Where would a parenting blog be without a nice gory birth story?
Well, I don’t know, as I do tend to skip over that kind of stuff. It’s not that I am not interested in how random strangers birthed small people…
Actually it is. Sorry.
But don’t worry, this is not that kind of birth story.
I was reading an article recently about preparing for an elective C-section.
I’ve since written something myself on the subject (here). If I was a more useful blogging person then I probably would have written this ages ago, because there was a fair difference between my first and my second elective sections.
The biggest was that with my first, she was born mid-afternoon and I didn’t mobilise until the following day. The second was done and dusted in the morning and so I was up and about the same day, and it did wonders for my recovery until I busted open a stitch changing the covers on the bunk beds like a twat.
In the hospital that I had my babies, they schedule all elective c-sections for the mornings – I don’t know if the whole mobilisation thing is part of the reason – and she was supposed to come earlier, but she didn’t.
Somewhere between the 36th and 38th week of pregnancy, I forget when, I was given a date for my c-section.
It was to be the Monday of week 39, and we needed to be at the hospital, bag packed and ready to rock, at 7am. It felt like I’d been waiting forever; I’m aware that mothers having babies arriving via the conventional method don’t usually get notice, but once it was confirmed that yes, she was still breech, and no, she wasn’t about to move even with a bit of prodding and poking, I just wanted to know when eviction day would be.
It was quite surreal to think that this day that had arbitrarily been selected for us would be the day that my baby would celebrate her birthday forevermore.
On the Friday morning, I went in to have blood taken at the hospital. In the afternoon, I popped into town, incidentally the last time I have ever ‘popped’ anywhere; ‘popping’ is no longer in my vocabulary.
When I got home, the hospital had called to say that the section had been cancelled.
That was it. No return number, no promise of rescheduling, no apologies; just a quick and frank message telling me that the day I’d been waiting for for eight looooong months had been postponed indefinitely. I mean obviously not indefinitely, but that’s what it felt like.
By the time I’d listened, dumbstruck, googled the number and called them back, the staff weren’t able to tell me anything except that, if I went into labour, I was to call them back (thanks for that). Other than that I had to wait until Monday to speak to someone.
It was a horrendous weekend, and I was about as miserable as it is possible to imagine. I was suffering awfully with pelvic pain by this point, I couldn’t sleep, I was itchy and red and in two days I gained more stretchmarks than I’d managed to get all pregnancy. I was the epitome of fed up.
After the longest two days that have ever existed, Monday finally rolled around.
The day I’d had in my head that I would be having my baby, the first day of my official maternity leave. Instead of going excitedly to the hospital I sat in the bath, and then my bed, and then the bath again, and cried.
Upon calling, the hospital told my husband (to whom I had delegated the task of speaking with them, for fear that I would become an emotional wreck, or worse, unleash the preggo rage on them) that we were to call them each day to see if a slot had opened up, as they couldn’t tell us when it would be.
I just cried. The whole week.
I should have my baby, but I didn’t; I was still fat and miserable and pregnant. A rational person would have said ‘well, she will come at some point this week or next week!’ but a woman at 39 and a bit weeks pregnant is not rational, that isn’t how these things work.
I don’t actually remember exactly what happened, but after a few days of wallowing, and calling, we were given the nod for the following day – Thursday.
Arriving at the hospital, we were directed to a room with another couple where we waited. And waited. And waited a bit more. It was a good thing they were friendly, as we were in that room for hours.
Of course I hadn’t been allowed to eat, and only have sips of water, which is totally fun when you’re heavily pregnant and used to snacking at least half hourly.
Eventually, I was called for a blood sample, as the one taken the previous Friday was no longer relevant. The good news was that I was first on the list and as soon as they’d prepped the theatre I’d be up.
And then, a little while later, I was called again to give another sample, as something was wrong with the one I had given previously. Gosh, I just love giving blood.
And then, a little while later still, I was called yet again.
Meanwhile, the other couple had gone down to theatre to meet their baby, taking my spot on the list.
I was starting to get a little more than concerned and not just because of the amount of track marks on my arms
One of the doctors took the sample; they had to take it from my hand, which was fun. I was pretty worried at this point so I asked the doctor what the hold up had been.
No, I was not dying from an unusual exotic disease.
The phlebotomist had spelled my name wrong on the form. TWICE. Goddammit.
Over eight hours after we’d arrived at the hospital, at about half past three, after giggling my way through the spinal and to the sounds of bloody One Republic on the radio, my daughter was born.