Hello all you wonderful blogging people!
I’m sure you’re dying to know how it all went, so make yourself a cup of your favourite beverage; this is going to be a long post!
PART ONE: WEDNESDAY: THE BIRTH
I had to stop eating by 6am and be there at 10am for the 12 noon operation. These were my instructions from the maternity ward. On the previous day Dr K’s rooms had told me the times (everything an hour later) but hey, rather too early than too late. The funny part was my mom’s alarm did not go off, but I woke up at 5:30am to get her up to make breakfast in time for 6am.
Off we went to the hospital (mom, B and I) and pretty much did a lot of waiting from thereon out. Oh there were a couple of forms to fill in and questions asked, but on the whole just sat there waiting to be called.
I realized Dr K’s rooms had been more accurate about the time all along. But it was quite a thing waiting for this huge nerve – wracking event to occur. Somewhere along the line my doula Mariska pitched up and waited with us.
Around 12 noon the anesthetist pitched up to ask a few questions. While he was there he took a phone call during which we gathered there were two people on the list and I was No 1. And he had to attend to something else after that. He also explained what was going to happen. He said the main thing was to let him know if anything was wrong sooner rather than later in order to fix it.
Sr Janine also came down to chat to me. She went through pretty much what the anesthetist said but since that had mostly gone over my head in the nervous state I was in; it was good to hear it again. She also went through the packet of stuff we’d brought (the nurse on duty didn’t seem that keen on letting us use our own clothes) and so now we had the cute outfit that we wanted and would work better for the operation too. We had the baby classics CD as well to use in theatre. The midwife gets paid the least but in my opinion she worked the hardest, just keeping me in the loop of what was going on, being considerate, and generally it was like having another mother on board. Very necessary!!
She said we could go up to the theatre, so up we went. I was wheeled up on a bed and B and M changed into scrubs along with their fancy cameras. Once we got there it turned out there was another delay: someone else in labour had a prolapsed chord: this means the chord came out before the baby and had to be wheeled in for an emergency operation. Thankfully she and baby were ok in the end – but it actually distracted me to be thinking of someone else in a worse situation while I waited – always a good thing. In the meantime, B, M and I posed for pictures and M put my eyedrops in for the last time. In the end I did not need my eye taped down after all – the drops seemed to do the trick. (The Bell’s Palsy is still around people, but I guess I am just learning to live around it. The biggest thing is having a dry eye and not being able to smile.)
Sr J came out and told us that the baby in distress was fine, and had anyone told my mom about the delay? See what I mean about consideration? (Mom was waiting in the maternity ward for us). She phoned down there and left a message.
Finally it was our turn to go in. They rolled me onto the theatre table and put a drip in. The prick, Sr J said was the worst, worse than the spinal block. (Hmm.. not sure about that?). In any case she was fantastic and held the front of my body while the anesthetist did it from behind. It feels like steady pressure on your back. Then, as they had prepared me, my lower half became warm and full of pins and needles. And gradually lost sensation.
Dr K, his assistant, and the paediatrician Dr G came in to do their bit. Sr J said I’d be seeing my baby in seven minutes!!
As the chemicals took affect the worst part occurred for me: dizziness and nausea. Now I really was feeling awful. But I kept my promise to the anesthetist and told him what was going on and I think he did manage to sort it out because I felt a bit better later. It also felt a bit like low blood pressure, or the effect of being pregnant and lying on your back. Sr J took a cloth and tried to calm me down by wiping my face. This truly was the worst part. I felt the real shock of the birth experience hit me then and making a resolution not to do this thing again that made me feel so awful. I know I would meet my son at the other side of all of this but the toll of the pregnancy experience had reached its climax and I just wanted it to be over now.
The operation took place and next thing I knew my baby came into view. The most encouraging thing was that he was healthy, pink and big. What a relief! He was immediately put on my chest and I had a precious few moments skin to skin with him before the pediatriation took him away to do his check up. He was born at 15h04, weighing 3.21 kg’s, length 47,5 cm and head circumference 36cm. Nicholas also got all kitted out for the cold journey downstairs (winter has finally hit Joburg, seems to me).
B was a very proud father holding him. (Just in time for Father’s Day!) M was great and took lots of pictures. It was just nice to have her around as a woman and support and as an extra photo taker!
Once we had “baby on board” off we went to the Recovery Room and Sr J helped me give Nicholas his first breastfeed.
How awesome was that to start off with giving him a feed so early and setting up a continuation of the bonding between myself and my new son.
Well then it was all over. It was back down to the maternity ward. B and my mom and the newborn went off to the nursery area for more measurements. I got a phone call from a work colleague. Yip, they were wanting the name out of me still but I explained that since B still had not phoned his mom yet, I would send an sms out later. Which I did. We spent our time telling everyone the good news and just drinking in the new little one.
I think it is also very important to mention just recovering from the transition of carrying your baby inside you to having a real live child out there. It is a huge thing that actually leaves one dazed and confused.
But in the end, deliriously happy.
Welcome to the world, Nicholas. You were worth the wait.