It’s been a good few months since I updated my blog, but I have a very good excuse for being absent. I am very pleased to announce that in the early hours of 4th November 2018, I gave birth to a baby boy, Alexander William, by C-section, in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Alex was exactly a week early and weighed a healthy 3.1 kgs. He is absolutely perfect in every way and I have been so much in love with him from the first moment I held him in my arms!
I had such a very smooth and straightforward pregnancy with him, so I always pictured myself giving birth in a comfortable birth pool, surrounded by candles and with some relaxing music playing in the background…. Until my last appointment with my midwife, which was just over a week from my due date. My bump was measuring funny so she referred me for a late pregnancy scan in the hospital to find out what was going on. Thankfully, the scan showed everything was OK, however I was shocked to be told that Bubba was in breech position! The meaning of that didn’t really sink in until I had a chat with a doctor who discussed some options with me in light of that discovery. Amongst other things, I was booked in for an External Cephalic Version procedure (by which a breech baby can sometimes be turned from buttocks or foot first to head first, in order to enable vaginal delivery), and an emergency Caesarean section following that, in case the ECV didn’t work out.
In the end, Alex decided it was ‘show time’ before the date of the EVC – like I mentioned earlier, I went into labour exactly a week before my due date. Just the night before, my hubby and I were watching some fireworks with a couple of friends on Guy Fawkes night at a local pub, joking that if I had Bubba that weekend, he would always have free fireworks on his birthday!
Upon reaching the hospital, my labour started to progress quickly. I was offered an emergency C-section but the doctor advised me that vaginal birth was still in the cards given I had been having a straightforward pregnancy. At that point, my gut instinct told me to go for the C-section to make sure Bubba could come out quick and safe. I was partly scared of having a big abdominal surgery, but also partly relieved that I wouldn’t have to go through the ordeal of labouring and pushing. Whilst waiting to get into the theatre, my hubby and I were taking some goofy photos of ourselves on the labour ward to distract me from the increasing pain. By the time it was my turn to go into theatre, the pain was so intense I had to be wheeled in there like a primadonna!
The surgery was very smooth and quick and the team very professional and friendly even though it was 2am. I found myself being surprisingly calm and even excited just before and during the surgery – after finding out about Bubba being breech, I watched lots of YouTube videos about the procedure, so I knew exactly what was going on which gave me some peace of mind.
The best moment was when I heard Bubba cry out for the first time, about 15 minutes from the start of the surgery, at 2.30am. The crying grew louder and louder as he was being cleaned up and examined on the other side of the courtain which separated hubby and I from seeing the surgical procedure performed on me. I wasn’t even surprised when they told me I had a boy as I had always felt I was carrying a boy. My hubby and I fell in love with him as soon as we were able to hold our little bundle wrapped up snugly in a towel. I didn’t even register I was being stitched up on the other side of the courtain, I was so taken with him. The surgery team helped take pictures of us to celebrate the three of us becoming a family, before we were moved into the recovery room to be monitored and to enjoy that precious ‘golden hour’ with our newborn.
Despite not having had the birth experience I had hoped for, I can honestly say I had a very nice and relaxing birth – something I never knew was possible in such a clinical environment. In fact, feel very lucky I had found out about Bubba being breech just in time to avoid any big surprises on D-Day. The care we received in the hospital and the following 6 weeks was second to none. As a result, I was able to bond with Alex instantly, master breastfeeding within a week and I made a really swift recovery, too.
What I’ve learnt is that when it comes to giving birth, it’s best to expect the unexpected; go with the flow and always look on the bright side of things!
I am going to take some time off from blogging and social media over the coming months to focus on Alex and to get into grips with being a mummy. However, I hope to be back with some new articles and updates in the new year!