“That will not happen to us” were my partner Kelvins words to me after our midwife appointment discussing the plans for the birth of our beautiful daughter Evie.
Evie was in breech and the topic of a potential C section came up in discussion (absolutely did no part of me want to have my baby by caesarean, I would rather have my down below torn to shreds than give birth via the sunroof). As the conversation progressed, the midwife mentioned that some C sections were done under general anaesthetic. We really didn’t think it would happen to us. Our positivity was made even more positive when Evie turned the right way around the following week – much to my discomfort!
If you have never been pregnant or had a baby you may not think too much about it, but when trying for a baby, as soon as you see the ‘PREGNANT’ result, your mind starts running riot!
‘What gender will the baby be? What colour eyes will he/she have? will she have my nose? I hope she has my partners smile!’ etc, etc. But the most important thing you have to plan for is the BIRTH!! You will probably (like me) sit and watch back to back episodes of ‘One Born Every Minute’ the excitement and nerves increase and getting all emotional over something you would probably not have even bat an eyelid at before.
I had a birthing plan here it is..
In big bold letters across the top of my hospital book. It’s not that I am a wimp. Ok, its because I am a wimp, I can’t even get my legs waxed – it really is that bad! I had heard horror stories about hospitals not wanting to give them out easily due to the cost so I just wanted to be totally transparent that this was my one labour demand desire.
I had a slow leak of my waters- one of them, I have no idea which one but I’m sure I was told that there are more than one set of waters, so off we went to hospital. I have to say the labour in run up to the actual birth was an incredible experience. As soon as we got into the room where I was to give birth I requested the epidural. After having my waters manually broken, I started my labour on gas & air which was AMAZING, followed by Pethidine – all the while I was asking where the epidural was. The anaesthetist was in and out of different emergencies and seeing other patients over the next few hours and by time he got to me I was just about to start pushing. He administered the epidural and we carried on, the epidural didn’t work and the labour went on for another 3 hours before the midwife started to feel concerned enough to request a consultant to examine. The consultant told me that Evie was in a position in which her head was bent sideways and in her opinion there was no way she could be born naturally. GUTTED.
So off we went to theatre, as the surgeon started to make the incision to perform the C Section, I could feel everything, I screamed and told them this, and I could tell the surgeon was starting to feel anxious. The Anaesthetist administered more painkiller (or whatever it was) into my hand. When the surgeon went to continue making the incision, I could STILL feel everything.I tried my hardest not to show the pain but couldn’t control my legs bucking from the feeling of her making the incision. At this point she requested for kelvin (who was holding my hand) to leave the room and the General Anaesthetic to be done.
I cry as I get to this part of this story, but I know as part of me coming to terms with what happened it helps me to get it down in writing.
I know I am lucky that a few days later we took home a beautiful baby girl, however, nothing quite prepares you for missing the birth of your first born child. Luckily we have some beautiful photos of the moment we first held her, my mum decided to stay on the side-lines with my camera and capture our special moment as recovering from the anaesthetic everything Is a blur.
The first memory that I can remember was seeing Evie is 3pm (ish) in the afternoon- Evie was born 1.32am, so as you can imagine it is deeply upsetting to know I have missed the memories of over 12 hours of our daughters start to life. Kelvin also missed the delivery as he was instructed to leave the room.
I’m still not right. It has been nearly 16 months now and my body somehow doesn’t feel my own. I also had a big wound from my placenta so lost half of my body’s blood and then had to have a blood transfusion in hospital, all I wanted after the delivery was to come home. I was very limited to what I did after the operation so I couldn’t move off the bed to feed her therefore my first 3 days as a mum I felt a complete failure
Without wanting to sound extreme – I know many women go through a lot worse- but in my experience I was left feeling somewhat violated. I didn’t have time or space to come to terms with what was about to happen (this wouldn’t have been possible in the emergency situation I was in). And this is going to sound really odd, but when I think of my body I have a vision of this hole left inside me where she was taken from.
I missed the transition from pregnancy to her making her first cry- the part I had been excitedly watching on ‘One Born Every Minute’, and because of this there is a piece of my chapter of motherhood so far that is missing. I need to accept this and hope next time I can try to have a natural birth or at least be awake during the C Section. The most important thing is that our daughter is healthy & happy, my situation could have been worse, it also could have been better.
The advice and lesson I have taken from this is to not necessarily get your hopes set on something in labour, anything can happen and enjoy every minute of our story. It is going to be totally different anybody else’s so always do what’s right for you and understand that everything is done for the right reasons.