Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Sebastians birth story. Emergency Cesarean Under General Anaesthetic

Sebastians birth story began as a normal labour and ended with an emergency cesarean under general anaesthetic. I had planned for as natural a birth as possible, i had booked to have Seb in a local midwife led unit which was seperate from the hospital. However about 5 weeks before he was due the heating broke and they weren't fixing it because the unit was closing down. So I had to change to the our local hospital.

The week I was due there was terrible snow. It was so cold and the roads were awful with fresh snow falling on top of ice. I hate snow at the best of times, so being 9 months pregnant I did worry.
Birth story, emergency cesarean

On the 28th of November (my due date), I started getting mild contractions at about 9pm. We were sat watching a programme about Donald Trump and his golf course in Scotland. At first i just thought they were Braxton Hicks then after a while I realised they were in a pattern around 20-3 minutes apart and I just knew it was the start.

I felt really restless and I didn't want to go to bed but I made Phil go get some sleep as I knew he would need it. I sat playing a Countdown game on the wii to keep my mind busy and noted down my contractions. Phil came and got me at around 5am, telling me to have a rest while I could. I laid in bed for around 20 minutes,  turned over and there was a pop and a huge gush as my waters broke. It was like a scene from a TV birth, I couldn't believe how much there was.

By this point my contractions were 10 minutes apart and more painful.  However during the morning they started to slow down and got to a point where i hadn't had one for about 40 minutes. I called the hospital who told me to come in to be checked over as my waters had gone. They checked me and baby, confirmed my waters had gone, everything was fine, baby was engaged and to go home and wait for the contractions to pick up again.  They booked me in to be induced the next morning just in case.

We went back home, where we pottered around, tidying and I unpacked and repacked my hospital bag. My contractions began to pick up again after lunch. I spent alot of time in the bath during the afternoon and evening, I found it so calming and it numbed the pains.
We began timing again and waited until contractions were about 5 minutes apart(about 2am on 30th November), and the pain more intense. We rang the hospital who asked me to wait until they were 3 minutes apart before going in. I would have liked to have gone in at this point but we waited it out. I got to 3 minutes apart at about 5am and headed to the hospital.  The weather was awful but we got there in one piece thanks to Phils dad who drove us.

We went straight into a delivery room, where i was checked over. She said baby was lovely and low and i was 2 cm dilated.
After about 3 hours of monitoring i wasn't getting any further.
I was having lots of pain but no nearer to baby so they decided to put me on a drip to speed things up and advised me to have an epidural. During the whole time I was in hospital my blood pressure and heart rate were both unusually high so i had consultants coming to check on me as well as the midwives, it felt like a constant stream of people. At this point I called my mum at work and she came up to the hospital. I didn't think I would want her there but at that moment I did.

At about 5pm a doctor came down to check on my blood pressure, she decided to feel my bump too and straight away said this baby is breech. Within a minute of two I was rushed off for a scan, which confirmed that she was right and they told me i'd have to have an emergency ceasarean. It was a huge shock, I had seen so many different people who had examined me and everyone had said he was engaged. Naively I hadn't read anything about c sections, it hadn't occurred to me. I remember them telling me all the information and in tears signing the paperwork and they took me straight to theatre.

They tried topping up my epidural but it didn't work and i could still feel the cold spray they use so they decided to try a spinal instead. Two anaesthetists tried getting the needle in for about 20 minutes but both failed to do it. One said i had a slight curve in my spine which made it difficult, While this was happening i was getting more frightened as they seemed to be getting more rushed and then they decided to put me under general anaesthetic as they needed to get my baby out. All I remember is being asked to count with the mask on my face.

Sebastian was born at 6.50pm, weighing 8lb 4oz and measuring 59cm long.  Phil hadn't been in theatre due to the general anaesthetic so Seb taken to him at around 20 minutes old and he dressed him and held him. I woke up some time at later and to be honest I didn't even realise  I had a baby, I was very confused and I just kept asking for a drink of water and getting annoyed that they wouldn't let me.
I wasn't able to hold Seb, so Phil laid him next to me for a while and a midwifes came to try and help us breastfeed but I was just too out of it to hold him and it was pretty horrible. I was taken to the ward later in the night and Phil had to go home. I don't remember to much of that night apart from not being able to do anything for my baby. 

I found that having an emergency cesarean under general anaesthetic left me shell shocked. I had feelings of guilt and failure for a while after and even now I feel sad that I don't remember those hours after he was born, that we didn't get the precious skin to skin time. It is upsetting that neither Phil or I witnessed him being born. Since then I have learnt about birth trauma and that other mums have felt the same. Physically I recovered really easily from my c section, I was able to stop taking painkillers after a day or so and had no issues.

Why not take a look at my subsequent birth stories

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