The Birth Story Part Three…

So I’m lying on a hospital bed, under the brightest lights ever that reminded me of an alien space ship, I was shivering uncontrollably, my teeth were chattering, and I didn’t know where Steve was.

I was told that they needed to take some blood samples and I tried to say that I was very queasy with veins and blood etc… but then laughed at the absurdity of what was happening and saying a blood test would be a problem.  I couldn’t feel it anyway, except when something went wrong with the sticky in tube thing and I felt something warm and wet spurting on my hand.  I didn’t look at all but afterwards when in recovery I saw that my hand was rather messy!

The Dr who’d lost his glasses lens obviously found another pair as he came along and I felt a bit jiggled about.  I was told that they’d started which surprised me as I had thought I’d at least feel the cuts if not the pain.  Steve was allowed in and came and sat by me.  I tried to keep calm and focused by thinking of Easter hymns and the lyrics, Christ Triumphant, And Can It Be, Jesus Christ Is Risen Today and I kept thinking of Psalm 23 – The Lord is My Shepherd.

His first photo, just dressed by a nurse at about 5 minutes old  !

Suddenly there was a bit of a wail and I asked if that was a baby.  It seemed too quick.  Steve could see from where he was and yes, our son was out!  He was taken straight to be looked at as he was quite yellow from being covered in the thick meconium.  His AGPAR was 9 at 1 minute and 10 at 5 which is good for a Cesarean birth.  He was wrapped up and they laid by my head.  This is where I worried as I was shaking and a bit in shock at the speed of everything and this baby looked at me, and I looked at this baby and I couldn’t move or pick him up or anything and I didn’t know what to do or say.  I felt as though everyone was expecting me to cry with emotion but in all honesty, I felt quite numb and unsure of anything.  So I said ‘hello baby’ and looked at him and he surveyed me and then Steve was handed him to hold.

I was still being jiggled about a lot and it took a little while to stitch me back up and I was handed the baby back so I tried to hold him well and I still wasn’t sure what to say to him.  Then it was time to be moved on again and off we went to recovery.  I was swapped from the operation bed to a much nicer and comfier bed which was strange whilst paralysed.  I really was expecting to hop off and jump on the other but I was rolled onto my left side whilst they put a board under me, then the board was dragged onto the second bed and I was rolled to the right to remove it.  Most smooth.  Then I was wheeled off holding the baby to a recovery room where a midwife stayed with me for an hour and Steve turned up with all our belongings in a Sainsbury’s shopping trolley.

I was in the old operation robe and was asked if I were willing to try skin to skin and breast feeding, so the robe came down and the baby was placed on my chest naked and then covered with a blanket.  The midwife put him to my breast and amazingly he wiggled about, made little ‘uh uh uh’ noises and within seconds had fastened himself to my nipple and begun to feed!  Still being paralysed and having no feeling in my body or legs was peculiar but this was fascinating.  I hadn’t realised how ready to go babies are when born or how innate their urge to find a nipple is!

Steve was on the phone to our parents telling them what had happened (he’d wanted to before the operation but I’d said to wait to say good news rather than freak them out with what was classed as ‘an emergency’ as they’d only have worried.

His first feed and ‘skin to skin’.

They were all thrilled obviously to hear that he had arrived safe and sound and whilst Steve was still making calls to his family I heard my parents voices outside asking whether they could see me.  They’d run straight round!! Normally it’s a no but the midwife was very nice and allowed them  a few minutes each one at a time so my mum came in first.  I was a bit disheveled with a baby to my breast, unable to move and naked and bloody under the grotty robe but it made me realise that i was technically still their baby and yes they wanted to see their new grandson but they also wanted to check that i was alright too!!

They were only there for a brief while and didn’t get to hold him as he was feeding and we said goodbyes after Dad had taken some pics then I was wheeled along to the delivery post suite and Steve followed with the shopping trolley.  It was now 9.00pm and visiting hours were over so once i was settled Steve had to leave which was about 10.30 in the end.  His family had driven over from their holiday cottage so he had people to go back to which was ice and they were keen to see photographs!

And I was in a single room, with a baby still at my breast and on my own for the night!!  But he was the most perfect and beautiful baby I’d ever seen and he was here and was mine!  And yes, everything which was traumatic and horrible which had occurred during the day I would go through again for him.

And its all getting hazy now, the pain of contractions is forgotten, the indignities of labour are no more and I’m left with the most perfect bundle of joy imaginable.

Welcome to the world baby Joel.

You are truly loved.

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