March 02, 2004
permalink The birth

My caesar was put back an hour as they had an emergency caesar that had to be done before me. arg! I'd managed to keep my bsls really incredibly stable at around 5.0 all night. Incredible. So I bided my time.

I got to walk down to the operating theatre (oh my god it was really happening) with my lovely man beside me. I was completely reassured when I got there. I could hear doctors and nurses chatting away to each other as they prepared. Everything sounded calm and happy. My baby was about to arrive!!

I met the paediatrician who was friendly and reassured me that all should be fine with my bub although she might need a bit of oxygen. My obstetrician and her assistant were there and a very friendly, capable-looking nurse. Then the anaesthetist came to talk to me. Just to make sure I had no drug allergies and to talk to me a bit about what would happen. Out of everyone she was the most calming and reassuring of all...

... A gorgeous looking woman whose bedside manner Michael would later describe as the incarnation of Peter Cooke in Bedazzled.

I was actually amazed at just how happy and calm it all was.

Then the anaesthetist told me she was going to give me a spinal block, which I'd heard about, and Michael was asked to wait outside for a bit. This bit was a bit yucky as the anaesthetist had trouble finding the right place in my spine as I had "so much fluid on board". Eeek. The first time she missed (gasp). I'm sure I just about obliterated the poor nurses fingers as I held onto her hands, but she said "I'm fine, squeeze as hard as you like." Poor Michael could hear me from where he sat outside the room wondering what the heck was going on. This was not the most positive of experiences, but once the needle was in and the morphine started flowing in to me I started drifting into a very relaxed state. From then on everything was actually great. And maybe I'm a freak but I thought it was all really interesting.

I lay there with my man standing beside me, camera in hand!, and the anaesthetist talking to me and describing what was going on as though it was all a fabulous fairy tale. Away they must have gone, cleaning, cutting and pushing and suctioning, and all I could do was marvel at it all (ah the wonders of morphine!) until I heard the words, "It's a girl!" :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Yayeeeeeeeeeeee. WOW. Ahhhhhhh.

She was handed over to me for a brief but powerful minute and then taken away to the side of the room to be weighed and have her lungs suctioned and to get a puff of oxygen. Michael went over with her. **

I guess I must have been being sewn back up at this point, but all I could do was marvel and delight in the fact that I was the mother of a beautiful baby girl, who was 'perfect' and 'had a good set of lungs on her' :-)

Even though I'd reached 36 and a half weeks there was a chance she wouldn't be able to breath on her own, so it was a wonderful relief to hear that she could.

She weighed a healthy 6 pounds 15 ounces and was apparently 'perfect'.

She was wrapped and handed to my partner and I as I still lay on the operating table. A cheesy photo of us all was taken by the anaesthetist. It was beautiful.

As we'd planned, my husband went off with my new baby daughter and the paediatrician while I was taken to recovery and observed for an hour before being wheeled back to the ward.

All very efficient. My daughter was born at 8.56am. "Just in time for business opening hours" ;-) as one of my friends was to remark.

We'd planned that Michael would go with the baby rather than stay with me, to give her the experience of bonding time with at least one of her parents as I couldn't be with her in Special Care. So Michael touched her and sang to her. Put a cloth I had been sleeping on so that it had my scent on it into her little humidicrib with her. She got an hour of oxygen and then was breathing perfectly on her own. Once again what a relief! :-)

In retrospect I would have also asked Michael to return to me for a short while during this hour I spent in recovery, as it was a bit on the weird, lonely side after all the excitement. It was there that I realised I had just had a major operation. And there that I began missing my baby daughter. although I was very pleased that Michael was able to be with her in Special Care. I just wanted a report!

I asked to be wheeled in to Special Care on my way back to the ward so that I could see and hopefully cuddle my little daughter. This was done, but it was really quick. The nurse put her on my breast to see if she would nurse. She didn't (which didn't surprise me or worry me) and I wanted to stay there forever with her, it was so beautiful. But the time seemed just a second and before I knew it I was back in my hospital bed, and on the phone to tell our closest friends and family the beautiful news :-)

During the time I was in recovery Michael phoned the courier to take the cord blood interstate for storage of her stem cells.

** In a funny moment just after the birth, Michael said "Oh Mary Anne really wants to have a look at the placenta". At the time I remember thinking how embarrassing, it seemed so trivial, but I had been adamant beforehand that I should at least get a good look at it. But the timing was hilarious because the nurse had the placenta and the paediatrician was walking over to me with my baby. They laughed and said... "well, you choose... baby? placenta? baby? placenta?" I actually did have a quick look at the placenta before having my baby in my arms. All quite surreal really.

Posted by patton at March 02, 2004 02:16 PM
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