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Baby Family Pregnancy Third Trimester

Taya Louise // My Birth Story

February 8, 2019

She’s here, she’s finally here. Our darling girl Taya Louise was born on Monday 4th February. At 38 weeks and 6 days she was brought earth side in a planned c section and took her first breaths at 2.36pm in the afternoon.

I’ve been so looking forward to writing this post and am pleased I’ve not had to wait too long to feel well enough to sit down and do it. Having read back over my birth story with Amelia (read it here) I can’t believe how different this experience has been.

After the emergency situation and the awful recovery last time I decided to opt for a planned c section; simply to eliminate the chance of finding myself in another emergency. We were booked in for 4th February and arrived at the hospital for 7am.

It’s a very strange feeling knowing that you’re going to have a baby but you don’t know when, nothing is happening in your body, there’s no gradual build up of contractions or early labour, there are no signs that your hormones are changing to get ready for birth. You just feel the same but you know that everything is about to change.

Unfortunately we were the last of the families to be taken for our section so it was 1.30pm on Monday before we were taken down to theatre. Before we started that walk all I could think about was how hungry I was having been Nil-by-mouth for getting on for 15 hours. As soon as we started heading to theatre though the reality hit me.

I was about to have major surgery; I’d opted to have this major surgery and suddenly it was terrifying.

The midwives and staff in the Theatre were incredible; it was a completely different atmosphere this time. There were about 7 ladies taking part in the procedure compared to around 15-20 people standing by last time. It also turned out that one of the trainee midwives is a mum from the nursery we go to. It was only when she asked me how Amelia was and I looked at her really blankly like how do you know about Amelia? That she said she was Alice’s mummy from nursery. I didn’t recognise her with her surgical mask on and was then suddenly very aware that all sort of things were out on display and here was a lady I was going to see again, regularly.

I was asked to sit up on the table and put my feet on a stool, my spine needed to be completely still for them to administer the spinal anesthetic but it was really hard to keep still because I couldn’t stop shaking. The spinal didn’t hurt, the initial numbing spray was cold, so incredibly cold but I didn’t really feel any discomfort from the injections. That could be because it didn’t hurt or it might have been that I was having a bit of a panic attack about the whole thing and I was just trying to breath and keep still.

Once I was laying down the feeling in my legs started to go; it was the weirdest sensation. Horrible actually, like the strongest pins and needles I’ve ever felt rushing up and down my whole body. The midwife asked if I could move my legs, or could I lift one leg off the table. I couldn’t and she said that was a good thing.

At this point they raised the curtain to block our view and I went into complete panic mode, my whole body was shaking uncontrollably, I remember darting my eyes around the room looking at all the different people and equipment, I felt tears running down into my ears and all I could do was try to take really deep breaths.

The doctor asked if I was cold; I wasn’t cold at all. It was fear; fear that they were going to start operating and I would feel something, that I wouldn’t be numb enough or something wouldn’t be right and I would feel it. The surgeon announced that the catheter had been fitted successfully; I didn’t feel a thing and that helped me to calm down. I realised that everything actually was ok on the other side of the curtain.

Kev and I talked; about Taya’s name, about how different it was to when we had Amelia, we talked about how Amelia had been when she was born, how she had screamed the place down and been so angry grabbing at the blankets and clinging on to things when they tried to wrap her up. We looked back at some photos on our phone from her delivery and then I heard the cry.

2.36pm on Monday 4th February.

The very first cry as they lifted her out, the curtain was lowered just enough for us to see her but I could only see her bum and bits; she was definitely a girl. She was all white and sticky with vernix and the nurses took her to the cleaning and weighing station that was actually in view for us this time. We just watched as they checked her over and wrapped her up before bringing her to me for skin to skin.

There was music playing; it was Smooth FM and I remember hearing songs from Adele, George Micheal, and when I held Taya in my arms for the first time the song Lady in Red was playing but I couldn’t think of the artists name at the time.

I had asked specifically to be able to hold her this time as I wasn’t able to with Amelia and I think it was a bonding moment that we really missed out on. From the moment they wrapped her in towels and placed her in our arms she didn’t make another sound, her eyes were closed and she was content. I held her until my arms were aching from the odd position on the table and then I passed her to Kev. She didn’t stir or make a peep, they just sat there together whilst we waited for the surgeons to finish putting me back together.

Taya was weighed and although she looked smaller than Amelia had she was actually heavier; 7lbs 13oz which I was a bit shocked about and kept thinking how big would she have been if she’d have been allowed to come naturally when she was ready.

 

After the surgery was completed we were taken to recovery and we did the first feed. The nurses helped me to latch her and I made sure they knew how important getting the latch right was for me this time after making a mess of it with Amelia in the first 24 hours. They promised lots of support back on the ward which they delivered on so that was great.

Taya fed like a star; she latched on the first time and was there for a few minutes whilst the nurses did some paperwork and got ready to take us back to the ward. I feel like our success in feeding for that first time has a lot to do with the birth; Taya was so calm and quiet from the moment she was born whereas Amelia had come out screaming and never stopped. By the time we reached recovery with Amelia she was so worked up that getting her latched on correctly was difficult.

This time around, I was calm, my body wasn’t in a state of shock and my baby was quiet and content and ready to feed. It all makes such a difference to everything else being successful.

Once we were back on the ward I demanded (as nicely as I could) that we waive the one hour no food rule because I honestly thought I might pass out if I didn’t eat something. It was 4pm at this point; 2 and a half hours since our section had begun and was getting on for 19 hours with no food. The midwife agreed to get me some toast as long as I promised to nibble it slowly so that it didn’t make me sick.

I didn’t nibble it slowly! I ate that toast so fast and it was the best slice of toast in the whole world.

A little while later my parents and Amelia came to visit, I so desperately wanted them to meet Taya on Monday and not have to wait until the following afternoon; I had been so emotional when I left the house in the morning that I needed to see Amelia. I had cried my eyes out when I left her; she kept asking me why I was crying and if I was sad which just made me cry more so I really needed to see her that day and give her the best cuddle I could given the circumstances.

They came to see us around 5pm, I could sit up in bed but had no feeling in my lower body. Amelia was very overwhelmed by the hospital and whilst she sat nicely to eat some snacks and open her gift from her sister she started to get bored and wanted to touch everything and open all the curtains which wasn’t ideal.

She paid a little attention to her sister, she touched her head and recognised when she made little sounds and cries but really she was more interested in her colouring book and snacks.

We were conscious not to make things too weird for Amelia and ruin her routine so everyone left me in the hospital about 6.30pm to take Amelia home for her bath and bed. It was weird suddenly being alone but not being able to move, the lovely midwife got the pleasure of the first poo so Kev got out of it this time around.

I made the decision that since I couldn’t get up to reach the cot, I would just sit with her on my chest and do skin to skin as long as I was awake. I would ask for help to put her back to bed when I wanted to sleep but other than that we sat up all evening just cuddling and feeding.

It was about 10.30pm that evening when they told me I needed to try and get up; this was the scary bit. Could I get up? Would it hurt? Would I feel like my insides were about to fall out? The answer to all of that is Yes. Getting up was hard work, the walk to the bathroom was enough to send my blood pressure dropping and I had to sit down in the toilet whilst the midwife put cold flannels on my neck because I was going to faint.

We did eventually manage to get dressed and brush my teeth; she helped me to put on my knickers and nightshirt being careful not to pull the catheter or dislodge the cannula in my hand. The walk back to the bed sent me dizzy again and I sat by the open window for a few minutes whilst they fetched me a cheese and pickle sandwich and a carton of orange juice to help bring my blood sugars up.

The rest of the night was very calm, we slept and fed and slept and fed until the morning. We were seen by the baby check up team who tested her hearing and did the little full body check up on her which she passed with flying colours.

We were almost ready to be sent home on Tuesday afternoon when the paediatric team decided they wanted to carry out the ultrasound on her cyst the following day and it would be better if we stayed so that we were ready when they had space for us.

Another night in the hospital was ok; it was a cluster feeding all night long kinda night. We napped in the chair for 40 mins at around 3am but it was 6.30am before I actually got into bed and went to sleep. I was woken up for the drugs round at 8am and we saw the doctors for the ultrasound later that morning. The scan went well, they were able to see the cyst and measure it and advised us to come back in 4 weeks time for another scan to check if it is reducing in size or whether treatment will be needed.

We didn’t learn anything we didn’t already know but it has at least got the ball rolling and we will be able to monitor it now and hopefully see some improvements next time we scan her.

Later that afternoon we were discharged and allowed to go home to start our life as a family of 4.

I really can’t put into words just how different the experience as been this time around; the calm and peaceful surgery has made the whole thing so much easier. Recovery is going very well but I’m careful not to jinx it or overdo it.

Taya is a dream so far, we’ve had a few nights of major cluster feeding to get my milk supply to come in but we seem to have turned a corner with that today and we’re enjoying time together at home; cuddles and snuggles and lots of milk.

Rachel xx

 

 

 

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