So, we’re home. Well we were, Ian has already packed up Isla and Harper and has taken them to visit his parents – he’s such a proud Dad. So, I should be relaxing on the lounge, but I just wanted to come in here and jot everything down before I am completely rushed off my feet!
I’d really like to thank everyone for their well wishes, texts, emails etc, it’s meant a lot to me to feel so supported through the pregnancy and birth of Harper. Thursday was both the most wonderful and terrifying experience in my entire life all rolled into one moment.
My sister and I arrived at the hospital at 7am while Ian took Isla to kindy for the day. We went up to the Birthing Unit and sat in the triage room until theatre called for me. A little while after 8 Ian arrived, and I was sitting on the bed absolutely crapping myself, I was so scared. Just as I said to Ian and Kate, “I don’t think having a baby was a good idea” the midwife came in to say theatre were ready.
I was told I’d get the spinal in the anaesthetic bay but they wanted to do it in theatre – and even though this was my 4th operation, I’d always been too scared to open my eyes inside the operating room. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, although I did have to try really hard not to think about what all the equipment is for. I had to sit on the edge of the table with my feet hanging over, while another anaesthetist held onto my shoulders. They washed my back down with something absolutely freezing, then they gave me the local. It took a long time to do the spinal though, the anaesthetist was training someone on how to insert it, and kept saying things like "No! No! Don't bend it! No not like that!" Far out! So, it took a few attempts to get everything positioned right, and once it was in I couldn’t believe how bizarre it felt - at first it went down my bum and legs, they felt all warm, fuzzy and heavy.
Once that happened, they got me to lay down and they put the sheet up and tested me to see how well the spinal was working. They rubbed an ice-cube on my forehead then on my stomach to see whether I could feel the cold or just the sensation. After a few goes, I couldn't feel the cold from the boobs down.
Kate was then let in, armed with her iPod to distract me, as soon as she came in I started shaking uncontrollably. Kate put the earplugs in and I didn’t even know that they’d started, I thought they were still getting everything set up. I could feel a bit of pressing on my tummy, and I just assumed they were feeling the position of the baby, so I was surprised that when the first song finished and I heard Kate saying, “she’s almost here!”. I felt a big push on my tummy, then I felt a lot lighter, then I heard her little screams!
One of the theatre staff took my camera and took some photo’s of her arrival, but she flicked the setting to video camera, so I have some pretty gory footage of the inside of me, but the audio is good, all I can hear is Harper crying, Kate crying and me crying and asking “is she okay?”, "Is it a girl" and "She's really big!". The moment I laid eyes on her, the iPod played “Beautiful Girl” by INXS although technically, she was born while I listened to Fall Out Boy!
Kate was able to trim the cord and took lots of photos for me. The baby was all wrapped up and I was able to give her a few kisses and strokes on the forehead before she went off to be weighed and measured. I wished she had stayed in there with me a little longer. I also wish I was able to move my right arm to be able to see her properly.
After she was taken, Kate was supposed to go with her, but she refused and stayed with me for the rest of the operation, and I'm so glad that she did. One of the theatre staff was insisting that she leave, but we'd already asked someone else who said it was okay, so Ian waited in the nursery with her. I was still shaking uncontrollably and when I could sense that they had a tray on my tummy that they were putting their clamps etc into I started to feel really sick, but one quick injection and I was okay. The worst part of it all was I had the worst case of dry mouth of my entire life, I couldn't swallow anything and it was making me feel awful!
It wasn't long until everything was finished and I went to recovery for what was meant to be 30 minutes. They had to get me off the operating table (obviously!) and they had to roll me from one side to the other and I was convinced that I was going to fall on the floor, I kept pleading with them, "Please don't let me fall!". So, off to recovery, I couldn’t stop shaking, so I stayed there for over 2 hours. It was really awful, all I wanted was to see Ian and the baby, but I had to stay until the shakes had gone. They loaded me up with heated blankets (I think I had 5 in the end) and made me do deep breathing exercises, but nothing worked. All my obs were normal, so after about 2 hours I was allowed to go but I still had the shakes when I got to my room. I had to wait about 20 minutes before the nurse went to find Ian and Harper, then I was allowed to have all the cuddles I could!
Harper Joni Kate
Born at 9.34am