After The Boy, 2 years of physio and stocks and shares in Tena Lady (you can guess how my first birth went 😖) it was decided that I would have a C-section to try and prevent further injury to my nether regions. My consultant discussed with me that this wouldn’t necessarily mean I wouldn’t have any further damage as the pregnancy itself, weight gain and relaxation of muscles all contribute but it would avoid another difficult labour as long as Wilba didn’t make an early appearance like the boy did.
Plan in place I went through a relatively normal pregnancy with the usual aches and pains but by month 4 I knew it was a girl as I was still feeling sick. With the boy I had awful morning sickness day and night for 12 weeks solid then one day I woke up and it was like a great sicky fog had been lifted and had an easy second trimester. Sadly that was not the case second time around and I was sick throughout with Wilba. I didn’t even get the short relief you feel after hurling your guts up as I was not ever actually physically sick, I just felt that way for 9, long months. My only solace was when my face was stuffed with salt and vinegary chips – as you can imagine I put on more weight than was needed or that I’d planned, after the difficulty of getting rid of The Boys’ baby weight (which to be fair still hadn’t really gone and I don’t think it ever will) but I soldiered on nether the less and worked up to the weekend before my due date.
I left work on the Friday and was booked in for the Monday but on Sunday I wasn’t feeling right at all and was in a lot of pain with reduced movements so in we went! After being checked out by the brilliant Norfolk and Norwich team I was admitted to a ward and there I met Geidre a 5ft 10 polish ball of fire. She was sparky and mouthy and knew what she wanted… her baby out!
Both of us had been told we were expecting larger babies and were anxious at the thought of squeezing anything out our already damaged doolies let alone a whopper, so we laughed and cajoled our way through some very anxious hours as we jealousy saw other women come and go with their babies. We laughed about our twinning outfits, partners’ failings (what, you didn’t?) and how the heck we were going to manage the sleepless nights again and most importantly what our first alcoholic beverage of choice would be!
Monday morning came and after a busy weekend we were given the go ahead, there was a gap in the schedule with no emergencies and within 20 minutes Andy was dressed in a gown and fetching hat and due to the rush, missed out on his name tag, which could have proved interesting after one nurse mistook him for a doctor 😲😲😲. Misunderstanding cleared up I was wheeled into a theatre and greeted by the most friendly team of doctors and nurses you could have hoped for. The dreamy (lets call him doctor hottie) anesthetist made me weak at the knees before any anesthetic had chance to take effect. I then met the two women who would be performing the operation – I’ll be honest at first I was anxious as they looked far to young and glamours to be performing major surgery! That’s awful isn’t it, my preconceptions of doctors are slightly older men with glasses – not young talented women! After internally scolding myself for thinking that way, I chatted to the doctors and they put me at ease and as it turns out did a bloody good job at sewing me back up. 2 years on and you can hardly see a scar which makes me think that maybe women make better maternity doctors/surgeons as they are able to empathise with the pressure that women particularly (not solely) face, like body consciousness.
Tug of War
Despite a moment of unconscious and sickness (I’ve always struggled with my veins) the epidural went in without any fuss and I really didn’t feel to much discomfort – just a little prick (no pun intended) in my back, and not as harrowing an experience as some describe or would let you believe. To be honest – the worst bit was the tugging about. Wilba got a little bit stuck (I blame Andy’s big head) and it took a team effort to pull her out, think sports day, tug-of-war, but I didn’t feel any pain and it was amazing having her put on my chest straight away and being ‘with it’ enough to have those precious first moments! Something I missed completely with The boy as I was too far gone in La la Land to even know where the heck I was.
The recovery after the c-section is a bit of a bugger, coupled with the fact I didn’t have a working shower a home due to the renovations taking longer than expected. I was out of the hospital within 48 hours which was my choice, I remember ‘accidentally’ removing the cannula in my arm just to speed up the discharge process and waddling to the shower with partially numb legs just to prove I was ‘OK’ – all this despite feeling very dizzy and nauseous mostly to do with the fact it was the warmest September on record. All I wanted to do was go home and that I did. In hindsight I probably should have taken a little more time as I got a magnificent bruise on my arm from trying to drag my body up from the bed without pulling my tummy to breastfeed every few hours every night (Andy’s a deep sleeper!) I breastfed both my children solely until 9 months and a year. Whether you bottle or breast you still have to get up and the tiredness is the real challenge for all new mums – not where you get the white stuff from. I once mistook B&M for a spaceship! 😏 mum drove me to hers for showers which felt like a trip to the spa, if it hadn’t been for the pot holes she seemingly couldn’t avoid. After 2 weeks i was nearly back to my old self, I was very mobile and thankfully back driving! You do need to make sure the doctor agrees to this for insurance purposes, but to be honest I think he saw my mum pull in and took pity.
You Got This
Wilba is completely different to the boy in many ways, she slept longer than him even from the start but was much more fussy when weening and is proving a nightmare to potty train. But that’s the thing, all births are different and all babies are different. Just do what works for you, listen to advice but take only what you want or need. Then wing it like the rest of us do – and whatever you hear or see on social media, NO BABY “SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT” AFTER JUST 1 WEEK!!!
If you read my blog and insta regularly you’ll know what a big fan of the NHS, I am, but the Norfolk and Norwich hospital in my opinion is exceptional. The amount of personal care and attention I got was brilliant and I can speak with comparison as I didn’t have The Boy at Norwich (but that’s another story). This blog is dedicated to all the amazing midwifery staff at the hospital and all the doctors, surgeons and nurses making miracles happen every day. I am truly thankful.