Of course not, the birth is just a blip in time. A means to an end. If your goal was to mother a child, and love her and wrap yourself up in all of her glory for the rest of your life, then does it really matter through which hole she came?
T’s labour was a horrendous ordeal, I remember saying after he was born, if I was to ever EVER have another baby there would be none of that labour bullshit! One attempt at a VBAC was enough for me and certainly enough for D. Thank goodness my hospital took that same stance. Fine by me.
I was all booked in for my section on Thursday 11th April. I finally packed my hospital bag and put the car seat in the van the day before, so on Wednesday night all I had to do was wash my hair and read the admission information about a dozen times. I laid out my clothes to wear, put my special surgical sponge in the shower for the morning, wrote a list of last minute things to pack and put it on top of my hospital bag. I set my alarm for 5 and went to bed.
Woken by the alarm, I jump out of bed and immediately want a coffee more than I have ever wanted a coffee before in my life. Goddammit, water is going to have to suffice. I am not supposed to have anything to drink from 4am onwards, but I figure that there is no way the hospital is going to be on time so I have a glass anyway, and thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster I did, because it was the only thing that passed my lips for 20 hours.
I get ready, I kiss D and the boys goodbye and my dad takes me to the hospital where I check myself in to be admitted. I am sent up to the maternity ward to wait for ‘someone’ to collect me. They direct myself and another mum-to-be to sit in the corridor. We have no idea who is coming for us so every time someone walks past, we look up in anticipation, only to be disappointed when they shuffle by without so much as a smile. One nurse walks past and says, ‘Hope you ladies have brought your own beds!’ WTF?
Turns out to be a super busy night/day to be popping out babies with not a single bed left in the maternity ward OR the labour ward! I was starting to worry that they were going to send me home to come back the next day. Finally a super lovely and cheerful surgery nurse comes to collect us and takes us up to the ‘pre-maternity’ room where she gives us the run down on what is going to happen and reassures me that I WILL have my baby that day, as mums are being moved and beds are being cleared. She tells me that I am second on the c-section list and to get D up by 9:30 ready to go at 10, but we could still be waiting for a while should an emergency bump me from the queue. I’m given my super sexy gown to wear (no undies) and a comfy reclining armchair to wait in.
D arrive and sure enough 10:00 comes and goes. Murphy’s Law prevails in that as soon as D goes downstairs to get a drink, friendly nurse comes back to get me around midday. So we head off all the while calling D, who for some unknown reason is not answering his phone! I ring, I leave messages. Where the F are you? Get your ass down to the surgery ward!!!!!
I let the team know that my husband is MIA and if they see a slightly bald but super sexy man with a beard wandering around looking lost, send him my way.
Once inside the operating theatre, the anaesthetist gives me the low down on the spinal and we get that under way. Freaky. During the agony of labour, the administering of an epidural just ‘happens’ in a blur of pain and emotion, but in the calm and quiet of the theatre you get to overthink every. single. thing. They are going to stick a fucking needle into my SPINE! I watched my heart rate on the monitor going up and down with my mini freakouts.
Once the spinal was in and beginning to work I was laid down and it was the surgeons turn to talk with me. They went over the details of the caesarean and the tubal ligation. (Yes, I had my tubes tied. We are done at four.) They asked me once more if I was certain I wanted to go ahead with the tubal, to which I replied, ‘Yes, I’m sure, but if she comes out with a doodle, you better check with me again!’ Cue chuckles from the team. But I was serious!
I am finally all numbed up and ready to go so they bring D (they found him) in to sit by my head. This is when I really start freaking out. I am really scared. I’m scared of dying. I’m scared something is still wrong with LSP. I’m scared of the baby with eye protrusion I saw on YouTube. I’m scared to see another doodle. I’m scared they will cut my bladder or my bowel and spill my poo all over the table and inside my open uterus and LSP will ingest it and she will die or at least turn into a massive poo baby herself. I’m scared that 4 children will make me crazy. OK, I’m crazy already but I’m scared. I’m just scared.
D strokes my head and he calms me down.
I can feel the surgeons pushing, prodding and pulling but I can’t feel the pain. I can literally feel them really pushing hard on the top of my tummy but nothing, nadda – no pain. It’s very weird. Then I feel lighter, emptier and they tell us to get ready. We hear our baby let out a cry, the most amazing cry. It was strong and loud. They lower the sheet and lift this little, wailing, beautiful baby up for us to see. She is divine. She is also covered in blood, and D who just DOES NOT DO blood, guts, gore, needles, medical stuff, yelled out something along the line of, ‘Oh god, put it away!’ as he ducked for cover and averted his eyes.
D isn’t going to like this picture because it is a bit bloody but I think it is incredible. My first look at our daughter. I wish I could put it into one of those spoiler boxes so the squirmier peeps, like D, don’t have to see but I can’t so if you need to, close your eyes and scroll down.
From here they whisked her over to the cart for her quick checks and a wipe over. They offered D to cut the cord, to which he replied an emphatic, ‘Hell no!’. Her APGAR scores were 9 and 9. She was almost a perfect 10 out of 10, but for her little purple hands. A teeny tiny little nugget at 2910 grams (6lb 6oz) and 51 centimetres. Born at 12:54pm. She was only out of sight for a minute and then brought over to us for skin on skin.
They tucked her into my hospital gown right onto my chest and wrapped a nice warm blankie over us both. This is where we could get a really good look at her and we both just sobbed and wept tears of joy to be holding our little princess (yes, it was a girl) and she really REALLY was perfect. We cried words of love and adoration for each other and for her. Her face was perfect, her eyes were perfect, her palate was perfect, her everything was perfect. Our lives were perfect. She was everything I had longed for and so much more. My heart was swelled with pride and love for this little tiny girl. My future shopping companion.
We have a daughter.
She was such a little champion. She began to make motions of sucking pretty much right away so we followed her lead and let her have her first breastfeed right there in the operating room while they stitched me up.
Tubal and Caesarean complete, we all wheeled off together to the recovery room, where Hazel (this is where we had to stop calling her LSP), after a little snooze, has another feed and I finally get to have a drink. Cool refreshing lemonade never tasted so good.
D and I, and the boys are completely in love with Hazel. She is the apple of our eye. All I can say is thank ‘whoever you thank in your universe’ that the pill, breastfeeding and lazy sperm failed us as contraception methods. We are thankful. We are happy. We are complete.