Tuesday 30th January 2018.
Me, my husband and about 10 other people in a theatre room as Henry Cole Jones was born into the world with an almighty cry and a huge pair of balls (my husband made me write that…)
It’s been exactly two weeks since that moment, so I thought it would be a good time to share Henry’s birth story. It couldn’t have been more different to Alfie’s. Both surreal and unbelievable in their own way, but this birth has a lot more positives than my previous experience.
I decided at 36 weeks that I wanted to have an elective caesarean. I was getting extremely anxious about the birth and how it would go if I did choose to opt for my vbac so I changed my mind and asked for a caesarean instead. I had my pre-op there and then (which admittedly was a bit disappointing – I was given a tablet to take the night before, some swabs were taken and some leaflets given and was basically told see ya in 3 weeks! No opportunity to ask questions, discuss the operation and what would happen or talk about a birth plan. I was thoroughly annoyed and disappointed by the experience to be honest, but then I was shouldn’t have been surprised given how my antenatal care had gone up to that point.) A few hours later I was given my date. It was exciting to know when the baby was coming, but also a bit strange. We had just over two weeks to get everything done that we needed to.
We decided that we wouldn’t tell people the date of the operation so that the birth was still a surprise, so only my mum and Craig’s dad knew. We arranged childcare for Alfie with my mum and I made a list of everything I needed to do in advance.
The night before D-Day, my parents took us out for dinner before we settled Alfie in for the night at their house. He’s used to sleepovers at my sister’s, but has never stayed at mum’s before so I was slightly wary with how he would be, but I needn’t have worried. Saying goodbye felt really emotional for me – the next time I saw Alfie, he wouldn’t be my only baby. I cried a little about that on the way home.
We had to be at hospital at 7am, which given to how far away we were, meant leaving the house at 6am! I was allowed to eat until midnight, so I’d had a bowl of porridge before bed but made sure Craig had a good breakfast as I knew it would be a long day. I was only allowed to drink water up to 6am.
We arrived at the hospital in good time (makes a change) and we made our way to the post natal ward. We “checked in” and was shown our bed. It was on a ward with 3 other people. Two ladies had had their baby’s the previous night and one couple were waiting for an elective caesarean like us.
We had various people coming in and out of our bay, doing checks on me and asking questions. I had some bloods taken because the ones the previous day hadn’t been done properly. At 8.30 we were told I would be going down shortly so I changed into my gown and Craig put his scrubs on. We then had a further two hours to wait, but we kept ourselves occupied, mostly on our phones.
Then at around 10.30, someone came to get us. I went to the toilet quickly, took my underwear off and slipped on my slippers. We were shown down to theatre which was just around the corner. I was taken through and Craig was asked to wait outside. He said this was horrible as he didn’t expect it and didn’t get a chance to say anything to me before I was taken in. He was waiting for about 20 minutes and said it was the longest time of his life as he didn’t know what was going on (again, because we’d had no prior explanation of what would happen on the day).
I was taken in and introduced to some of the team (I couldn’t tell you who though!) I was sat on the bed and a cannula was fitted in my hand. I then had the spinal block put in my back. I was most nervous about this, but actually it was fine. I couldn’t see what they were doing, but they talked me through it all and I don’t remember it being painful at all – just a sharp scratch. I was laid down on the bed, and quickly felt my legs turn to pins and needles. It happened very quickly and was all a bit weird! I remember two people moving my legs in to position – I could see them doing it, I could feel *something* but my legs felt super heavy so couldn’t actually feel them touching me. Very bizzare! Someone sprayed me with some cold spray to test what I could feel (thankfully nothing!) and they were satisfied the spinal was working.
They then put all the drapes up and I could see and hear lots of activity down the business end but I don’t really know what was going on. Craig was all of a sudden next to me, and we were ready to go.
It’s a very strange experience being laid on a bed whilst your baby is cut out of you. I don’t remember anything from the first time round and to be honest, I don’t even remember much from this time round either! I could feel pressure and activity but no pain. We seemed to be waiting for ages and then the doctor asked if we wanted the drapes lowered and then there he was.
Our baby boy.
He was screaming his head off, which is completely different to Alfie who didn’t make a peep until a few minutes after he was born. They cleaned him up and Craig cut his cord, then they put on his cord tie and weighed him.
Craig got first cuddle, then he was given to me to hold. That first cuddle is just so amazing, nothing I write can describe the was you feel when you hold your child for the first time.
Craig then took Henry into recovery whilst I was stitched up (which seemed to take ages) and then I was wheeled through. The whole procedure didn’t take longer than 45 minutes. I got to give Henry his first feed in recovery and then we were taken back to the post-war ward at around 12pm.
So there we have it. A lovely, calm, not dramatic in any way, second labour story. The operation went so well and I’m glad I opted for the elective caesarean. There will always be a part of me that wishes I could have achieved that perfect birth I have in my head, but ultimately all I need to healthy children and that is what I’ve got.
Recovery is going well, much better than first time round, and we are settling in to being a family of four.