Sorry for the delay in posting, I’ve been a little bit occupied 🙂
I am very pleased to introduce baby Erin to you all, She was born at 4.56pm on Thursday March
2012 via planned C-section and weighed in at 5lbs 13.5oz.
On the Wednesday I had to attend the day unit to have my pre-op check and the second of the steroid injection. When I arrived the midwife on the unit explained she had to check with the special care baby unit before they went ahead with everything. When she returned I explained I was a bit concerned about the whole special care baby unit situation. She explained that as I would only be 37 plus 1 weeks when baby was delivered they had to make sure a cot was available in special care just in case there was an issue but usually everything was okay with babies delivered at that stage. She continued to explain that the special care unit had been closed to new admission at the beginning of the week but it was no able to take my baby if needed tomorrow. I asked about the possible causes for baby needing special care and was told that it was usually feeding issues and issues with baby not been able to maintain their body temperature. She was so calm in the way she explained everything to me that I felt reassured. Initially I had felt quite concerned when they had mentioned special care the previous day. The midwife then bleeped the registrar as they needed to come and talk through the c-section procedure with me, prescribe my pre-meds and also take some blood. While we waited the midwife got the paperwork ready and took my blood pressure before giving me the steroid injection. Thankfully it didn’t hurt half as much as the first one had the previous day. I told her that her colleague had administered the previous injection while I was standing up which really surprised her. The registrar then arrived and talked through what would happen the following day. I had to sign a consent form for the procedure and she then took blood before writing out the prescription for my pre-meds and explained how to take them. Once the Registrar had finished the Midwife listened into baby and then said I was free to go home and wished me good luck for the following day. I thanked her and headed off to the hospital pharmacy were I waited for fifteen minutes for my prescription to be filled before heading home to collect Rowan who had been with my mum.
My Mother-in-law arrived just before it was time to collect the older two boys from school and looked after Rowan while I went to collect them. My Mother-in-law had come to stay while I was in hospital having my c-section, to help look after the three boys. The boys were very excited to see their grandma when they got home. That evening passed pretty much as usually, we wanted to keep the usual routine as much as possible for the boys sake but especially for Rowan. I took my first two pre-med tablets as directed late night and then settled down in an attempt to have a good nights sleep. I also had to be up to have breakfast and the second lot of pre-med tablets at 6am.
The morning of my c-section I got up at 5.45am and had breakfast as quietly as possible so I wouldn’t disturb anyone else and then took my pre-meds at 6am. I decided to go back to bed and see if I could get a bit more sleep but after half hour of trying I couldn’t so got up again and made sure I had everything I needed in my hospital bags. At 7.45am the boys woke up as usual for school and went straight downstairs to see Grandma. Dad of three was taking the older two to school that morning so that I could spend a bit of time with Rowan before we had to leave for the hospital.
At 9.15am we said good bye to Rowan and grandma and set off for the hospital as had to be there for 10.30am. It all seemed a bit surreal that we were going to meet our daughter later that day. We arrived at the hospital at 10.15am and managed to find a parking space and made our way up to the ward. When we arrived on the ward I checked in with the midwifes and was asked to take a seat in the day room. There was another couple waiting in the day room as well who I presumed were also booked in for a c-section that day. We said hello and took a seat, the television was on in the corner so we all sat quietly watching it. Dad of three sat and ate a sandwich he had brought with us and we chatted between ourselves. Then at 11.30am a gentleman wearing scrubs came in and introduced himself as the Consultant Anaesthetist. He asked myself and the other lady to confirm our names and then explained the plan of action. He explained that there were five of us waiting for c-sections that day and asked how many of our pre-meds we had taken so far. Both myself and the other lady said we’d taken two lots of pre-med. He explained that there was another lady who needed a c-section as her waters had gone almost 72hours ago but ideally he would like her to have two lots of pre-meds before the operation and she had yet to have one. So as far as he was concerned he would like to do the other lady’s c-section, then mine and then the lady who’d lost her waters. But would go and chat with the surgeon and come back.
I started chatting to the other lady who told me she had been booked in for her c-section on Tuesday but had been sent home as they had too many booked in and was told to come back today. After a further hour a consultant came into the day room and explained the lady waiting with me would be first, then the lady who’s waters had broken and then myself and left. Shortly afterwards a midwife came in and asked the lady waiting with me to come with her as her bed was ready. We were left for a further hour without any information when I decided to go and ask for some water as hadn’t had anything to eat since before 6am that morning and it was now gone 2pm. I asked the midwife at the desk if she knew what was going on and was told that I asked the midwife at the desk if she knew what was going on and was told that they would come and get me when my bed was ready and that they were very busy and did not know if I would be having my c-section yet. I went back to dad of three in the day room and told him what I had been told. I had to try very hard not to start panicking at the thought of possibly being sent home. Dad of three was getting a bit anxious now as well, he rang his mum to let her know what was going on and I rang mine too.
A further hour later and a midwife came into the day room and said my bed was ready and asked us to follow her. She introduced herself and explained she would be caring for me, she explained that there would be a further wait and apologised saying it was very busy and theatre was busy too so we had to wait until theatre called for us. She said she was aware that I wanted to go home the next day and that was fine. She went off to get me some stockings to wear. Dad of three went to put a new parking ticket on the car and I got comfortable, I was starting to feel relieved but also anxious and excited, was I actually going to meet baby today. When dad of three returned I was getting the bits out I needed for baby after delivery : nappy, vest and sleepsuit. I was still sipping water which was helping to keep me calm in a funny way. Suddenly the midwife was back and told us theatre was now ready for us and we would have to change over on the labour ward, eek.
We walked over to the labour ward and we’re shown into one of the rooms. I was given two gowns and a pair of stockings and shown into the bathroom attached to the labour room to get change. When I came out five minutes later, dad of three had also changed into his scrubs. Then the anaesthetist we had meet earlier came in and explained he was going to put the cannula in my arm now rather than wait until we were in theatre. I explained that dad of three tends to faint with needles and blood and that he had fainted during my last two c-sections. The midwife suggested he left the room while the cannula was sited. The anaesthetist wanted to try siting the cannula in my arm rather than the back of my hand, so once dad of three had left the room he set about trying to site it. I was given a little local anaesthetic before he tried to insert the needle, after a few minutes the needle was in. But when the anaesthetist flushed it to see if it was in the correct place using saline it blew up the tissue around the vein so it had to be taken out and replaced. Again more local anaesthetic and after several minutes of trying to position the needle we had success, thankfully and thank goodness for local anaesthetic. Even the midwife was sympathetic, she explained that she would place the catheter once I had had my spinal anaesthetic in theatre. Dad of three came back into the room and looked grateful he hadn’t been present when he saw my arm. Then suddenly we were being told theatre was ready by the surgeon who came to introduce herself.
I followed the midwife down the corridor to the theatre where I kissed dad of three. He had to wait outside while I had the spinal anaesthetic before being allowed in. I was shown into the theatre and asked to get up on the table. The anaesthetist introduced the other people in the theatre who also included a student anaesthetist who would be doing the spinal anaesthetic for me. I explained to them all that dad of three was not good during c-sections and had fainted during my previous two. I also asked the midwife not to leave me while I had the anaesthetic,both her and one of the theatre nurses held a hand each and chatted away to me to help distract me. I found it really helped and I didn’t really feel a thing compared to my one with Rowan. I could feel my bottom go warm as the anaesthetic started taking effect. The theatre staff helped me swing myself round onto the table and lay down. The anaesthetist explained they may have to move the table a bit to help the anaesthetic take properly. After five minutes he asked if my legs felt heavy and I told him they did although I could move my right leg still. So with the anaesthetist on one side of me and the theatre nurse on the other and the student anaesthetist at my head they started to tip the table to the right to help things along. The whole time they were all chatting away to me and telling me not to worry they wouldn’t let me fall off the table! The anaesthetist then tested to see how far up the anaesthetic had taken and explained that normally they would be happy with the spinal block up to just below the breasts but as this was my 4th c-section he wanted it to be higher to make sure I was pain free. So after some more tipping of the table this time head down ( I can tell you it was a very strange feeling) the anaesthetist was happy and the theatre staff set about connecting the drip up and putting the drape up so that I could not see what was happening during the operation. Dad of three was then brought in to the theatre and sat on a chair next to me so he could hold my hand. I was very pleased to see him, I felt myself relax a bit. I was anxious that everything went okay and that baby was delivered safely. As everyone in the theatre was aware that dad of three had previously fainted they were very careful not to say too much but chatted with us and with each other. It actually made it feel very calm and friendly if that’s possible. I had anticipated it would take a little longer than my section with Rowan to deliver baby but within five minutes after a little pushing and pulling baby was delivered and immediately started to cry. I was so relieved and happy and I admit started to cry. The anaesthetist said its defiantly a girl and the surgeon was congratulating us and telling me she had four boys so I was very lucky, I had told her earlier we had three boys already. The midwife took baby to be cleaned up and checked over but we could hear her crying the whole time. When she brought her over dad of three got to have a cuddle while the surgeon finished stitching me up! I remember asking the midwife if everything was okay, because I couldn’t believe it hadn’t taken as long as they thought it would. I remember the midwife saying yes everything was fine, no complications and how did I not have any stretch marks!!
Once the surgery was over I was transferred back onto a bed and wheeled back into the labour room cuddling Erin for the first time. The midwife quickly measured Erin and weighed her will my blood pressure was checked. We couldn’t believe it when the midwife said she weighed 5lbs 13.5oz so much for her being big!! The midwife also asked permission to give Erin Vitamin K which we gave and put a nappy on her before quickly handing her back to me for skin to skin contact. Almost as soon as Erin was handed to me she latched on and fed straight away. Dad of three rang his mum to let her and the boys know Erin had arrived safely and I rang my parents and sent a text around to let everyone know our gorgeous little girl had arrived. By this time it was 5.45pm. My mother-in-law had been looking after Rowan since 9.15am that morning and dad of three could tell Rowan was getting anxious for his mummy and daddy to come home. So I told him it would be okay for him to head home to them all as my parents and sister were going to be arriving around 7.30pm to meet the new arrival. Dad of three stayed until 6.30pm, kissed Erin and I goodbye and said he would ring when he got home so the boys could say hello. I was quiet happy enjoying cuddles with Erin while she was feeding.
After a while the anaesthetist came in to see how we were doing, I was starting to get sensation back in my feet and could move them slightly. Due to my asthma I was unable to be given the pain relief they usually use, so he decided to set up a patient controlled morphine drip so I could get pain relief. The surgeon also popped in to say congratulations which was lovely. Half an hour later Erin was still feeding when the porter came to help wheel my bed back over to the high dependency ward where I would remain for 24 hours to be monitored. By this time visiting time was about to start and there were several people waiting outside to be allowed in. Once back on the four bed ward the midwife asked if Erin was still feeding which she was so she went to complete my paperwork and said she would be back to dress Erin before my parents and sister arrived. In the end when the midwife returned ten minutes later I had to stop Erin feeding so she could be dressed. The midwife was laughing as she couldn’t believe Erin was still feeding almost two hours after she had latched on and said it was a good sign. She was going to help me into a nightie but Erin was rooting again so I asked if she could help me after my visitors had left as they would only be there for half an hour, the midwife was happy to do so. Just as she left my parents arrived. My mum immediately got emotional when she saw her first granddaughter and then asked how I was, my dad came over and congratulated me and took a few photograph’s of Erin. They had brought some lovely flowers for me with them. After ten minutes mum said they would let my sister and her partner come in to say hello for a bit as they had had to wait outside due to the two visitors to a bed rule. When my sister came in she immediately couldn’t get over how small Erin was but it didn’t stop her having a cuddle with her niece. After ten minutes my sister said she would let our parents come in again before they headed off as it was coming up to the end of visiting time. My parents came in again and my mum had another cuddle before they wished me good night and headed off. Erin started feeding again but finished as the midwife came into help me into my nightie.
I was told I wouldn’t be able to eat anything until breakfast the next morning but to make sure I drank plenty of water in small sips. The midwife explained she would be finishing work for the night soon but would see me the following day. I thanked her for all her help and support and settled down to enjoy more cuddles with Erin. A short time after I rang dad of three to say goodnight to the boys and update them. About 9.15pm the night staff came and introduced themselves and congratulated me on my new arrival. It was then that I realised the mum to be I had been waiting with that morning was in the bed opposite me with her baby. We congratulated each other (she had had a little boy) and chatted generally for a bit before the midwifes came to do more observations.
That first night went well, Erin feed off and on for about two hours at a time and then slept for two hours so I was able to get some sleep. The midwives were very helpful getting Erin in and out of her cot when I needed and changing her nappy as well. All the midwifes were amazed that I didn’t need to use the morphine I had been given and I managed quite happily with the paracetamol they gave me. At 6.30am we were brought tea and toast, it was the best tea and toast I had had in a long time I can tell you. Once my checks had been done the midwifes helped get me out of the bed to sit in the chair. It was lovely to be sat in a different position. I chatted with the lady opposite me until the midwives and nursery nurses came to do the rounds with the consultants. Erin had her newborn hearing test done as well which she passed and the lady with the bounty packs came round as well. By this time it was about 9.30am, one of the nursery nurses came back into the unit and offered to bath our babies for us. Erin certainly seemed to enjoy being bathed and didn’t make a sound compared to the other babies. After that my drip was removed and my catheter, it was great to be able to move freely again. I decided to sit in the chair for a little bit longer before attempting to walk to the toilet for the first time. The ward was full of activity now with new babies and their mums walking around or being moved to beds and various consultant and registrars checking on people. The registrar came to see me to discuss the fact I wanted to go home that day. She had to explain the possible complications that may occur and also voice the fact that she would prefer me to stay in an extra night. I explained to her that I wanted to go home that day due to my previous experiences with becoming very unwell 26 hours after having my older two children and that it meant I was unable to breastfeed my eldest son. I explained that I had a lot of support at home with my own parents living at the bottom of my road, my mother in law staying with us and also friends near by as well. I had to sign a form to state I was discharging myself against medical advice and the registrar explained I would have to stay until baby was 24 hours old but I could make arrangements to be collected. Every member of staff I met on the ward had been aware I wanted to go home early and had read my notes/history so could see I was making an informed decision based on my previous experiences. I have to say this is not a decision I made lightly and had thoroughly discussed my decision with my family, consultant and midwife first. As with all major surgery complications can arise.
Once the Registrar had left to write up my discharge papers I rang Dad of Three to let him know and also my Dad, as he was coming to come and collect myself and Erin with Dad of Three as his car is a little more comfortable! Having arranged when I would be collected I settled down again to feed Erin. I was brought another cup of tea and suddenly it was lunch time. After lunch a midwife came and told a bed was ready for me on the post natal ward even though I would be going home they had to move me as they had other mums to be arriving for their c-sections. I was helped down to another four bed ward and the midwife suggested I get back into bed for a bit as I had been sat out of bed for several hours. I agreed and was helped back into bed. The next hour or two passed fairly quickly I managed to get some sleep in between feeding Erin and the next thing I knew it was 3.45pm and the lovely midwife who had been with me when Erin was born was back on shift. She came to do my checks and the paediatrician also came to check Erin over. Erin was fine and the paediatrician gave her the okay to go home. The midwife brought the medication I needed to take home, both pain relief and clexane injections which I would have administered by my community midwife for the next four days to help prevent blood clots following the c-section ( I was also given one by the midwife before I left) I thanked the midwife for all her help and she helped me start getting my things together so would be ready for when Dad of Three arrived to take us home.
It was really good to see Dad of Three when he arrived, my dad was waiting in the car by the hospital entrance. Dad of three took my bags, flowers and gifts done to the car and returned to help me with Erin. The midwife called a porter to take me to the car in a wheelchair and we were off on our way home.
The journey home was a bit uncomfortable but I was so pleased to be home with the boys. The boys greeted us at the front door with their grandmother and helped us into the house. My motherinlaw took the boys into the front room while I was helped upstairs to bed with Erin. Then once I was comfortable the boys came up with my motherinlaw to meet their baby sister. They were immediately smitten with her and kept asking when they could hold her. We had to explain they would have to wait a little bit as she was very small. We settled down for the night with the boys periodically come in and out of the bedroom to see Erin and I for cuddles. At one stage there was myself, Erin and all three boys in the bed watching television!.
Sorry for the rather long post and for the delay in posting, this was the reason I’ve been so preoccupied!