I’ve finally found a spare moment in our new chaos to write down the story that lead to us meeting our little George. To tell the story of his birth I need to go back a little. After a really rough emergency c section with my first baby, our daughter Ruby, my husband and I made the choice to have our second baby via elective cesarean section. This was our way of gaining some control in a situation where last time I had none.
We met with an obstetric team at the hospital about 2 months out from our due date and talked about what we could expect the birth to be like and were given three dates to choose from to give birth. It was really bizarre being asked which day suited us best and felt a bit like I was booking in something way more trivial like a hair cut. Arie my husband said we should take the spot on the 16th as that worked well with a wedding we had booked a few days earlier that he couldn't miss. When we were leaving the hospital after that appointment I told Arie that I wished we had picked a different date as the 16th didn't feel right to me. I must have known this wasn't going to be his birthday. At our last midwife appointment the week before our scheduled date my midwife had some amazing news. The hospital had called and wanted to move my date forward! Our new date was the 13th of April and only 3 days away! Eeeek! I was so excited as both of my babies would now be born on the 13th!
The last few days before George was born we spent a lot of quality time together as a family of 3. I really soaked in the last time it would just be her and I. The hardest part of all was tucking her into bed the night before George was born knowing tomorrow her world would change forever, and mine too.
The morning of the 13th we woke up nice and early, we had to be at the hospital by 7.30am but we were full of nerves and excitement we wouldn't have been able to sleep much longer anyway! I had to shower and clean myself with some special antibacterial wipes, Ruby watched cartoons in bed as I did that and got myself ready. My parents arrived to look after her and that's when the tears started flowing. We gave her about a million kisses and left to go and have a baby! It was the most surreal feeling walking into the hospital, not in labour but knowing I was going to walk out a few days later with a baby.
We waited in the waiting room for about an hour before we were collected for all of our pre-op checks. We were then taken to a second waiting room on the ward to wait for the ladies who were scheduled before me to have their babies first. This waiting room was grubby and unkept and it made me a little uncomfortable. There was a noisy family who were in there too (not sure why as they weren't waiting for anyone) who were frustrating me too. It was the first time during the process where I wished there was a way we could do this somewhere else. Luckily I had my phone and Arie to keep me distracted. I used this down time to give Arie a nice little letter I had written him.
The time came where we were called to be taken to the general surgery part of the hospital. I was taken on a bed through to the pre-op rooms. I met and talked to the obstetrician in charge of George's birth, he was a lovely American man who is actually married to the obstetrician who was in charge of Ruby's birth. That was when Michele my angel of a midwife arrived and my nerves were almost instantly eased. She is the calm in the storm when it comes to anything medical for me. Her presence also made it feel a lot more real!
I was taken into theater and I climbed onto the table. Everyone in the room was calm and happily explained to me what was happening and about to happen. I sat on the edge of the bed as they administered my spinal block. I had been a little nervous about this as when its explained to you in a technical manner it sounds pretty scary. It didn’t hurt much though, just felt a bit like a bee sting. The numbness takes over pretty quickly and started from my toes and eventually worked its way up to about my armpits. I could feel physical movement (so if someone picked my leg up and moved it I could feel that but none of the actual touching and most of all no pain!)
They then put the sterile sheet up and began the process. I was very aware of what was happening. I felt fine and conscious just as I usually would be. It was amazing to be really present in that moment. Knowing what was happening down below and excitedly waiting for him to be on the outside. Arie was sitting up by my side and keeping me calm. It was about 15 minutes after they began that they said he was about to be born. Some pressure and pulling is all I felt.
Arie watched as George was born, I was just looking at his face. It was full of pure emotion, not just one but about 100 all at once. And then we heard that cry. He was here. To me that first cry is something I’ll never forget hearing, for both of my babies. It's the sound of relief, pure joy and a roaring love beginning.
George was taken to be cleaned and weighed and checked. He did a big wee on the way over to his little table! Arie cut the cord and then he was placed on my chest for skin to skin. Oh my gosh I couldn't believe how tiny he was! (a whole pound smaller than Ruby) unfortunately I had to pass him back not long after as I needed to vomit. Which may I add is really hard to do when you have a hole in your stomach!
Arie got to have a nice long cuddle and once again my heart was a puddle on the floor when I saw him holding another one of our babies for the first time.
In recovery I started breastfeeding and had a chance to have a better look at who this little guys was!
When we got up to the ward our photographer friend Ruth met us and took the first pictures of us with our son. She also stayed to capture the moment Ruby met George which was really special too.
This birth for me was exactly what I needed to heal some old wounds (emotionally speaking). It was sought out and chosen by me. George was born into a calm environment to a calm mother and father waiting for him. My choices were never questioned and I felt validated as a woman and the person in charge. I believe this is all we can really hope for in childbirth.