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.

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