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c section

Bump to Baby Lifestyle Parenting

D Day – Welcome to the world!

It’s strange knowing in advance the “likely” date of your child’s birthday. I had two scenarios in my mind nearing the final trimester, either the Obstetric Cholestasis (OC) would return and he would be shipped out sometime after 37 weeks or I’d make it to the allocated 39 week deadline date for scheduled sections. Frustratingly I wouldn’t find out until around week 36 when I was diagnosed with OC again and thus given the date, this time exactly 38 weeks on the dot.

January the 12th 2018 was to be the day and I just had to make it to that date, which was not an easy feat. The OC really gave me a terrible ride towards the end, I felt very unwell and was on a fine tuned balance of medication to keep my liver functioning but also me feeling well enough to get around. Last time I only had a day or so from diagnosis to induction date, it was only eleven days this time around but it felt like an absolute eternity. When I wasn’t taking medication I felt so tired, my eyes were yellow and I looked like a person whose liver wasn’t working so well. On the medication I was constantly nauseated, had huge amounts of acid that had to be countered with another strong acid reducing medication. Acid was just overrunning my body completely it was hard to imagine that it was a health environment in which to keep a baby in.

The night before was very odd, it was hard to sleep knowing that I had such a big day ahead and I had medication for my surgery to take as a precaution before going nil by mouth. I wasn’t particularly worried about being too hungry as I had a morning list spot for the surgery and arrived in pretty high spirits on the ward. It was rather odd to be placed on the delivery ward, sitting in a bed which is design for ladies to give birth in and I had never visited before with either of my births. I never toured the hospital, the only experience I have is the pre assessment/induction suites, recovery bays and birthing centre that I checked out in my last pregnancy. We waited around for a few hours while meeting the various staff that would be performing the surgery, the ward had a few emergencies that took priority and then I ended up being bumped down the list so they could repeat bloods. It was getting very much late in the day and I hadn’t eaten since dinner time the previous evening, eventually a midwife appeared to give me some IV fluids as it had been such a long time. Four failed attempts to get a line in due to me now being very dehydrated and suddenly the surgical team arrived to say I was going down now for my section.

Off we walked, to theatre which was rather different to last time in which I was wheeled in a huge panic.  The anaesthetist managed to get my cannula in straight away by digging an almighty hole in my hand, thankfully giving me something to numb the area first by injection. I’m pretty sure that will remain a scar forever but now I have matching ones each side. It was a much more relaxed affair, there was radio playing in the background and everyone seemed rather chirpy than stressed. Because of this I feel it felt longer, things really took a long time. The spinal was in soon enough and I was quickly moved into position, it’s a strange feeling – your legs becoming tingly and eventually when they come to spray them with a cold spray you cannot feel anything at all. After the procedure it is the oddest thing ever watching someone lift legs that do not feel like they are attached to your body.

Before long the surgery was underway, a little pressure cuff was inflating every minute or so on my arm just like last time. All my obs were carefully being monitored and soon enough they lowered the sheet of fabric down. The consultant doing my section was a big advocate of the gentle approach to C sections. This time once the incision had been made they gently pushed on the top section of my bump to help ease the baby out. It was rather amazing to watching him come out whereas last time Ariella was just presented to us over the fabric divide, on this occasion he was still curled up in the position he had been in the womb and covered head to toe in vernix. My first thought was that he was much smaller than his sister and that I was surprised by this. Previous scans had shown he was on the bigger side, maybe if he had made it to 40 weeks that would have been the case.

Rather than being whisked away he was put on me and later was checked by the team next to us on a small table while everything was stitched up and I was soon sent off to the recovery bay before moving onto our suite in the postnatal ward. Everything from the music, to the more relaxed staff, the natural gentle approach to the section and the nicer postnatal period afterward was brilliant.
We had prebooked a suite after my stay last pregnancy on the noisy inner city London ward, in which my baby slept but I didn’t sleep because of other babies crying. This time around it was mostly quiet and although I didn’t sleep much it was because I kept looking at Sebastian!

The next day I was up and moving around, in no real pain and ready to go home. I had my medication and once discharged we headed back home to greet Ariella, it was overall a really positive experience the only negative being the amount of time I spent nil by mouth. After a really stressful end of pregnancy with Obstetric Cholestasis it was fantastic to have him arrive safely and be able to go home so soon.







Being Mum Bump to Baby

An arrival

As expected 37 weeks was to be my last bump update, baby arrived by emergency cesarean section at 22:14 on the 9th of April 2015. Not at all what I had planned but I have to admit that I really haven’t found the recovery too bad. So what happened?

I was scheduled to be induced the following day after visiting hospital for my itching issues. They did a growth scan and found her to be measuring big also I had a lot of extra fluid so they really couldn’t leave me to go naturally any longer, baby was ready to come out.

At the time I was pleased, I knew that at least one way or the other I would be meeting her soon. I was due to go in on the 8th for my induction at 9am, we had everything packed and ready and headed to the hospital prepared for what could be a few days of waiting. Inductions can take a while, there is the task of readying the cervix, breaking the waters and then seeing whether you go naturally into labour or potentially a drip to induce contractions.

I didn’t make it quite that far, after what was a slow start due to no doctor being around until 5pm to prescribe the gel they needed to start the process we were both pretty annoyed having waited all day. Then the six hour wait to see if the gel worked or whether more was needed followed by another six hour wait. During this time I was still getting my usual contractions which I had been getting for weeks. They were much more uncomfortable after the gel had been administered, later it would dawn on me that it was so uncomfortable due to the vast amount of fluid I had.

Sometime the next day my waters broke, the amount of water that made its great escape surprised everyone in the room. It just kept coming! By the time it had settled down my bump was a lot smaller than before and the contractions I was having were barely noticeable to me. Yet the intensity had not changed on the monitor.

At this point I was feeling much better, progress I thought. My hind waters had broken and finally I was going to be moving to the labour section of the ward to get this train moving. Or so I thought, something like eight hours passed while we waiting for a bed to become available.

We had one but then an emergency took it just before we were about to move. Honestly you cannot appreciate how frustrating waiting in a hospital is, so many inefficient processes that have to be kept to. By this point I was pretty annoyed to be jumping through hoops, we had been doing it for weeks now back and forth to the hospital.

As it’s completely out of your control and communication really is not forth coming there isn’t much to be done. Myself and my husband settled down to our second night in the induction room while we waiting for the next step.

Sometime later my husband noticed the CTG monitor that was monitoring babies heartbeat kept slowing down. He looked and found that indeed with each contraction her heartbeat was dipping, so we called for the midwife and from there everything went pretty quickly.

I was wheeled down still in my bed to the labour ward, a team of people arrived and explained that there were two options. They could try and put a monitor on the babies head or if they couldn’t do that then we would be looking at a section.

They broke the last of the waters but I wasn’t dilated enough to get the trace on. So off we went to theatre, I was strangely calm. I think most people that know me well know how oddly calm I can be in times when others might panic. The way I saw it was that nothing I do will change anything and I was in the best care at the time.

I had my epidural popped in which didn’t hurt at all. I was expecting it to as I had heard it does, maybe I just had a lucky escape there. Once that was in then off the team went, before long out she came.

It takes a lot longer to do the after work, but during that time you have your new baby next to you so you don’t really notice. My husband was able to stay next to me the whole time so it wasn’t too bad at all.

The worst part had to be that because she was born so late my husband had to go not long after she was born. Soon as I was out of recovery and heading to the postnatal ward that was it. We wanted a amenity room which would have meant he could stay but they were fully booked. I knew this was a possibility when giving birth at the hospital but I hadn’t thought about it when being wheeled away to theatre. Not that I would have had any other options at the time, but there is something really wrong about parting so soon after birth.

In my ideal world I would have given birth at the birth centre and not had to deal with all the crying babies after birth, you really can’t sleep on those wards. I like my own en suite, my own babies cries and ideally a helping hand particularly after going through surgery. I suppose the point is, you don’t get to decide that’s the fun part of pregnancy; you don’t decide what hurdles happen to pop up in the way nor do you get to decide what kind of birth you end up having. I think everyone knows that, but if I were to go back I might have at least done the hospital tour.

But I was quickly out of there, soon as my catheter was out I was up and walking. I expected it to be really painful, but I knew the only way I could go home was if I started moving around. It was quite annoying not being able to pick her up out of her cot because of the surgery, you are encouraged to call the midwives for such tasks. Luckily we were able to go home the next day and I honestly feel pretty normal now, I was told that I took to the recovery abnormally well. Granted I have a scar which will be there forever but she’s here safe and sound, which is all that matters.