Where to begin?!
So, today marks Frankies 13th day in the world and as much as I’m enjoying every precious second with her, I thought it best to continue where I left off and give an insight into our experience of her birth and the days that followed.
Within minutes of posting my previous blog, we were ushered down to theatre. The midwife was asking us if we’d like to play music during the delivery so we were sharing ideas with the team on our way down as to what to play. Both my partner and I are slight fanatics when it comes to Kings of Leon however we thought that ‘your sex is on fire’ may be a bit inappropriate…..(we all had a chuckle), I hope this helps detail the relaxed nature of the environment. Before we knew it I was perched on the bed with a lovely yet large team of staff all of whom played a part in bringing our little bundle into the world. I was introduced to everybody, and I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of satisfaction that we’d made the right choice to have her delivered by c-section. The atmosphere was extremely lighthearted and all the time the anesthetist was trying to administer my spinal (took a few attempts) I had a lovely Irish lady speaking positive words in my ear and asking me to talk to her about my son in order to distract me. As much as the spinal was uncomfortable, it was manageable and not painful. As soon as the spinal was in place I was laying down and the surgeon was called in to finish the job!
I was asked if I wanted to see the birth, to which I replied that I was more than happy to wait until she was passed to me. With this, the lovely Irish lady whispered in my ear that she had had three c-sections and witnessed them all and it was the best decision she had ever made. It didn’t take much persuading me, by the time she was ready to be delivered, they pulled the tent like barrier down and lifted my head. The team were all gathered around and my partner and I looked on with glazed eyes as we both knew imminently we were going to meet our much longed for daughter. We had agreed to play the same song that I will soon walk down the aisle to ‘someone like you’ by Kings of Leon and before we knew it we saw her little head poke out as well as a hand, she then slowly made her way into the world with some help from the surgeon. Contrary to popular belief there wasn’t massive amounts of blood or gore as sometimes seen on screens, it was all very neat and tidy……
In that instant I fell truly, madly, deeply in love and thanked the team through my tears of pure joy. She had a head full of dark hair, just as her brother did and in that moment she really was the most beautiful little girl I’d ever seen. She was taken to be checked and cleaned, before being shown to me and then passed to her daddy. I can honestly say, the whole process was just so smooth as well as beautiful.
In relation to the surgery itself and complications, the only set-back was blood loss however this would have only meant me taking iron tablets. I lost a litre, which is more than they would like but not enough to cause concern. It just meant they kept a closer check on my blood count in the days that followed. Throughout the process I felt no pain, just a pulling/tugging sensation.
Soon after Frankie was born, it became clear that she was struggling to breathe and therefore she was taken to special care to be checked. I was stitched up (I think the process took about 30/40 minutes) and then wheeled back to my room. This time period was probably the most challenging aspect of the whole experience, the unknown. When the midwife explained to me that I’d hopefully have her back in a few hours, they just needed to do some checks, I was extremely grateful for the care that they were providing my daughter but also a big part of me was yearning to hold her, something I had not yet done. Those hours went slowly, very slowly. Eventually she was brought to me for a brief yet beautiful cuddle however she needed to be in an incubator so I gave her back pretty swiftly and just held onto those precious moments. Every half an hour my partner went to check on her and the team took pictures of her which he brought over to me. Fortunately, using the Thrive Programme, I had worked hard on my primary and secondary control. I had gone into this experience open minded and therefore was able to be as relaxed as I could be about the situation little Frankie May had found herself in. All the time I repeated to myself that she was in the best possible place and whatever the outcome, we’d cope.
An x-ray of Frankie’s lungs confirmed that she’d swallowed fluid which we soon learnt was common in section babies. Usually baby is able to shift this in their own time however Frankie seemed to have a substantial amount on her lungs which meant she was working too hard to breathe aka Respiratory Distress Syndrome and therefore couldn’t feed . She underwent further precautionary tests, all of which came back negative so after two days of staring at her in her little see-through box she was able to come back to the ward with me. The special care unit had forecast that they’d be keeping her for longer so all my birthdays came at once when the doctor happened to be checking on her as I was about to go back to my ward and declared that she’d turned a corner and asked me if I’d like to take her with me.
I don’t think I slept that night, not because she was particularly noisy, just because she was right there, she was all mine, we were alone for the first time and she was the most beautiful little girl I’d ever seen. I literally spent hours daydreaming of all the fun things that were to come and how excited I was to take her home to the rest of the family.
My dreams came true when the following evening we were allowed to come home. I missed my son like crazy (he was poorly and therefore unable to visit)so being able to put him to bed that evening was lovely.
So, as far as our experience of a planned c-section goes, we couldn’t be happier, it really was the most beautiful experience. I completely appreciate that had we had a natural delivery it may well have been just as beautiful but in order to lessen the anxieties relating to c-sections and even if it helps just one person have a more positive c-section experience then this blog has served its purpose.
I’ll touch on the healing process and juggling two babies in my next blog.
Amy Smith – Thrive Consultant
If you’d like to know more about The Thrive Programme please take a look at http://www.thriveprogramme.org or http://www.thrivewithamy.org
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