You’re now 9 weeks old, and I feel like I should get your birth story written down before I totally forget it all.
We had decided, after Elliot’s dramatic entrance to the world, to opt for an elective cesarean. This was a decision we made really early on in the pregnancy and the consultant we were referred to, as I was considered high risk due to high blood pressure/pre eclampsia last time, was really supportive of our decision. I was adamant that I did not want to be induced, and that I didn’t want to go overdue as the preeclampsia with Elliot kicked in when I was overdue.
I had really frequent blood pressure checks with the midwife – lovely Dawn – and also took part in a blood pressure study where I had to take my own blood pressure twice a day on three days each week. Thankfully it stayed normal throughout.
Our elective section was booked in for the 11th December, three days before my due date and two days before Elliot’s third birthday! We had a pre-op assessment on the 5th and while we were talking to the anaesthetist we overheard admin staff in the next room talking about the list of elective sections and heard them say my name and then we were told our date had moved to the 18th. I was not happy as I felt it increased my risk of high blood pressure – and also felt that if I had been happy to go overdue I certainly wouldn’t have been signing myself up for major abdominal surgery, thank you very much! A quick email to my consultant had us moved back to the 11th.
We dropped Elliot at my parents and arrived at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford where we were told that due to several emergency sections, we would have to be rescheduled. I was really calm about this, to be honest I had thought it may happen – after all Elliot’s emergency section birth probably bumped an elective, so it felt a bit like karma! The doctor offered to fit us in on the 13th in a hospital about 20 miles away, but I wanted to have the baby in the JR, so we opted for the 16th, only 2 days after my due date.
So on the Monday arrived again at Delivery Suite at 7.15am, and after a short wait we were told we were first on the list and we’d have our baby by 9.30! It was suddenly very real.
We were inundated with anaesthetists (Lisa and Alex), doctors and midwives, each asking for forms to be completed. I was asked to change into a very attractive hospital gown, and then walked into the theatre. It was the same one where Elliot was born three years and three days earlier.
The anaesthetists and midwives looked after me so well. I was asked to sit up and perch on the edge of the bed while they placed the spinal block and the epidural. This was 100 times easier than when I was asked to do the same while in labour with Elliot! I was then gently laid down, as my legs had gone tingly, and then sprayed with cold spray to make sure I was completely numb. I was hooked up to lots of machines and a blood pressure cuff, and then suddenly your daddy was next to me with a theatre gown and hat on – there was no time for any of that with Elliot’s birth.
The whole room felt so calm and peaceful, and everyone was so friendly. The staff did a who’s who (where they all say their name and role) and then three operation started. It seemed to take a while – again totally different from last time where it took only 8 minutes from the decision to do a cesarean to Elliot being born! – but soon the lovely anaesthetist Alex told us it was nearly time, and reminded everyone that I had asked to be told whether you were a girl or a boy by your daddy. I looked at him as he looked over the blue sheet, and he said “it’s a boy!” You were born at 9.27am, so when they said we’d have you by 9.30 they really meant it!
I got a cuddle and some skin to skin, which wasn’t possible with Elliot, and have to say that’s the time I started crying – I couldn’t believe how easy it had all been, and I was just so relieved you were here safe and sound.
Once I was all stitched up, we were wheeled round to the observation ward where your daddy was waiting for us there. For a long while, we just sat and wondered what we were meant to do! I was desperate to see Elliot but he couldn’t come up until 3pm so we spent time staring at you, watching you feed, and sharing cuddles.
The whole experience was so different to Elliot’s birth, and I really feel like it was a healing experience after the previous trauma. I was up and walking about within hours and despite not getting much sleep the first night – I was too afraid to sleep in cases I slept through your little snuffles (you are not a loud baby, and still only cry if you’re really REALLY hungry!) – it felt so wonderful to be a mummy to two fantastic little boys!
Lots of love,