Such a lot has happened since I last wrote a blog post! I’m not really sure where to start, it’s been a complete roller coaster. I’m going to start with Juniper’s birth and will move on to other things later!
We ended up back in hospital the night before I was due to have my c-section. I was concerned about movement and I was having tightenings again so we went in for monitoring. I was hooked up to a machine to check Juniper’s heartbeat and my contractions. After a while I was told that if Juniper’s heartbeat didn’t increase within 20 minutes I would be taken to theatre. I stared at the heart rate readout so hard, I was so conflicted. I wanted her heartbeat to increase obviously but I also wanted to have the c-section so she could finally be safe in my arms. Unfortunately the obstetrician and anaesthetist on call that night didn’t inspire confidence. Possibly partly because I really wanted my team, the team I knew, the team who knew my story. Thankfully Juniper woke up and had a good wriggle. It was decided that I’d be kept in over night, ready for my c-section in the morning.
I continued to have contractions on and off through the night but thankfully Juniper managed to wait. By the time I went to theatre I just couldn’t wait to meet our baby. To find out if we were having a girl or a boy. To see Paul’s face as he saw our baby for the first time.
Excuse the puffy eyes, it had been an emotional week with very little sleep. I make no apologies for the outfit, I think I can pull off compression stockings and a hospital gown with a nightie half buttoned over the top pretty well!
I always knew that the prep for my c-section would be pretty tricky and there had been a few differences of opinion over the last week. The anaesthetist that I had on the day felt that it would be safest to attempt a cannula in my arm and to put a back up cannula in my foot. He used an ultrasound machine to locate a suitable vein in my arm. The first attempt in my right arm failed as the vein was too deep and he couldn’t get a cannula deep enough. He decided to ultrasound my left arm to see if he could have any success there. He found a suitable vein but the machine then turned off and he was unable to find it again when the machine turned back on! He did find it eventually and after a while he managed to get a cannula in, it was fixed in place with an awful lot of tape.
Anaesthetist: Sorry we’re making you into a mummy.
Me: That is the general idea.
The cannula in my foot was handed over to someone else to attempt after the anaesthetist admitted defeat, apparently the veins in my feet concertina when approached by a needle (I had to have a blood test this morning and it took the nurse five attempts to get a needle in so I don’t blame the anaesthetist for giving up!). I then had the spinal anaesthetic. Such a bizarre feeling! I felt like I was back at school, at the end of assembly as pins and needles made their way from my feet all the way up to my chest. I felt a bit sick and was a bit trembly but the anaesthetist soon sorted that. Finally the c-section could begin. Another very bizarre sensation. People say it’s like someone is doing the washing up in your tummy. You can feel pushes, pulls, movement but there’s no pain at all. One of the most bizarre things I’ve ever experienced!
We had been warned that babies sometimes don’t cry to begin with when they’re born by c-section, I had tried to prepare emotionally for this but I knew that another silent birth would be terrifying. Thankfully Juniper decided to show her lungs off immediately. We were told we had a little girl. I’ve never been so relieved. She screamed and screamed and it was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.
After a quick cleanup she was placed on my chest and I immediately fell for her, she was just the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Paul and our midwife took Juniper through to the recovery room while I was stitched up and I soon joined them. My heart melted when I was wheeled in and saw Paul having skin to skin with our little girl. Juniper was passed to me for feeding and to my relief she immediately latched on and had a good feed.
I was terrified of the c-section but once again the staff at the hospital were amazing. They put us at our ease, kept us safe and delivered our beautiful baby.