|Welcome to the world sleepy head|
It wasn't the birth that we'd hoped for, it wasn't the birth that we'd planned for and it wasn't without incident.
Here's our story...
We travelled to the hospital full of excitement early on Tuesday morning. Even though we'd been hoping for the chance to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section), Peanut had other ideas and was stubbornly breech from about 34 weeks, but we knew that day we'd meet out little boy. Just as we were going out the front door Curly Girl woke up and called out 'Muuummyyyy!' It pulled at my heart to leave her without saying goodbye but we knew she'd be more upset seeing us leave so we left her in Nana's capable hands and set off. We arrived at 7am and were told that we'd probably have to wait until 10.30 for the birth. I was too excited and nervous to read. Time passed slowly. We retold my medical history to everyone that asked for it (I could probably manage to tweet it now, it's that concise) and sat in my gown while the hospital came to life around us.
At 11am we were told to be ready, OH changed into a fetching set of scrubs with a rather natty hat and we walked down to theatre. That seemed odd for some reason, I thought I'd be wheeled down on a bed or in a wheelchair. Of course I was perfectly capable of walking, it just seemed less ER and more supermarket shopping.
So there I was in theatre, sitting on the operating bed, waiting for the bit that scared me most about the c-section - the spinal block. When Curly Girl was born in China the anaesthetist had 5 attempts at getting my epidural sited. Five, y'all. And it still didn't work completely. I felt almost everything our OBGYN was doing during that operation and had to be knocked out on morphine as soon as she was out. As such I missed the first two hours of her life and her first feed had to be formula in a bottle. So much for a birth plan. So this time around I was nervous that the same thing would happen again.
I needn't have worried. A lovely nurse stood in front of me and talked me through everything that was happening as the anaesthetist stood behind me and prepped the needle. I was reassured the whole way through the procedure and they checked constantly that I wasn't in any pain. Before I knew it I was lying on the bed being prepped for surgery. At this point OH joined me and we held hands and chatted as Peanut was hoisted into the world. They lowered the curtain so I could see him being born and OH even took some photos.
Except that my body had other ideas.
Apparently I lost the normal amount of blood in theatre, it was afterwards, when that bleeding didn't stop that things started to go pear shaped. On one trip to the bathroom I couldn't make it back on my own. Leaning against the wall outside the room, the room started to spin and waves of nausea broke over me. The paediatrician spotted me and put me bodily into a wheelchair and thankfully got me back to bed. Once I was lying down I felt ten times worse. I was sweating all over and I couldn't move my arms. Then my hearing started to go, replaced by a whistling sound. I shut my eyes and felt my body shutting down around me. I've never been so terrified in my life.
Again thanks to the midwives I was swiftly put on a drip and given iron tablets to try and replace the blood I'd lost while they booked a blood transfusion. The chief anaesthetist explained the risks and rewards and basically it was a no-brainer. Apparently a normal blood level is around 14 and I had dropped to 7.5. I needed the blood.
At midnight they woke me from a drowsy nap, Peanut glued to my chest and wheeled me to the labour ward where there were enough staff to monitor me continuously in case I had an allergic reaction to the transfusion. I had three units pumped into me overnight and by Thursday lunchtime I was a new woman. I don't know who donated the blood I received but I'm so grateful they did. Thanks to them we were able to bring Peanut home that evening.
I donated blood before I became pregnant with Curly Girl and I will again when we finish breastfeeding. Please, if you can, give blood. It takes less then an hour and you could save someone's life.