Birthrites: Healing After Caesarean.

Jack's birth.

First of all I'll quickly say that Jack is my 2nd son. I have a 6yr old son aswell, who was born naturally, full term, and weighing 10 pounds. He was delivered at King  Edward Memorial Hospital,  Perth.   I didn't enjoy my time. The midwives I had were not nice and I felt very uncomfortable. 
I'm not sure if I had Gestational Diabetes with Dean, my 1st.  Being pregnant with Jack, and knowing the size of Dean, my Dr seems to think I did have, just wasn't tested long enough. (the 1 hr glucose test, I had to have a two hr one this time to make sure).
My husband and I had decided to go to Armadale Hospital,(public), being alot closer to home and it was a place I felt comfortable. People seemed nice and friendly.
Due to my Dr taking leave and being replaced by a dickhead, my Gestational Diabetes wasn't monitored correctly, and by the time my Dr came back, things were left too late. I was 34 weeks pregnant, referred to KEMH urgently, put on insulin injections (yuk!). (hubby & I had to chase up KEMH to arrange a time to be seen).
King Edwards is the only hospital here in Perth that has the facilities to treat pregnant women with Diabetes. I'm not a diabetic, but I know now that I have the gene, and that's why I suffered G.D.
So 36 weeks I'm booked in for an induction at 37 weeks.  Was not looking forward to it. They told me what procedure they were using on me. Mechanical induction.
For those who don't know, I didn't..lol, they attach a small balloon to the end of a catheda, insert it to the neck of your uterus and slowly inflate the balloon to open up the cervix mechanically. Sounds barbaric, I know. :)

Ok, the day of the induction.
8th December 2007.  Hubby and I rock up at KEMH, 7pm, as arranged.   Shown to our room in the delivery suite.  I was so nervous, the room was cold and very clinical.
The midwife told my husband to go home. He wasn't needed here, and he'd be better off going home.  Both my husband and I said he'd rather stay.  I needed him, he wanted to be there for me beside me helping me. I couldn't have him leave, I would have gone troppo..lol
Thankgoodness that midwifes shift was over and another lady came on. She was delightful. She offered my hubby a cot on the floor beside my bed. I was feeling much safer, holding his hand.
The hrs went by and finally a Dr came in. She apologised for being very late. Induction was booked for 8pm. Dr came in to induce me at 12.30am.  The plan to have a Mechanical Induction failed.  The Dr used 4 different sized spatula/duck bills, used for papsmears, to try and open my cervix. I didn't know they came in different sizes...lol, did you? :)
Anyhow each time  she had to go deeper and it hurt even more each time.  Because I had a big baby first time round, everything had been stretched in there :), and each time she tried to open the duck bills, my uterus would fold in, making it difficult to get the catheda in there.
In the end they used the gel. Why they didn't in the first place, I'll never know.
Because the Dr had been poking around quite vigorously inside my vagina, when the gel was put in, it burned like buggery. I was in constant pain. No offer of any pain relief, just deal with it. I'm so glad my hubby was with me :) My rock :)
My poor husband, this is his first time. Our eldest isn't my husbands, he's a bit like step dad, but my son calls him dad, and my husband (Tony), is going to adopt Dean so he has legal guardianship. Dean's real father hasn't been in his life since he was a baby.
So, yeah. Not only is this all new to me but for the both of us. Tony did so well :)

6am came and the midwives put the foetal monitor on me, see if anything had started to happen.  Jacks all good.
9am the Dr came in to internally examine me. Another painful event. Jack was still too high up. She could just make out the top of his head. I was so excited, I knew then that it was going to happen soon.  So saving me from going through anymore painful examinations, I asked for an epidural.
10.30am the antithesis came in, prep me and away she went.  You know I didn't remember the epidural with Dean hurting this much.  The second it was all over my body started to itch and itch. It was driving me crazy. The midwife gave me an antihistamine but it did nothing. From my shoulders to my feet I was itchy. I ended up with my sister, who came in as a support person, and my husband scratching a leg each with a hair brush...lol
1.30pm a midwife came in to do another internal to see how far I had dialated......bloody buggerall. 2cm since 2.30am that morning. This was going to be a long process, but I just kept thinking. I delivered Dean, I can do Jack easy. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking caesarean.
The midwife came back and suggested I lay on my left side, it will help bubby move down into your pelvic. I had never been induced before, I was non the wiser, thought she knew what she was talking about.
I spent 2hrs on my side, contractions becoming more regular. Everything was looking great, Jack and I were doing fine :)
3pm a male Dr comes in to see me, all dressed in his greens. I knew what he came in to see me for, but I just kept thinking if I say the C word it will happen. You'll be ok Christie...lol
The Dr gives me another internal, tells me his head is still too high and still only 2cm. My thoughts then turned to a c-section. That wasn't going to happen to me.
Dr said he'd come back at 9pm, and on the dot he came back in and did the usual. Yep, only 2 cm dilated still, and our son had dropped down but not head first. His shoulder was presenting and he was locked in. I cried. Then I heard the Dr say those words I was preying I would hear. You'll have to have an emergency c-section.   My biggest fear but I had no choice. I begged the Dr to push the little bugger back so his head will come down, but it was too late.
So the midwives prep me and the orderly came an wheeled me to theatre, Tony with me of course. Then Tony had to leave me to get scrubbed, at that point I was sick from being scared and nervous. I was terrified, everything was a blur. People talking was just one big noise. I just shut down, all I wanted was my husband.
I had my arms strapped down. Top ups of oxytocins to numb me from the shoulders down. All I could see were peoples eyes from the masks they were wearing.
Tony came in and sat beside me, I felt a little safer.
9 December 2007 at 9.29pm our Jack was born. 8.9 pound. They held him over the big green cloth screen they had up in front of me. It felt all surreal, almost like this wasn't happening to me.
I couldn't hold my son, so I just looked at him laying safe in his proud dads arms :)  Jack was just beautiful :) I was so upset I couldn't touch him or have that mother, baby bond as soon as he was born.

Then I started to feel this sharp pain in my tummy. That's when Tony was asked to take Jack and go to my room in the labour ward and wait for me, at that point I was sick again.  I yelled out 'it hurts, it hurts, what are you doing?'.  The anaesthetist guy beside me said 'there's a little complication'.    'What's going on?' I demanded. Then they told me my uterus had torn from it being thrashed from contraction and the oxytocins drug.  They were trying to find where the bleeding was coming from. Charming. 
I started thinking about my boys my hubby, where were they, does he know what's going on here. What's going to happen.  So many thoughts flooded my mind. Then I was told they had found the tear, and were stitching it up. They also had to tell me they were putting a tube through my tummy to drain out the excess blood and fluid, non of that really sank in.
I was then wheeled into recovery by a lovely man. He was the only one to talk to me like I was a person. When I was being shifted from the op table to my bed, they had to roll me each side to get something from under me, and when I was rolled one side, I flung my arms out, I couldn't feel a thing, and I felt like I was falling. An orderly grabbed me and said 'it's alright love, I've got ya'.  Those simple words meant to much to me at that very moment. 
In recovery it was empty. Only one light on which was above my bed. The nurse told me to deepen my breaths, cos my heart rate was too low, it had to be around or above 90.
So there I was all on my own, concentrating on my breathing, looking at my body. Blood everywhere, the bed, my gown, on me. Tubes sticking out of me left right and centre, literally.  Again I started thinking about my hubby and bubs. Were they ok. How long would I be here for, does he know where I am or what has happened.  I can't believe what's just happened. It's like I blinked and here I am. Did I just go through that. I felt very sad, tried so hard not to cry.
No one came in to see me to see how I was, nothing, just left there.

3hrs later after Jack was delivered, I was finally taken to my room in the labour ward where my son, my hubby and my sister were waiting for me. I was so bloody tired and emotional, but I was so happy to see my husband and my new little Jack.
The Dr came in to tell my husband what had happened and that's when I learnt I lost 2 lts of blood, quite alot really, specially when ya look at a 2Ltr milk bottle...lol

I lost all dignity having Jack. My husband and a midwife had to help me shower for the first 2 days, the on the 3rd I managed with Tony, then 4th an 5th I was doing it on my own, very slowly. Still having an epidural, catheda and tube coming out of my tummy, things didn't move very quickly, still very tender and numb.
On the 3rd day the epidural and catheda were removed, then on the 4th day the tube through my yummy was removed.
Not once while I was there did my sheets get changed. I still had the same sheets from when I was in recovery, ,so they had blood all over them. My friends and family would come to visit and see blood every where, I felt so dirty.
A few days after Jack was born I told my husband, 'We're not having anymore children, I am not going through that again'.  He was so understandable, he couldn't blame me, seeing what I looked like when he was washing me. 

It's been 3 months now. Jack has suffered from Colic and reflux, but he a very healthy boy.     Life has been a hard struggle to feel the way I do now.   I couldn't do much of anything for about a month, and it drove me crazy. My tummy has only just stopped hurting, I even lost all sexual sensation. That had me very worried...lol
Things are almost back to normal, just waiting for my body physically to catch up...lol :)   I have since said to my husband 'I could do it again'.     'I survived'.

I know some women elect to have c-sections, and a part of me thinks their crazy, the trauma I went through, why would anyone elect to have it done to them, but also because it was a huge fear of mine I also admired women for their strength.   I now see myself as much stronger woman.
Women's bodies were created to give birth vaginally. But my body had to endure going one step further. As horrible as my experience was, and I'm sure many woman have had the same.  I'm very proud and feel more of a woman now then I ever have done. Women are strong creatures, you just need to believe that what ever doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.
My husband has been the greatest strength for me, my rock. He has been so supportive I feel very lucky. He did so well for his first time, and together we have helped each other.
So we have decided to try for another bubby in about 3yrs. :)

Thankyou all for sharing. It's important that women know their not alone. There is always someone somewhere who feels exactly the same, and understands.  Caesareans are very scary for alot of women. We feel cheated out of being a mother, that very first moment we bond with our baby.  I wish I could have held Jack like alot of women do when having a c-section.

Sorry this very long winded. I have to tell the story for you to know the story :)
One more quick note; King Edward Memorial Hospital urgently need to lift their game.  They need a PR (public relations) program where there is some available to talk when a woman is in recovery from having a c-section. Feeling alone is a scary feeling, specially after something so traumatic.
Unfortunately King Edwards is the only hospital in Perth, and WA I think that has all facilities for all pregnancy's.  Other hospitals need to have the equipment and facilities to accommodate women who have Gestational Diabetes, and other pregnancy related encounters.

Thankyou all for reading. I hope my story touches you in some way. Most of all I just want you to know we're not alone :)     
Be strong!!

Christie, Tony, Dean and Jack

 

Me pregnant

Me Pregnat

Jack

Jack Jack

Father and Son

Father and Son

Me, Jack an Tony after theatre

Me, Jack and Tony

Dean an Jack

Dean and Jack

Jack 2 days old

jack, 6 days old