April is Caesarean awareness month and so I thought this would be the best time to tell my story as this topic can be very sensitive with some mummas including me. I felt it was important to split my three caesareans up because each came with a completely different set of emotions and experiences. I don't want to skim over each either for one of my children's stories may bring some help and comfort to one of you who have been through this. So today is my story about my first born Jack. An absolute angel baby and still such an all round amazing little boy.
When I was pregnant with Jack and even before that, I would hear everyone's labour stories and wonder which one of my friend's experiences I would have. Will it be quick or long? Will I feel the immense pain I'm told I would but can't really imagine. It's like a bad period but one hundred times worse. Was that sentence familiar in your pre labour conversations? I sat and listened to girls compete over the use of drugs or not at all and a list as long as my house of all the things to take into the labour room to help.
5am and it's Jack due date. I'm suddenly awoken by a serious need to wee that I am having a huge deal of trouble holding whilst pregnant running to the toilet. Five minutes later and still trickling with pee I'm wondering if I had drank our state's entire water supply in my sleep.... or have my waters broken! I call Cam saying I can't leave the toilet and think my waters have broken. We were so confused because like every first time pregnancy you think every niggle is possibly the start of your labour and babies are never born on their due date. I hadn't even finished packing my bag.
We rang the hospital and they told us to come in as it sounded like my waters had definitely broken. But no labour pains? I just didn't get it. On the way I messaged my sisters and mum and sensed even they were a little sceptical but either way had my back and were excited. Oh my gosh we were going to have this baby!!!!!
Laying on a bed hooked up to monitors and getting my pad changed every 5 minutes, there sat the baby on the screen, head upside down not even remotely looking like it was going anywhere. The midwife started taken the monitor off me. You can just go home now and come back when the labour starts which should be any time. We have no beds and cannot induce you until a slot opens. Just take some Panadol to help you sleep.... Um excuse me what?
We drove home in silence because we were a mixed bag of emotions, none I should say, very positive. Confused, scared, worried and uniformed we just sat on our couch and waited ..... and waited ..... and waited.
The following day after barely any sleep from wondering if the labour will start, we were at my sisters house and I started to get some random but very sharp pains. They didn't feel like the start of labour pains described and came in no timely pattern, but they hurt. We drove straight back to the hospital and again got excited that this was it.... but it wasn't. Sent home again and now exhausted and completely deflated, I couldn't help bursting into tears. Friends and family grew more and more worried by the hour as news spread and I left calls and messages unanswered because I just couldn't retell my disappointment over and over again. I tried to sleep but anticipated every painful move and this was all while my waters continually trickled! (yes we had garbage bags on the bed and couch)
Night two and I finally felt the need to sleep but woke up in the early hours of the morning feeling like I had been bitten by one thousand mosquitoes and itchy would have been an understatement. Turning on the light, I found my body covered from head to toe in a red raw rash. My body was not coping and I started to freak out about my baby inside me. We spoke to the hospital over the phone and they said to come in if any labour pains start or my waters stop leaking. I was now at the point of explosion and they promised to get me induced as soon as a bed was made available.
Day three we decided to get in the car and drive through the hills in desperate hope the bumpy roads will start things rolling. There was no trying sex or stretches or long walks for us as I was all completely open. However the long awaited call finally came to come in for induction at 5pm and we couldn't get there quick enough. No matter what, there would finally be a baby driving with us on the way home! I bet my birth is super quick after three days of waters breaking. This baby must be dying to come out and meet us.
Hooked up to a drip and minute after minute my pain intensified, my waters were literally a waterfall and I got it. I was in established labour and it hurt like hell. I was very adamant I didn't want an epidural because I had seen the needle and the thought made my legs turn to jelly but I was clawing at the walls and my high pain threshold was failing big time. Eight hours of one minute apart labour pains and three days of no sleep I was a mixture of adrenaline and exhaustion which made me feel so sick I kept vomiting and then started to get adrenaline shakes. An obstetrician came in to see me and if I was ready to start pushing but as I watched three people staring confused I knew immediately this story was still no better.
So Kelly we are going to attach some probes into your baby's head to monitor him a little more closely as you have not only not dilated but your cervix hasn't softened either. While you are experiencing labour pains obviously there is no labour. The baby had completely given up and wasn't moving so regular internals by the obs and midwives started and at that point I asked for gas.
Hour upon hour and one internal after another I had finally asked for an epidural as I could no longer take the pain and just wanted to sleep. My body itched like crazy and constantly shook from the adrenaline rush so getting the epidural in required a group of people holding me down. On the 18th hour and the final internal of manually trying to turn the baby around to come down, although I was 9cm dilated the baby pooed and all I remember from here was being surrounded by people and light's racing above my head. Less than twenty minutes later a crying baby boy was laid on me before being whisked away to recovery.... without my baby.
It was a long awaited few hours later when I was in my new home for the week that little Jack was rolled into the room so we could properly and finally meet each other. I was in so much pain, was so tired my eyes kept pinning shut, I itched from the rash and my body still twitched; but there was no better feeling than holding this little person in my arms and introducing myself as his mum for the first time. In one single moment I had felt a true mother's love and worry for their child. Something no one would have ever been able to accurately describe. I felt like I had been through hell but as I stared at his tiny face and stroked my hand so carefully over his spikey black hair, for Jack, I would have gone through that experience a hundred times.
Where this story takes a turn is when it was time for visitors. Every mum that walked through those doors including within my family I dreaded what they thought of me. I had heard them all talk about the feeling of pushing out a baby and the amazing moment of holding them straight away. I had seen them all 'high five' each other at a drug free labour and here I was; never to relate to their stories. It took four days in total to have Jack from water breaking to birth including 18 hours of labour. Not the eight hour drug free birth I thought I would have. I felt like I had failed to do one of the greatest honours a mother gets in her life. I worried that if I couldn't do birth properly how on earth was I going to be a capable mum. For years and still now I listen to comparing stories of pushing out a baby and short labours and hate that I will never know that feeling.
It wasn't until I had Franklin (his story next week) that I really saw the miracle of caesarean births and what we deal with to bring our babies into the world safely. Safely; that's the most important point of all. If I lived in a much earlier generation, my babies would not be alive today, maybe even me. Thanks to caesareans and clever obs, my babies came into the world and I got to be a mum.
On Friday I will be writing ten achievements I feel I made having caesareans and hope that you will either agree or it will help you to feel that way to if you like me struggled to deal with a caesarean birth. Next Monday and Wednesday I will share my totally different caesarean stories about Eva and Franklin. If you know any mumma who may feel this way then please share this with them. You know, this is really the first time I have shared my feelings about it so many friends and family will be surprised by how I felt from the beginning.
© The Realistic Mum
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