So the morning of 13th dawned. We were up early I want to say 5am but I’m not sure. I know we had to be at the hospital for 6.30 so at 6.20 I bid my gorgeous dog goodbye and off we went. Both of us terrified and my Man so excited, me, I was just a big bag of nerves.
We followed another couple onto the ward, and we were both shown to our little cubicles, complete with the mobile crib thing for our baba. A very lovely nurse helped me put on some very fetching forest green DVT socks, had a quick poke and said she thought the baby had moved (Inside I was laughing, there was no way my stubborn little bean had moved over night!) She fixed on my wrist band, informed us that we were second on the list meaning we would be going down about 9am. The consultant (Delivered the Royal babies doncha know!) came to have a quick scan to confirm that bean was still bum first, and told us he would see us in theater. I had toddled off to the toilet in-between the Nurse and the Consultant coming round (in my very chic two gown hospital attire) and returned to our little cubicle to find my Hubbie looking like an escaped convict, he had changed into his scrubs already. Cue hysterical laughter from me.
The time absolutely flew by, we received so many text messages and calls from our Family and Friends wishing us luck and desperate to find out what we were having and before we knew it we were following two nurses down the corridor to theater. We waited outside while a theater nurse checked my notes…to discover that they had not been filled in and still had my necklace on. We filled out the forms quickly and I’m sure I had to go for an emergency nervous wee and then it was into the room next to theater to have my blood pressure taken and my spinal epidural put in. I was not a happy bunny at this point but one look to my husband showed me that he was even more nervous than me!! My back was swabbed clean and an anaesthetist who looked way too young (showing my age) proceeded to stab me repeatedly in the back trying to get in his big ol’ needle – I swear it took longer to get that in than to deliver my girl! Eventually he was happy and after many many apologise I was put on my back and my gown was unceremoniously hitched up while my catheter was put in ( childbirth, either way you do it the number one way to lose your dignity!)
The bed I was lying on was hydraulic, so to get the epidural to move up your body they literally tip you up so that your head is lower than your heart and spray you with a cold aerosol up and down your side until you can no longer feel it up to the armpit. And yes, it really is as disconcerting as it sounds, you know this thing is being sprayed on you because you can hear it and you can feel it to some degree and then all of a sudden it just stops, they ask you to lift your legs up off the bed and you can’t, you can feel yourself trying to do it but the muscles don’t obey you. Now I am self confessed control freak so as you can imagine I was TERRIFIED.
I was wheeled through to theater, and hooked up to the monitoring equipment, all the while my anaesthetist was chattering away to me I wasn’t really listening as I was more concerned with what the hell was going on around me but he was quite insistent I talk to him! Then I saw drapes going up and the iodine going on my tummy, now I am not a squeamish person at all, but the thought of seeing myself cut open was too much at the time so I looked up, and realised I could see everything reflected in the theater lights “You’re going to have to put that drape up a bit higher, I can see it and I don’t want to!!!” They put the drape up as high as they could and I looked anywhere but up! Before I knew it, the nurse informed me that I would feel a bit of pressure as they were going in to get the baby out, I was panicking on a huge scale at this point and feeling very sick as my blood pressure started to drop, but before I couldn’t say “NO!” the consultant asked if we would like the drape dropped as they lifted the baby out ” Yes!” was my husbands quick reply and bam. There was this little bum, followed by a torso and a squished up little face with black black hair, she was whipped away to the other side of the room followed closely by my husband, I remember shouting out “what is it?” and “Its tiny, how is my baby so tiny?!” and hearing my husband cry “It’s a girl, its Our Little Girl” (he had been adamant all the way through that it was a girl) All the check were done, weighed etc (I was unaware at the time but she had to have her airways sucked clear, which although common in section babies as they don’t get the pressure from the birth canal to clear the airways was terrifying for my husband as there was no cry) i was near to passing out as my blood pressure had dipped so low so using the h-maxing hydraulic table I was quickly tipped almost vertical and all was well!
After a quick picture with Daddy our little bundle was tucked inside my top where I remarked “She looks just like a glow worm” I don’t think anyone in the room was expecting OR very impressed with my comment!
So at 10.02 and weighing a tiny 6lbs 5ozs my amazing girl was bought into the world. I was stitched up and wheeled round to recovery where I got to feed my baby for the first time, I was still numb so I couldn’t feel a thing! But she latched on beautifully.
I can’t remember how long we stayed in recovery but when we were wheeled back to the ward I know I was still in shock, and I knew that my Mum & Step Dad were waiting for us in the corridor as the lovely nurse with us came back nearly in tears “Your Mum and Dad are waiting outside for you, they are DESPERATE to see you, they love you so much, they made me cry” and as we rounded the corner I saw my Mum scrambling to get up and my Step Dad already running towards me, my Mum “WAIT FOR ME!!” behind him! I will never forget the first thing he said to me as he looked at our Girl snuggled in next to me, eyes wide open peeping out at the world “You Never let me down, she is beautiful” both he and my Mum knew she was a girl the second they lay eyes on her. They weren’t allowed in straight away, and we were finally left in peace just the 3 of us.
I was starting to get a lot of pain as the epidural finally wore off and a nurse came round to check we were ok and after a mouthful from me (What can I say I was sore and scared!) I was given some morphine and a drink (again, she wasn’t going to give me food or water but I think I kicked off enough to get the water, no food though) we got out sleepsuit we had been given and a nappy…and promptly called for help “Errmm, how do we do this?!” After a quick lesson Craig managed to get her dressed and everything swamped her! We had been expecting a nice 7.5 – 8lbs baby so a diddy little 6.5lbs girl had nothing that fitted her! It all is kind of a blur really, I remember getting more and more cross because I still couldn’t move my legs or generally get comfy. My Mum, Step Dad and brother all came to visit with mountains of cards, clothes and teddies, I remember being moved to the main ward which was heaving and roasting hot because there were 13 other sections on that day (4 scheduled, 9 emergency!) I remember having no more pain relief and having to ask for my catheter bag to be changed as it was fit to burst. I remember demanding they give me food!
But most of all I remember the first night I spent alone with my sweet angel. After Craig was finally ejected (he stayed long after the official visiting times, I was terrified of being alone with her, thinking I would break her still!)
I was still struggling to move and I couldn’t keep getting up and down to feed and change her, so after a nurse helped me change her bum, I tucked her inside my top and spent the whole night just looking at her, nursing her and cuddling her as she dozed softly on my chest. I fell completely and headover heels in love. Everything about her was just so incredible, from her huge eyes taking everything in to her furry little ears (just like Daddy!)
I remember my Mum telling me about the first night she spent with me, and how she fell in love with me, all the little noises I made and the realisation that I was hers forever. I think it does take a while to sink in, and its such a blur of people and an emotional roller coaster that you can’t really take it all in until you are finally alone with them.
So there we have it, I finally got it down in words. Mummyhood
(so far) is AWESOME! Hurry up and do it people!