My pregnancy with Noah was one that I will forever cherish.
I was very lucky not to have had any morning sickness or weird cravings and still being able to fit into my pre-baby wardrobe during my pregnancy was another huge bonus. So pregnancy in itself for me was one thing, having to give birth was a whollllle other ball game. To say that I was SHIT scared could have been the understatement of the year. I was scared to give birth, scared of the pain and most of all, honestly scared to look after a baby. Brad grew up with lots of cousins and nephews and changed many a diaper back in the day. Me on the other hand, I was that person in a room full of kids hoping no one would pass me their screaming child as I sure as hell wouldn’t know what to do with it. I cried and stressed to Brad so many times “How are we going to know what to do/what he wants/is he too hot/is he too cold/is he sick?” and Brad would always reassure me that we would figure it out somehow.
As far as giving birth, personally I was always hoping I would be able to give birth naturally, but I was also aware not to get my hopes up as you can’t always be sure of how pregnancy plans out. I am not someone who thinks there is a “right” or “wrong” way in which you should give birth and I certainly don’t understand why people are so quick to judge mothers who have given birth to their baby in a certain way. For me in the end, a C section turned out to be the most safest and appropriate way I was going to have to give birth, and even though I wasn’t able to give birth to Noah naturally, I sure as hell don’t think of myself any less than someone who has had a baby naturally.
As I had mentioned earlier, I luckily had a very easy pregnancy. I did have a few little downers though. My skin did break out very bad for a while up until about the 25 week mark and I also did get very swollen feet and hands which meant my shoe selection was verrrry limited and bye-bye wedding rings until post pregnancy. Once I was starting to head towards the end of my pregnancy I was getting very breathless and just uncomfortable, getting in and out of bed was a mission in itself and I felt like I should have attached a TV into the toilet for the amount of time I was spending there.
Due Date Here We Come
Week 38 started to approach and I was getting more and more stressed about having to give birth. We had started seeing our OB (Obstetrician) weekly at this point and I was told at this appointment that bub was not engaged and my cervix was still hard and that the chances of him coming in the next week were very unlikely. Honestly, I was happy to hear this only because Brad wasn’t home from work yet ( He works FIFO- Fly in Fly out work out of Perth WA) and I certainly didn’t want any surprises without him being home. Brad was home for our next 39 week appointment though and yet again we were told exactly the same thing. The closer we got towards my due date, the less likely it was starting to look that I was going to be able to give birth naturally. I was still not favorable to be induced at this point as bub was not engaged down in my pelvis and if we were to be induced I may have to head towards an emergency C section anyway if things didn’t go to plan. So again the OB was happy for us to go another week as bub was not overly big and still looked healthy and happy where he was. We were told at this appointment that if by week 40 if there was still not change in baby that I would 99.9% need a C section. We left the Dr’s deflated and me feeling like I was doing something wrong as to why baby just wasn’t where he was meant to be, even though we were assured that these things happen and some baby’s are just too comfy where they are! Even though I had gone through my pregnancy hoping that I would have a natural birth, I still kept in the back of my mind that anything could happen and it may not turn out that way. That week bub was moving a whole lot more and I felt a lot more pressure down in my groin region. I was having a few mild cramps but nothing major so this made us hope that maybe bub was moving down into my pelvis. We arrived at week 40 (and on bub’s due date) with still no sign of him. Not that he was overdue but I had honestly thought I would have had him by now. You get told so many different things by so many different people. Some first time mum’s had their baby’s weeks early, some went up to 42 weeks so I had no idea what to expect and again was still hoping to have a natural birth but I knew my chances were getting very slim. At our 40 week appt our OB looked again and our hearts sank as baby was exactly the same as the prior 2 weeks. Not engaged and cervix still rock hard. Brad was incredibly let down as we had planned out when he would take time off work to fit in with having the baby and now it looked as if we were going to have to go another week with no baby and what left us feeling like a wasted week of his leave.
We discussed our options with our OB at this appointment and seeings as my placenta fluid was starting to get a little low, he wanted us to also have 3 CTG (fetal heart rate scans) scans that week to just make sure baby was still looking healthy and happy. Brad and I had decided beforehand that if he would let us go to 41 weeks we would like to try and after checking bub he was happy for us to do that. We were told to come back in another week and if labour hadn’t started naturally by then or if bub hadn’t moved downwards, then I would most definitely be booked in for a C section the following day. I was still quite happy leaving baby in at this point only because I was trying to relish in as many pre-baby days as possible whereas Brad was climbing the walls, eager as anything to meet our son. We went on a few walks this week hoping this might make him move and I was getting a lot more stomach pains at this point. We went in for our CTG scans and at my second appointment I was having contractions so this made me think that maybe something is happening. Every day of that week I thought “Are my waters going to break while I’m out in the shops or on my nice fresh sheets I just washed”? But the further we got towards Monday’s appointment with still no sign of baby I started to resign to the fact that it didn’t look like I was going to have this baby naturally after all.
So here we were at week 41, Monday the 7th of May, fingers crossed and hoping that this little rascal had moved so I could at least be induced. Again, our OB looked and we were at no change just like the past few weeks. Are you friggen kidding me!? My chances of induction flew out the window and there was no way in hell that he was going to let me go to 42 weeks so here we were at the end of our journey, booking in the following day for the C section and me starting to completely lose my tether once I left the Dr’s office. I was given a blood test form to do and also told that I wasn’t allowed to have nail polish on in the operating room and just my luck, I have acrylic nails so this meant a trip to the nail salon to get these soaked off. I was pissed off to say the least. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and all I wanted to do was go home and relax and prepare myself for the following day, not screw around getting my nails soaked off. We got back into the car to head over and get my blood test and I started crying. I was so nervous and scared, every week prior to this I had hoped something might have changed and I might not have needed to have an operation to have my baby and now I was being told it was going to happen tomorrow! I was scared to have this baby, scared of if I was going to feel any pain, nervous for the whole procedure and just besides myself with the fact I would have a newborn to look after tomorrow. Brad couldn’t even mention anything pregnancy related and I would lose it. Looking back I feel silly for being so dramatic but this truly is a major operation and I couldn’t come to terms with not knowing how things would go and how my recovery would be afterwards. Once we got home I had calmed down a little but was still upset, and we had decided a few days prior as a treat we would get some Chinese that night for dinner and relax and enjoy our one last night of it being just us two.
We set our alarms for 5 am the morning of May 8th as we had to be at hospital by 6:45am. Holy shit, today was the day! We got up and I had to shower using an antiseptic wash over my tummy that the OB had given me. Leaving for hospital that morning I wasn’t upset like I had been the previous day. Maybe I was in such a state of shock or denial but I was relatively okay. We got to hospital and were checked in. I was told to put on a hospital gown and Brad told to put scrubs on and that someone would be around in a little while to get us checked in for surgery. We were told I was 4th in line to get my C section that day (out of 4 people) and that we were roughly looking at 11 o’clock by the time we would go into theatre. Brad and I chilled out in our room, I watched TV (and eyed off the clock one too many times) counting down the hours. My mum and sister also came by to see us, my mum besides herself crying (and already for about the 5th time that day). At about 11:30 am a nurse came by and happily announced “Are you ready to have this baby!!” and she wheeled us down into the waiting area to get prepped for my operation. We were spoken to by the anesthesiologist about what pain relief I would want pre and post surgery and the ins and outs of what would be happening pain wise. My OB had also already discussed with me what would be happening during the operation when we saw him the day before. God I was so nervous and on the verge of tears! We waited only what seemed like 5 minutes after the anesthesiologist had left and then another nurse came by and we were told we were going to go off to have this baby now! We had about 9 or so people in the operating room with us, each with a specific reason of why they had to be there. Off we went and I was wheeled right next to another bed where I was told to sit up and move myself onto the edge of this bed where they would start the IV in my left hand and then the spinal block would be done. Having the spinal wasn’t too bad, it did sting but it was the anesthetic that the Dr put into the line on the back of my hand that set me off. It was painful and bloody stung. After that I started crying and couldn’t stop, I was completely besides myself that this kid was coming out and that I was also going to get cut open in a matter of minutes in order to get him out! I was lying back down at this point and the midwife was asking me “Are you okay” and me thinking “God she probably thinks I am such a baby why is she crying for!” I was also regretting wearing my glasses at this point as they were so foggy from my hysterical crying but I just didn’t know how I would feel having my contacts in or if I could even take them out after the procedure since I wouldn’t be allowed out of bed for quite a while.
I was then told at this point that I shouldn’t feel any pain just a lot of pushing and pulling which is normal. My body from the waist down was completely numb at this point. I can’t even begin to explain how weird it felt to have no feeling from my waist down but to feel a whole heap of tugging and pulling down in my stomach region, its just insane. This went on for a few minutes with the Dr continually asking me if I felt any pain which I didn’t. I kind of felt like we weren’t getting anywhere though and that they had been pulling and shoving me forever. I was thinking “Geez when is this kid going to come out!” when all of a sudden I was told “He is coming out NOW!” Brad had a look from around the curtain they had draped in front of me and sure enough, they were starting to pull him out! At 12:22pm on the 8th of May 2018 our little boy Noah Cruz Dalglish was born. Weighing at a healthy 7.12lbs and 51cm long, it is just unbelievable to think that this little man screaming his lungs out in front of me was the one kicking around inside my belly only days prior. We were actually very lucky we had done a c section in the end as Noah had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Our OB said afterwards that if I had had a natural birth then chances are Noah may have ended up in distress and I would have needed an emergency c section anyway.
It didn’t take a very long time after that for me to be stitched up and to be honest I wasn’t paying all that much attention as we were too focused on Noah and all the checks that were happening with him. After this, I was wheeled into a recovery area where I lay with Noah and Brad and where the midwife (who was also in the operating room with us) did some checks on me until we were allowed back up into our room. Once we were given the all clear to go we were wheeled back into our room where again I was checked over by the midwife. I was told that I would remain numb for at least the next 6 hours or so which meant I was now confined to my bed. At about 7 o’clock that night I was made to get out of bed and stand up (I had the feeling back in my lower body by then) which nearly killed me. The pain in my stomach was horrendous and I could barely move but luckily I had gotten that over and done with and I could lay back down and rest again. The following morning I was helped out of bed by a nurse and allowed to shower which felt like heaven on earth as I hadn’t showered since the Monday morning and was feeling like a bit of an ogre. After that it got easier by the day to get up and about and it felt nice to have the freedom again of being able to get up and about by myself.
Recovery wise at home I feel quite good now. I am a over a week post surgery and can get around okay. I do have a bit of pain still at my incision point but I was given lots of pain relief to take once I left hospital. I’m trying to take it easy but honestly that’s not in my nature and even the day that we got home from hospital I was walking around putting away all the bits and pieces from our hospital bags like a complete nut job. It’s also hard to get up and out of bed and any low sitting/lying position and it’s killing me not being able to lie on my side in bed as I am a massive side sleeper but it is a lot better than what I was imagining my recovery would be like. I also can’t drive for the next 2 weeks which I know will send me bonkers having to get Brad to take me where I need to go. All in all it’s a lot better than what I had anticipated, it was just the fear of the unknown and if I had to do it all over again I would be more than happy to go ahead with a c section if that’s how I would need to give birth. In the end all that matters to me is our little boy and that he was delivered safely.