Hello world! It has been a very long time since I posted anything as I have been very busy with, yes you guessed it- with my newborn. My little munchkin Estelle was born on the 18th of June and it has been a rollercoaster ride ever since. Only now I have managed to find a part-time nanny and therefore can share the story of my birth.
Unusually, my pregnancy has been generally quite easy minus ‘flight legs’ and some restless nights due to that fact which pregnancy pillow has partially helped resolve. I haven’t managed to experience Braxton Hicks contractions (potentially just once, not sure) and was already approaching my due date when my OB has told me that if my waters don’t break, she will book me in for an induction, one week post my due date- so as to keep it “safe”. My waters haven’t broken and as I was overdue- that is exactly what has happened.
I have decided to film the whole experience of my giving birth at the Kensington Wing from the beginning till the very end. Although, my other half is a bit more squeamish, I managed to convince him after a long time to cooperate in this exciting documentary and am so glad I did.
When I arrived for my induction and settled into a comfy bed for my usual checks, my OB has informed me that I will be induced twice (if needed) with a peccary (I have heard that this type of induction is much milder than something called the drip, so I was relieved).
After the first part of induction, we were encouraged to walk around (stairs especially) to bring on the contractions. This is what we did for 6 hours with rests/sleeps and watching TV in the room. We walked all around Chelsea, visiting some of my favourite coffee shops and cafes, as well as, up and down the stairs in the hospital numerous times, but I felt practically nothing.
When 6 hours were up, I returned to the ward to be re-examined. Turned out that my cervix was still very much closed and thus the second dosage of the peccary had to be administered. We have repeated the Chelsea tour plus stairs after which, I have finally felt some contractions. They felt like intensifying period pains, every couple of minutes, which then diminished slowly and reappeared in couple of minutes in a vicious circle. They still weren’t unbearable though, so we continued our day of fun and filming now with a few stops every so often and few deep breaths for the next 6 hours.
On subsequent examination my OB noted that now I definitely have the contractions (as I wasn’t sure) but I’m not ‘in labour’ and that nevertheless it seems that I have a big pain threshold. My cervix, however, was still very much shut, making it impossible to break my waters by insertion.
As that was the maximum amount of the inducement drug that I could take, my OB told me that as I have been contracting for 12 hours it is not safe for the baby and thus we should do an emergency C-section, which means that my baby would be with me in half an hour!!!!
You can only imagine the improbability and excitement that I felt after that statement. It was suddenly all so fast and incredible that I didn’t have time to gather my thoughts. At the same time, I was very happy to finally get it over and done with after waiting for so long.
Soon after, we were rolled into a different ward (I believe it is shared with the NHS), at about 11pm and after taking some happy photos with my OB, and my other half, I was laid on the operating table. I was given a drug by the anaesthesiologist, which was not an epidural (as he mentioned) but something similar they use in c-sections.
The drug has made me feel completely numb from the waist down so that my body didn’t feel like it belonged to me anymore. They have covered the area where they would be operating with the paper curtain in front of me, so that my partner and me didn’t actually see any of the incisions or blood. My partner was by my left on a chair, filming and we kept talking to each other throughout the whole procedure. He was still squeamish, so I needed to do more convincing at this point, threatening to change my birthing partner to my mother, which luckily has worked a treat J.
After around 40 minutes, my OB said ‘Are you ready to see the baby?’ The meaning of that sentence has made me feel so scared-the idea of it, as I wasn’t ready psychologically still neither for the birth, nor for meeting of my baby. I never had a baby experience, and this one was going to be mine. I of course said ‘yes’.
The next bit was the most uncomfortable in the whole procedure, I felt some strong pulling in my tummy (although no pain) for about a minute or so, after which the curtains were swiftly taken down and I saw a tiny screaming creature, which broke my heart, as immediately I wanted to hold and take care of her and tell her that all is alright.
The connection and instant love that I felt to that little voice was immense and indescribable. When I saw my little baby, I must say, they don’t look pretty when they come out, all wet and puffy from being in the water, I thought who is this very hairy beast (she had lots of dark hair on her head) but then I thought, “whoever you are, I will always adore you no matter what.” They all come out a bit alieny in the beginning however become better looking with each passing day, so don’t listen to anyone who tells you how gorgeous they are on the first day J.
This is all for today, I hope you got to experience all the feelings that I felt and connect with me on this experience. One thing I must say, and I truly mean it, there is nothing greater in this world, than being a mother.