Knowing your baby is going to come along on a set date is very exciting. There’s time to plan what to do with Little Z and time to mentally prepare yourself for a brand new baby. I was ultra nervous at the time as Z’s birth was pretty long and ended in a crash section with me being knocked out for about 2 hours. I then spent half a day slightly high on morphine. Morphine is a wonderful thing but I think Z’s first impression of his screechy and dazed looking mum is one I’m glad he doesn’t remember anything of.
This time round, a planned section was one I’d thought long and hard about. There was no chance I wanted the baby at risk and everything pointed to this being the right route. As sure as you are, you’re never 100% sure it is the right decision so there was that slight niggle that stayed in the back of my mind. What if this wasn’t the right choice? What if I should go for a natural labour this time?
We pottered along for our pre-op the day before the c-section was due for them to check all my vitals and go through what would be happening on the morning of the operation. Except they had one extra thing to tell us. They’d delayed my op due to some emergencies that had come in which meant they had to bump everyone to later slots. Mine would now be two days later. Oh. Pants. Knowing your baby’s due date has now changed is not that exciting. But we completely understood. We were that emergency 4 years earlier, they did completely the right thing.
Two days later Little Z was dropped off to the inlaws extra early and we found ourselves sat on a hospital bed at 07.30am. A surreal kind of relaxed feeling was in the air and we thought we would be there for quite a while. Surely nothing happens at 07.30am, right? Oh but it does. The surgeon that would be operating on me walked into the cubicle and methodically started going through exactly what they would do. She was Irish and put me at ease instantly, which was exactly what you need when you meet the person who’s going to cut into you. Plus she had the most amazing accent. Basically I would have some very good anesthesia put into my back which would numb my bottom half. The surgeon would cut along my scar from my last birth and whip the baby out. It sounded so straight forward and simple. We nodded and signed all the consent forms, then waited for the anesthetist to come and do their bit.
A guy with the brightest eyes walked in. I know he had the brightest eyes ever as even my husband commented on it when he left. He explained how I would have two lots of jabs in my back, and one in my hand. They would keep testing it had all taken effect by spraying me with ice cold water and confirming whether I could feel anything. It all sounded slightly nerve wracking but the aneasthetist assured me he would not leave the side of my head, which is a slightly odd thing to hear, but it makes perfect sense once you’re in theatre.
I’ve never had surgery before where I’ve been awake so the sight in theatre of about 10 people bustling about all for this one baby was amazing. Each had a specific job and each was very friendly and smiley. They ooh’d and ahh’d when they found we didn’t know whether the baby was a boy or girl and a few asked me if I had a gut feeling. They must do this all day every day but it was a genuinely lovely and obviously caring team. The bright eyed anesthetist got to work, putting two lovely jabs into my back. A nurse warned me when it would hurt and told me to lean on her as much as I needed to. They are not pleasant and I was dreading it more than the surgery itself. In the end, it wasn’t that bad really, but I definitely wouldn’t want another anytime soon.
Everyone waited until I was confirmed as ready to go and the Other Half was then allowed in, in his scrubs. The screen went up and the Other Half instructed to sit by my head whilst the anesthetist sat by the other side. It was so much quicker than I thought it would ever be. I didn’t feel a thing, not even the “washing machine” type feeling that some feel. I’ve never actually understood what that would feel like but I’m guessing its a bit of a queasy sensation. The bright eyed anesthetist kept asking if I was ok and every so often would forewarn me about any extra pain or pressure I might feel in my canula as he adjusted my meds. Whether it was the meds or the relaxed feeling in the room, we all kept giggling, albeit a bit nervously and the atmosphere was one of total calm and order; such a total contrast to the life saving emergency crash that had happened all those years before. In the weirdest way, it was like closure on the last birth.
Then they lifted up a very purple looking grumpy baby, simba style. The Other Half and surgeon both laughed as he saw instantly what gender it was. I completely missed it as it wasn’t high enough over the screen so there was a second simba style lift and there it was, a boy! Another boy. Obviously I would be destined to be surrounded by gorgeous men all my life. (A line totally stolen from Sex and the city and one I use often!). Our newest baby was cleaned up quickly and checked over thoroughly, his APGARs scoring well. He screamed his head off in protest and I cried. I never expected to. I’m not that emotional in public and I never did with Z. I was just very very happy. We had skin to skin whilst they stitched me back up and again I didn’t feel any wishy washy washing machine sensations and the only “Ow!” said every so often was down to the canula pumping more meds into me. Our newest baby was very confused at being whipped out a whole week early but settled quickly as we waited for the surgeon to finish up. She would tell me later that the position and rubbing of the baby’s head in my womb had caused it to thin a bit in one area and said I’d made completely the right choice with the section.
Baby E looked just like he did at his 32 week scan when the sonographer scanned his face. Those big round eyes and a very round face. At the time I thought there was no way a baby could have eyes that big and he or she would probably look very different once born. But he does have the biggest round eyes ever and we’ve yet to figure out who he got them from. He had his first feed eventually after a lot of poking and gently prodding and we started frantically throwing names around to name him. It would take us about a week to agree on one.
Our little calm surprise baby, here at last.