Nothing spontaneous happened. Our section was booked for 28th September at 39 weeks. I had been in so much back pain (Wilbur was indeed back to back with his head floating in and out of my pelvis – much like his sister) that I hadn’t slept more than 2 hours a night for a week. I was ready.
We arrived at the hospital at 7:30 am, we were talked to by consultants, midwives and anaesthetists, we got changed into theatre clothes and went to wait in a waiting room for our turn to be called.
We waited for a few hours, which I didn’t mind as I got to watch helicopter heroes and homes under the hammer (excellent). I had a couple of weepy moments. It is completely strange knowing that your baby is going to be born in the next hour or two.
We were walked down to theatre and I was sat down on the operating table. This was the worst bit. I was shaking – I think with nerves and excitement. The anaesthetist administered the spinal block. What is it about anaesthetists? Is it their personality that draws them to anaesthetics or their training that makes their nature so kind and reassuring? Either way, that anaesthetist and his assistant were our best friends for the next hour or so.
Once the anaesthetic was in I was laid down and they got to work! I was feeling quite ill at this point, so my new best buddy gave me some anti-sickness drugs to sort that out and suddenly I was overwhelmed with calm and peace. It took them a while to get Wilbur out, he was stuck in a strange position inside me – lots of tugging and pulling later and we heard a little yelp. I burst into tears. Then he really let go and screamed and screamed and screamed. We were so relieved. I had spent ages telling Chris that he might not be able to breathe properly and might have to go to the NICU. We were overwhelmingly pleased to hear those screams.
He was taken for a quick wipe down and a quick check by the midwife, accompanied by his Daddy, and then brought straight back to me within moments for some skin to skin cuddles. I held him whilst they were closing me up and then gave him to Daddy for a big cuddle. It was a huge relief that he was born. I was just crying and kissing him and telling him how much he looked like his big sister.
When Joni was born I missed out on the feelings of elation that I’ve heard talked about after birth. I felt abused and traumatised and neglected. Wilbur’s birth redressed the balance. I was on cloud nine. I’ve never felt elation like it. I’ve not come down actually (aside from a little cry yesterday morning about how much breastfeeding was hurting).
If I could have I would have run around the recovery room shouting about it. I was the first woman in the world to have a baby! It is AMAZING! Etc.
Obviously I couldn’t do that. Instead the amazing midwife in recovery helped me get Wilbur breastfeeding and laughed at me quite a lot. Embarrassingly, every time I spoke to Chris or he came back into the room my heart rate started racing up and making the machines beep. I also kept talking about how hungry I was and how I could really eat a cheeseburger. I’m glad I didn’t – the toast I ate a while later made me so sick I needed more anti-sickness drugs!
Deciding to have an elective caesarean was the right decision for us. It took the fear of the unknown away. We were confident going into the birth and it was the most peaceful, joyful and wonderful experience. It’s certainly not the easy option (I will write about the recovery) but it definitely was the best thing for us.