I left my labour story at the part where I'd just found out I had to have a cesarean. I'm not sure if you know but my day job is an operating department practitioner. This means that I work in an operating theatre. My job role is to 'scrub' in an operation whereby I assist the surgeon. One thing I've always found working in healthcare is that when it comes to us being patient's, we make the worst possible ones. I think this is because we know too much and can't shut off.
When I was transferred onto the operating table, it all felt very surreal. As the team introduced themselves to me, I felt like I was at the wrong side of the table and that I should be the one preparing all the instruments and doing my checks. I found it incredibly difficult to try and blank out what was happening. My consultant was also someone who I work with regularly. Even though I trust him with my life, it was extremely strange seeing him operating without me assisting him. I was incredibly lucky that he was actually the consultant on call the day I was in labour. A twist of fate in my favour perhaps.
Once the cesarean begin, I felt extremely uncomfortable. It wasn't that I felt any pain but it was an epidural anaesthetic so you can feel pushing and pulling etc. Again that didn't bother me but the feeling of discomfort came more from knowing exactly what they were doing so in a sense I felt the knife cut and every other action. I knew what they were doing step by step and I hated it.
Ophelia was delivered safely and I couldn't wait to have a cuddle. She weighed 7lb 11.5 and she had more hair than I expected. I felt a huge weight come off my shoulders and I cried tears of joy and relief. Hubby had lots of cuddles as I was shaking quite vigorously from the anaesthetic.
I was so engrossed in my new baby that I hadn't noticed how much time had passed. I suddenly tuned back in to the operation and was able to hear from the whispers that something was wrong. I hadn't felt them start stitching me up. My heart sank.
My consultant decided to be honest with me (as he knew he couldn't hide anything from me as I've got too much knowledge). They thought that I had a hole in my bladder and that my placenta was completely stuck down, they were struggling to get it out. It had pulled my bladder very high up. They performed a dye test to check for holes and thankfully it was fine (my urine was blue all day then lol). The placenta took a long time to come out and I must admit I found that slightly painful as they were really giving it a good pull. I could see the consultant and registrar putting all their effort in. It looked like a tug of war!
My scar is very small. Smaller than I ever imagined it would be. I was stitched up so I don't have to have any clips removed.
It's been 4 weeks since the delivery and I am now able to look at all the positives. For a while I felt quite upset about the birth because I really didn't like being a patient and I hated the whole experience. However, when I reflect on it now, I become very emotional. I am so overwhelmed and I feel very lucky and privileged to have had someone I know deliver my baby into the world. The fact that a consultant who I work with all the time delivered Ophelia, makes it all the more special.
I think the fact that I didn't write a birth plan has helped me to come to terms with my labour and birth. All I knew is that I wanted my baby in the safest way and at the time, a cesarean was needed.
The next part of my labour and birth story will be all about the aftermath. We had to stay in hospital for 6 days in total. Keep your eyes peeled for that installment.