Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mission success

I can't believe I'm finally writing the post with the heading mission success. 

On Friday, 11 October 2013, my husband and I welcomed our beautiful, healthy, baby boy by caesarean section as planned. Bubby was pushed and dragged into the world at 1:44pm aided by a sizeable team of medical professionals. 

I had been so busy prior to b-day I hadn't thought much about the procedure. On the day of the birth I was surrounded in excited family members. My mum had flown in from Far North Queensland, my brother and his family had flown in from Hong Kong. We all saw each other briefly at my sister's place before I went to the hospital. There was a mood of excitement amongst the group as we left for the hospital. 
On our way to the hospital 
We had to be at the hospital 2-hours before we were scheduled for the procedure. Everything went relatively quickly and we found ourselves in our room with a number of midwives taking my observations and explaining what I needed to do prior to the procedure. I had blood taken, a shave down and soon enough I was slipping into my hospital gown. My husband also had to slip into 'scrubs' for the procedure.

Well before the scheduled operation time we were ferried down to pre-op area. It was odd, sitting there waiting. We knew our obstetrician and anaesthetist would be coming to see us here. I was surprised to also have a visit from the partner obstetrician from the ob/gyn group. He happens to be the brother of one of my old friends and had been following our baby making mission too. He dropped in to wish us well for the day. 

Waiting in pre-op.
I can't even remember the questions we asked the obstetrician. When the anaesthetist arrived he talked us through the epidural process in detail. Due to the complications we'd had with the placenta the anaesthetist was preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. He planned to do an epidural so I could be awake through the procedure and meet baby straight away, however he also was going to prep me for a general anaesthetic, so if there was a major complication I could quickly be put under. 

We were then ushered into theatre where a number of other medical staff members introduced themselves, the theatre midwife, the paediatrician, surgical assistants and anaesthetic assistants (and as it turns out our volunteer photographer). There must have been at least 10 medical staff in the room. 

The anaesthetist got straight to work with putting cannulas into both of my hands, one for the drugs that will support the epidural (such as anti nausea), the other the general anaesthetic back up. Once these are in I am positioned for the epidural. That was a weird experience. It was like deep tissue acupuncture. Initially I could feel the tingle/electric shock down the left side - I had been told to speak up and let them know if I could feel anything. So they tried again, left tingle again. Tried again, this time right tingle. Tried again and nothing - that is what they were aiming for I guess, right in the middle. Very quickly I felt my legs starting to numb and I was assisted to lying flat. Even that was weird. Lying flat on my back was not something I could not do comfortably for months, so to be lying there comfortably was strange. Soon the anaesthetist was testing how effective the epidural was. He was rubbing this cold cold wipe on forehead and then rubbing it on my body, and I had to tell him when I could feel it cold on my body. It was clear the epidural was working as I couldn't feel any cold at all until above my belly button, and it didn't feel really cold until my chest. The anaesthetist gave the obstetrician the okay to start the procedure.

I could initially see the prep work going in the reflection of the theatre lamps and was relieved when the screen went up to prevent me from seeing any of the very gruesome stuff. It was all so quick - someone put in a catheter and then I was being wiped down in that reddy/orange stuff, that I assume must be an antiseptic. From this point on the anaesthetist talked me through when they got truly underway. Within minutes I felt some strong pushing and tugging followed by the delightful sound of a baby crying. Baby was briefly held up over the screen so we could see him, and then whisked over to the paediatrician. Here baby was on a c-pap machine for two minutes, just to be sure his breathing was sorted before being measured and reflex tested. Weighing 3.53kg (7lb 12 oz), 47.5cm long, 36cm head circumference, and all round perfection. 

Fresh into the world.

Cutting the cord.
My husband cut the cord and then bubby was cleaned up, wrapped and brought over to me. Here he stayed quietly for a few minutes as we simply stared at him in wonder. Two weeks short of 5 years we'd been trying to start our family, and at last a small person was sort of staring at us, our child. A perfect little person, with an awesome head of hair.

First cuddles.

Soon after this astonishing moment I started to feel crook. I felt hot and a little spewy. I felt weak. I felt funny. I let the anaesthetist know I wasn't feeling great and he kicked in some other drugs and I slowly started to feel a little better. Around this time my husband was taken to recovery with our baby, while the caesarean was finished  up. I've got no idea how long it took, but it really didn't feel like long. They estimated 30-40 minutes. I'm thinking it might have been a little longer in the end.

Somewhere through all of this the anaesthetists tells me I'd lost 1.3 litres of blood through the procedure - that's when I'd started to feel crook.

The team of medical professionals expertly slid my numb body from the operating table to my hospital bed and I was happily wheeled to recovery to be reunited with my husband and baby. They looked so sweet sitting together. 
Waiting in recovery.

I cannot thank our obstetrician enough. He has cared for us so well through this pregnancy. His excellent care filled us with confidence through each clinical decision that needed to be made during our pregnancy and the end result speaks for itself. I am well and recovering quickly and our baby is home with us and a picture of perfection.

At long last our baby making mission has a happy ending. Five years of trying to conceive, this beautiful boy is the result of our 6th pregnancy. He is our 7th baby and our 1st baby. I loved him well before I met him and am grateful that he arrived safely and is healthy. 

On our way home.

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