So no more pregnancy posts as our beautiful baby boy has finally arrived. It feels unbelievably strange to actually have him here beside me instead of inside me but also fantastic. The last week has been an absolutely roller coaster of emotions and hormones, I can scarcely believe he’s now just over a week old. How has it been that long since he made his way, yowling very loudly, into the world?
Casper was born on 2nd October at 12:14am after a long process that culminated in a c section. I was induced at about 1am on 1st October due to some bleeding that my doctor wasn’t happy about. I was 39 weeks and he judged the risk of leaving him in utero to be greater than the risk of getting him out so off we went to City hospital in Dubai at midnight, which is when you check in for inductions for insurance purposes. Once installed in our room I was given a Prostaglandin pessary and we settled down to get some sleep. About 7:30am there was no movement in my cervix dilation so I was given another pessary and also fitted with the canula for IV drugs later on. A couple of hours later and my midwife said they wanted to try and break my waters to really get things going as there wasn’t much happening. After everything I went through that day, this was the worst. If you’ve ever had your waters manually broken you might have experienced the same, for me this was the most painful thing I think I’ve ever been through! Anyway, after this it was assumed everything would speed up so we were transferred to the delivery room and we started to get ready for things to happen. This bit wasn’t actually bad, we both made good use of the gas and air and spent a lot of time killing ourselves laughing which was actually a great bonding experience for our last few hours as just the two of us. After another few hours and another few cervix checks there was sadly, still no movement at all. Towards 7pm my midwife, Abi who was amazing through the whole day, said the best thing now was perhaps an epidural and then manual manipulation of the cervix to try and force it open. Obviously I didn’t have to have the epidural but after the water breaking incident there was no way I was getting through something like that without pain relief and as I’d always planned to have one anyway once labour really got underway so that was fine.
It wasn’t the most pleasant feeling having the epidural administered but the anaesthetist was amazing and it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. Luckily there was no pain due to the local anaesthetic they give you first and after that was just a bit of pressure. Then there was the catheter which I’d also been dreading but obviously I couldn’t feel it after the epidural kicked in so I was totally fine with that. For someone who can’t bear needles and tubes being inserted in me, doing IVF and then birth is a great way to desensitise you to the phobia!
So now I’m totally numb and they can really get in there and do the cervix manipulation and hopefully force it to open a little more so it gets the idea so to speak and carries on dilating. At this point I was on a very high dose of Syntocinon, a synthetic form of oxytocin which your body releases to help labour progress and had been for 7 hours. By 9pm, the lovely Asma who was now my midwife did another check and I was still only 2cm dilated, the same as I had been at 2pm. It was incredibly frustrating to have not moved at all. Asma was in constant contact with my doctor who said that if there was no movement by 11pm we really needed to go for a c section as the high level of drugs I was on meant that the baby could start getting distressed and also my uterus would start to get very tired. Not heard of a tired uterus before, didn’t know they needed rest?! But apparently this would have meant that normal labour could have become increasingly difficult. I was having contractions all day but just not intense ones, not enough to really bother me. So 11 o’clock came and went and after another check it was determined that I hadn’t moved at all dilation wise so whilst it was ultimately my decision I followed my doctor’s advice and consented to the c section.
Being wheeled into Theatre wasn’t the best feeling in the world, I was quite anxious as it’s rare that you’re about to be cut open whilst awake. The husband had to wait outside while they prepped me and that was pretty nerve wracking as we’d been together all day and I didn’t like being without him to keep me calm. Thank god for Dr Andrea, the amazing anaesthetist again who worked wonders and when I got too nervous topped up one of my drug tubes with a little something to take the edge off! That calmed me down and after a feeling a bit of pressure on my abdomen the next thing I knew I heard a screaming cry and saw my baby boy lifted in the air above the screen shielding my head.
I was so amazed how quick it was to get him out and he was taken straight over the paediatrician and midwife to be checked over. The Husband went over to see him and make sure he was o.k and reassure this little guy that had just been ripped from his cosy little uterine world into this big scary bright theatre. He didn’t stop crying once but we were assured this is a good sign and he was pronounced totally fit and healthy by the paediatrician. I was in a bit of a drug induced haze at this point but still so thrilled that he was here and totally fine. My biggest fear had been that there would be something wrong with him when he arrived as there’s only so much they can pick up on scans.
We were taken into recovery and started trying to breastfeed which he seemed to take to quite well. My doctor came to see me and advised he would come and see in the morning after we’d all had a chance to rest and recover and then we were taken back to the labour ward for the rest of the night. The most surreal moment was being left in our room by the midwife and it just being me, Stuart and Casper. We just looked at each other in amazement and shock, there must have been about a million emotions running through us both.
8 days later and we’re still flip flopping between pure elation, panic when we think something’s wrong and exhaustion. I’m overloaded with hormones, crying at everything which is both weird but also oddly relieving every time I do have a cry. Afterwards I feel I can cope again and it’s back to normal for a few hours.
I’m already dreading The Husband going back to work but for now we’re incredibly happy in our cosy little threesome, we even managed to make it out for a drink a couple of nights ago with Casper asleep the entire time in his pram, long may that continue!