jfs: (boy with cat)
[personal profile] jfs
Just in case people don't want to read about operating theatres ...

I'd said before that we'd had a scare on the Sunday night, so we'd gone in to Homerton and had a chat with a nice doctor called Adam (possibly a surgeon? I know that makes him a Mister rather than a Doctor but he wasn't wearing nice handy rank badges like the Army do ...). He quite matter of factly suggested that even though we were a little bit early, he'd happily start the induction process then. We demurred, happier to see if protoWilliam would come out on his own.

24 hours later, we were being asked by Adam if we wanted a caesarian, with 6 weeks recovery after major surgery, or a breach birth with slightly higher risks to Mum and baby. Oh, and no pain relief from the massively sudden onset of labour that A. was in until the decision was made. Current time: 22:45, Monday evening.

(Aside: pregnancy is massively democratic. We were being asked ... we're going into labour ... we're getting pain relief .... Nope. All Alix.)

A caesarian was agreed on and, shaking like a leaf, Alix was stripped and put into a surgical gown while a clean set of scrubs were passed to me and a corner was indicated that I could change in. No time or space for modesty. Current time: 23:30, Monday evening. We remember, because we asked if there was a chance the baby would be out before midnight, as if it were after midnight, it would share a birthday with Jade, my niece and god-daughter.

Alix was wheeled into the surgery - shaking like she was starting to fit from the cold, the shock and the pain. The theatre staff all made sure that they came and introduced themselves to Alix, and occasionally to me - it was very clear (and I was very grateful) that she was their total focus. But it wasn't hectic. Everything was calm and measured. Current time: 00:15, Tuesday morning.

Adam started his checklists. An announcement of the name of the patient, the procedure that was going to be done, a positive affirmation from each station that they had everything they needed and were ready to proceed.

The anaesthetist spoke firmly and kindly to Alix. She must stop shivering for 30 seconds to allow for the spinal injection. The anesthetist's assistant offered to bring a warm blanket to help with the cold and I remember being delighted that it had actually been warmed through, rather than just being thick.

Once final announcement. 'Mum and dad don't know what sex their child is yet, so please can we keep comments on that to ourselves until they can see' - hidden behind a green tarpaulin screen, I can catch glimpses of them all as they move, reflected in the lights in the ceiling and the polished stainless steel that is in every direction.

Knife to skin: 00:20, Tuesday morning.

That's what it said on the whiteboard. Knife to skin.

Baby out: 00:26, 19th April, 2016.

Adam has another checklist - another reminder not to tell us anything as the baby is taken around to the resuscitaire. And a couple of minutes afterwards, as quickly as they can without skimping on detail, my son is put in my arms.

40 minutes of sewing up passed quickly for me - reflections of what was being done to my partner in the mirrored lights were reminders of what was going on on the other side of the screen. She described it as a 'pulling' feeling. I could see what they were pulling at.

And then we're done.

Adam has one final checklist and Alix and William are taken to the recovery room. I'm dispatched to find the trail of our luggage - bags in the waiting room, the triage room, the nurses station. Still in my scrubs, and with baby clothes in hand, we make it into the room.

And on the radio, this song is playing.

Date: 2016-05-13 11:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sushidog.livejournal.com
This is really moving; terrifying, and then beautiful. Congratulations to you both, I hope A is healing well.

Date: 2016-05-13 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jfs.livejournal.com
I think 'terrifying, and then beautiful' is a great summary of the night. :-)

And thank you - all healing well.

Re: What can there be, beyond all this love?"

Date: 2016-05-13 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jfs.livejournal.com
"What can there be, beyond all this love?"

A quote? Google says no ... and you're welcome.

A friend at work said 'make sure you take lots of pictures and make notes about things - you'll forget the detail very quickly'.

Date: 2016-05-13 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nyarbaggytep.livejournal.com
Wow. Glad it was all smooth in the end, although I really think they should stop all the shiney reflective surfaces above the bed being quite so mirror clear, it can cause people some upset.

Congratulations to you all.

Date: 2016-05-13 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jfs.livejournal.com
Thanks hun. It was intense. But so worth all the stress.

Date: 2016-05-13 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] november-girl.livejournal.com
Thanks for sharing this. Birth is really quite horrifying when you read about it from the outside - when you're involved in it yourself you're too busy getting the hell on with it, aren't you? Mind you, [livejournal.com profile] ephraim said he nearly passed out at one point - did you have anything like that or are you made of more solid stuff? For me, getting stitched up was, in a lot of ways, the worst bit. However, I had a very different experience to Alix. I hope she's recovering well and that little William is thriving.

Date: 2016-05-14 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jfs.livejournal.com
I think I was lucky - no faintness, but I did kick into event manager mode quite early on so 'making sure stuff happened' - helping Alix when she was having the spinal injection, and so on.

She's recovering very well now - thank you. And William is great :-) Looking foward to getting to introduce him to friends as soon as we have opportunity.

Date: 2016-05-16 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caddyman.livejournal.com
Only just spotted this entry, though of course I've already met the Young Man of the Moment. Twice as it happens - firstly when he was but a wee nipper of some twelve hours and the next when he was a seasoned party-goer of a full eleven days.

Congratulations to all three of you yet again, and rest assured that I take my 'Disreputable Uncle' duties very seriously indeed.

Date: 2016-05-22 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolflady26.livejournal.com
Awww, I love hearing birth stories, thanks for sharing yours!

I also had that intense shivering. It's so weird to experience! And the anesthesiologist and her assistant were super nice, and kept reassuring me that I didn't have to be scared, and they were going to be with me until my husband finished getting dressed and was in there with me. I wasn't scared at all, though... mostly so, so tired. Those drugs are funny things!

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