5 May 2015 marked quite a huge occasion in our lives – we welcomed our living breathing human child, complete with 10 fingers and 10 toes and all working parts, into this world. None of the above should have comes as a surprise, right? After all I have been regurgitating baby stuff on this blog for the better part of 9 months. So even after all the planning, the waiting, the reading, prepping, research and excitement, nothing could have prepared me for meeting him.
Before the memory becomes just a blur in the midst of swollen boobs, cabbage leaves, sleepless nights and projectile vomit (ALL of which have happened) I wanted to share, albeit briefly, the story of how my son came in to this world.
Sleep ends before the baby comes.
Ok, so I have never spent the night in hospital as an adult, and literally had no idea what to expect – but the noise and general busyness of it all blew me away. I checked in on the night the before I had him and felt like a complete noob from start to finish. I walked into reception with my hotel worthy suitcase and walked up to the counter as if I were visiting the local 4 Seasons. “Hello, I’m here to check in please” I say, pleased as punch. “Name?” The sole person managing the front desk in the very quiet and dead waiting room grunted at me (this was no Greys Anatomy, with hot surgeons running around attending to plane crash victims while screaming for scalpels and hot sex in the on call room).
Once led to my bed the first thing I noticed was just how brightly lit the maternity ward was. The nurse on night duty led me to my room and then left without another word. It was 10 pm so I assumed she was being kind and leaving me to rest until the morning. Ha!
Hubby left and I unpacked my belongings and ‘went to sleep’ (And by sleep I mean lie in the worlds most uncomfortable bed and literally count down the hours and seconds until surgery, which was scheduled for 7 am the next day).
Fun fact about hospitals – the nurse quotient grows from 1 to 100 at about midnight and that’s when the action starts.
At midnight I was woken by someone to fill out constant forms for the operation and sign a thousand documents. Great. At 12:30 another lady came in to strap me up for the baby’s heart rate and monitor contractions. “I’m having contractions?” I squealed, “no” she said, looking at me as if I were on crack. (She then continued to monitor these invisible contractions for a further 30 minutes).
At 1 am the blood pressure lady wheeled her kit in and strapped me up. She became such a regular throughout my stay, that we’re totally besties now.
I think I dozed off at around 3 am after I managed to dull the rooms gentle night light (if gentle is a thousand watt bulb shining into your face) by hooking my dressing gown over the cupboard to block its megawatt park glare. I don’t know why I bothered with dozing, as apparently 4 am is a terrific time for someone to come in and empty your room dustbin. Luckily for me the silence in between was short lived as the tea lady came at 4:15 to offer coffee. Unlucky for me as I was on a no liquid ban until after the op.
Having figured that was as much sleep as I was going to get I decided to hit the shower. Just as I’d stepped inside, the nurse barged through the shower curtains asking if I’d shaved, down there. I had (although I don’t think she actually cared about my wax from Sorbet story one bit).
Changed, makeup’d and ready, 1 hour early with no cooking clue as to what was going on, I sat in my room with hubby who had now joined me and was busy slurping Fanta grape and eating sweeties. Shame, he does not do well in hospitals.
Ironically, on the day I got to meet my child, the anaethetist got stuck in traffic taking his to school, so the procedure was delayed by an hour, which gave me more than enough time to try and convince Barry that I wanted out of there, that it wasn’t too late to run away and actually not have this baby, that we didn’t have to do this anymore. I was terrified.
Eventually I was wheeled into theatre.
Dignity, be gone.
I’ve had a few ops in my life, but have always been mercifully, under a anasthetic so was always blissfully unaware of the embarrassing actions being performed on my body. C sections, as anyone who’s had one knows, is a wide awake process, one which you are only grateful for afterwards.
Naked, splayed spatchcock style and under the flourescsnt lights it was only a matter of moments to go time… Until the bloody spinal block decided to only work 50% which meant the options were to go under general or have another one. Another one it was and finally, after what felt like hours I was number than cold chicken carcass, and ready for cutting.
I’ll fast forward through the pulling and tugging and burning and tell you about the exact moment I saw his head pulled from my tummy – there wasn’t a big curtain like in the movies – so if I lifted my head I could watch the entire thing. Seeing my boys fat swollen white troll like face was the happiest moment in my life. He was angry, and screaming and bunched up Iike a dishcloth and I wept for how beautiful and perfect he already was to me.
He obviously passed the Apgar score with flying colors, and despite the fear that I wouldn’t see him while they weighed and measured, he was placed in my arms for several hours until later that afternoon.
Carter James Rankin. You took my breath away at 8:15 am that morning, and you will continue to do so for the rest of your life.
I hope you love being here, as much as we love having you.