Saturday, 31 August 2013

Essentials - I over packed though...

Hospital essentials

·         A big shirt with buttons down it (if you’re breastfeeding) and because you have a catheter in for the 1st 24 hours and can’t go anywhere!
·         Bridget jones, full brief knickers! Not sexy I know, but it is the last thing on your mind and your partner shouldn’t really care, you just had his baby and major surgery. Get a size you would never dream yourself to ever wear. I wear 14/16 normally and bought size 20/22. I find Tesco’s full brief knickers are softer and larger!
·         Big PJ’s. You don’t want nothing at all on your scar, so make sure the pjs you buy can be pulled up and your boobs be tucked in them (trust me!)
·         Breast pads
·         Maternity pads (Don’t buy night time pads, they aren’t the same!) and you bleed A LOT!
·         Nursing bra
·         Toiletries (There is nothing like a nice shower and fresh pjs)
·         Towels (Hospital do provide them but they are the size of postage stamps)
I was recommended by a friend who had had 2 sections to buy Arnica. I also bought the cream but you cannot use the cream until your scar is well and truly healed. I just took advantage of the offer (I love 2 for 1’s)
·         A nice baggy outfit to go home in. I wore some size 22 leggings and a maternity top. I also had the Anti-Embolism stockings on (also a very sexy item of clothing) and a pair of bright pink slippers... (No shame! Didn’t care, just had a baby!)
Oh and also, I would ask if the midwives can put a cot on the side of your bed, because unless your bed is pumped right up, it is difficult to move to put your baby back in the cot that comes with your room. Also I found myself falling to sleep a lot, he was feeding every hour but just suckling, still crying for it though so it was easy to pop in this cot that was right next to me and attached to my bed. Also it is easier on the stomach!

Baby Essentials

·         5-10 sleep suits (I say this many as I was covered and he was in pee on a few occasions and I had a leaky nappy *tiredness* which went all down his leg and stained the suit) I recommend buying the starter kits from Asda/Boots/Tesco. - I got a white set from Asda.
·         Mittens
·         Socks
·         Dummies (I know what you’re thinking but your baby has just come out of a lovely warm, snuggly womb and wants to be on you all the time. I aren’t saying this is a bad thing but when you have been awake 28 hours it hurts when your baby is screaming every hour for a suckle)
·         Muslin squares (babies leak)
·         Nappies
·         Baby Wipes
·         An outfit to come home in. (Mine was only a little Tigger suit but had some colour in it)
Before you leave hospital, ask for a bath demo. The midwife bathes your baby and shows you how to do it properly. Massive help for a first time Mum.

 Twitter @hayley_lou3686

The Day before and morning of Surgery

Picture inserted; my 1st Picture of Thomas - 1 hour old.

Day before surgery…

My surgery was booked in for a Monday and I was up early on the Sunday as I was always (as you can imagine at 39 weeks) needing to use the lav.
NESTING! NESTING! NESTING! When my partner got out of bed he was like “ok stop now and relax, you’re not doing any more!” I had another look through my suitcase made sure I had put all the washing away and got the other half help me change the bedding so I had clean bedding to come home to and I relaxed… finally.

Morning of the Elective C-Section

We arrived at the hospital at 0730, I had been up since 5am though ensuring the house was still in order and I had a nice shower, a shave washed my hair etc. I always feel better after a nice shower.
Stood in the car park, watching the other half calmly walk to pay for a whole day of parking, I started to panic and cry. It still wasn’t real, after everything I had to go through. In a matter of hours, with myself almost in complete control of the situation, I was having a baby whether I was ready for him to come or not. Simple as that! Life changing stuff by lunch time! After a good cuddle and a kiss, my lovely other half took me into the hospital and sat by my side the whole time. I aren’t going to lie, I cried, a lot but I had the support I needed right by my side.
The only problems going through my mind now were “Am I going to be able to cope with the feelings etc during surgery?” “Is it going to be worse than I thought?” “What if I die?” You know… regular thoughts (sigh)

So down I went. (I was obviously wearing the correct attire for the surgery at this point)
Everyone in the operating theatre was lovely. Very friendly, supportive and had a smile on their faces. I was sat on the side of the operating theatre, with my legs dangling down and one of the team put a stool under them as they were about to go very, very dead.
Now, I don’t like needles. I cannot watch someone take my blood, but I can cope with the ‘sharp scratch’ as once it is in, it is over before you know it anyway. So, there I am, sat awaiting the cannula to be put in my hand and the spinal injected into my spine, other half holding my right hand as tears crawled down my face, as I whimpered, still very scared of the outcome.
**Prepare yourself for what is typed next as I am going to be very honest**
The Cannula was very large, and they injected a local anaesthetic into my hand before they inserted the cannula, because it must really, really hurt if not.
Then the anaesthetist prepared me for the spinal. You have 2 injections for the spinal. The first one is a small local anaesthetic to numb the area where the spinal in going into and then all you can feel after that I guess is the slight scratch then all I can explain is like if you close your fist and use the folded bones of your fingers and put it, quite hard against your spine. (Because it is numb) you just feel pressure, I guess, is what you would call it and that was it hey presto… I was numb from the breasts downwards.
The doctor did a little test with a little sharp instrument, I could feel it very very slightly then not at all. The feelings in my legs was like I had passed out. He asked me to try and lift my legs… I couldn’t! WOW! No control of my legs at this point at! In went the catheter too, didn’t feel a thing.

And they started… I honestly could just feel slight tugging. It was quite comfortable (no really) and then the doctor came over and checked if I was ok. I was ok, I felt good considering I was awake during major abdominal surgery.
I then felt like I couldn’t breathe and that someone was sat on my chest, my blood pressure dropped and they passed me an oxygen mask.
Then he said “your baby’s head is out!”
WOW! (This is definitely it now!) Then he said “you should start feeling like they are washing up inside you now” and I kind of jumped, only slightly though! Then they were like, “Congratulations, your son has been born!”

My lovely other half toddled off with the midwife to cut his cord and help get him cleaned etc, while the surgeons fixed me back together. Then before I knew it I was in recovery with a new born baby boy – We call him Thomas Alexander.
My other half brought him over to me and all I remember is a feeling of overwhelming love. If this is something you’re worried about, don’t! I was so worried I wouldn’t love him and I do so much! If anyone tried to hurt him, they would have to cross me first!
I got sewn back up and down to recovery I went, all in all expect to be in surgery about an hour, it really doesn’t feel like it though! Especially as you do feel very ‘drugged’. When I got to recovery, I made phone calls to people and I don’t even remember them! So just bare that in mind.
Overall, I would say the experience is mixed. At the end of the day you’re having MAJOR surgery. The weeks after the surgery haven’t been a walk in the park but you do manage if you follow instructions and let people help you. Do not say no to any help around the house, moving stuff, making drinks etc. At the end of the day, you have a new born baby, people don’t mind.

 Twitter @hayley_lou3686

Friday, 30 August 2013

C-Section wound care. How I did it...

C-Section wound

You probably can’t see it, unless you stand in a mirror and lift your ‘apron’ up but the key is to; Keep it clean and dry.
Shower every day, shower the wound (Make sure you lift the apron though!) I used the tiniest bit of soap as it was August when I had my Thomas so it felt sweaty and rinse well. When out of the shower I got dry and left my scar till last then I tucked my towel under my apron and sat for a bit till I was dry. Then I got the hair dryer out, (first few days other half had to help me do this) hold the ‘Cool’ button in and dry and dry and dry till it is as dry as it can be. I found mine slightly weepy so I folded up a panty liner and put the pad on the scar and let go of the apron (which as sexy as it sounds, holds it in place.) Bridget’s on! Good to go! J
I got worried about mine though and went to the doctor, I was prescribed some Gauze and some anti-biotic ointment, which has worked wonders for me! Still carried out the instructions above and then applied the ointment. The doctor said it isn’t infected but she was worried it could become so hence why I was prescribed the ointment. The ointment is called Bactroban.

Do not do too much! Even if you think you can do it! Hoovering is a no no!! So is walking at a normal speed. Just try and relax. After all you have a new baby! Get your mum round!
My Nanna has been a great help but she said she felt like I was making her redundant as my partner was doing all the cleaning for me! I let her do my bathroom, she was well in her comfort zone! Sparkling bathroom afterwards!

Diets and especially exercise is a no! Diets is a no if you’re breastfeeding, although I haven’t got my appetite back so I have to admit it’s easy for me to turn down food/not eat it. Although when I do eat I am trying to eat good stuff and some good fats to help my milk!
Exercise… last thing on my mind and it will be if you have just had a section. Not only can exercising slow down the healing process, trying to sit up off the couch can be hard enough, never mind hitting the gym! So don’t do it! At least wait till you hit the 6 weeks mark.

 Twitter @hayley_lou3686

Thursday, 29 August 2013

My Elective C-Section Journey

My Elective C-Section Journey

Hello! My name is Hayley and I am 27 years old. I have just had my first (& probably only) Child. He was born at 39 weeks and 1 day by elective C-Section.

I am writing this to help other anxious mothers to be who are wanting an elective c section. My reasons were personal and all stemmed from a previous, violent and controlling relationship. The long and short of it was that I ended up feeling ‘dirty’ downstairs so to speak, which put me off ever wanting babies and the thought of having a vaginal delivery was extremely hard to get my head around. Plus, all of the extra hormones cursing through my body brought a lot of painful, unwanted memories back to life.
Not to mention, pretty much from week 3 I was suffering badly with Sciatica and spent almost 3 months on the floor unable to move and I was off sick from work for a very long time! My cat has a Facebook account now, I was that bored!
So, it begins. I found out I was pregnant, boxing day 2012 and feeling extremely hung-over after Christmas day drinking but yet felt very different... Sent the other half out for pregnancy tests, did 3 of them and couldn’t believe my eyes.

I requested the need for a c-section in my first midwife appointment and she requested an appointment for me to see the Consultant at our hospital, which was booked in for week 26 of my pregnancy. In the meantime, I was a regular at the Physio and using crutches to walk. My physio knew of my request and she became part of my care and support network throughout.
I saw the consultant on a regular basis, at most his clinics. In there he told me things like, “I would be fine.” “Nothing would happen.” “You will make a fantastic Mother.” “My wife and I have 2 children, I know you can deliver naturally!”
Quite frankly, these things he was saying, didn’t make things better, if anything I was struggling massively with the fact I was pregnant and couldn’t stop crying. Life for my partner was hard, I know I made his life hard but it was hard for me to register! Anyway, after keeping my feet firmly on the ground with him, he asked if before my next appointment my Physio would take me around the labour ward and explain some of the options. The only other way I would deliver naturally would have been a guaranteed place in the birthing pool. (Because of the ‘dirty downstairs’ issues)
So, armed with an “I am prepared to do this, if this, this and this happens!” I went to see the consultant the following week to be told, I couldn’t be guaranteed a place in the birthing pool because of possible complications, if any were to happen when I went into labour, i.e if the baby had a poo whilst I was in labour I would have had to get out of the pool.
So, I freaked out and advised I couldn’t do it, yet he still thought I could and then referred me to the Perinatal Mental Health Team, where I met with Jenny, who managed to break down walls and we had a very good, teary talk about what had happened in the past and I was diagnosed with ‘Tokophobia’ Secondary tokophobia is due to previous experience of traumatic birth, poor obstetric practice or medical attention, postpartum depression or other such upsetting events.” Click here for more information.
At this point, I was 35 weeks and 4 days pregnant and still couldn’t relax, at all. All I did was panic and I worried about every stronger movement in my stomach, I thought “Oh god, don’t go into labour yet!” I just physically couldn’t have gone through with it.
Jenny was wonderful throughout the whole experience and she quickly got the ball moving. The following week I went to see the head midwife at the hospital and we met in a meeting room and the midwife was already told about everything Jenny and I had spoken about so I didn’t have to repeat the same story over and over and constantly get upset about things. After about a 2 hour talk and the midwife genuinely seeing my fears, she agreed that the Elective C-Section would be the best choice for my care and would write a letter to ensure the consultant saw it at my appointment the next morning. The midwife also offered to be there with me, if I needed her, but Jenny being the star that she was rushed like a maniac from an appointment to be by my side.
My elective C-Section was finally approved when I was 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant, which meant after all that I could finally relax. Got things together for my arrival. I literally had a few outfits and my parents bought us a pram. I then started nesting, to an OCD point of “I’ll just do this!” At 4am!
Picture inserted - Me and Thomas bump @ 38 weeks and 5 days. Almost ready for surgery.

 Twitter @hayley_lou3686