Well, not only am I a first time mom, but also a first time blogger….let’s see how this goes!
In March 2014 my husband and I found out that we were expecting a baby! This was absolutely wonderful news, especially to me, as I’ve always said that I was born broody. My whole life I just knew that I wanted to be a mother and couldn’t wait to start my journey as nurturer, protector and teacher. Immediately I started following Facebook pages, blogs and other information sites about babies! So exciting, yet so intimidating. Let’s fast forward the pregnancy, as that is an entire blog on its own. After months of research, planning and listening to others’ advice I was ready as ever for the big day! And on that day, I was big!
I had it all set out like a proper to do list! Normal birth…check. Breast feeding…check. Every possible product for a new baby…check. Home and baby’s room prepared….check.
On the 4th of November, my husband and I went for our 39 week check-up at the Gynae. “Well” she says, “your baby is posterior AND weighs 3.5kg at the moment which means that you can still go ahead with a normal birth, as you planned; just know that it will be a long and difficult delivery and there might be some complications. You have two decisions to make, 1) C-section or normal birth, 2) tomorrow or a week from now.” I mean seriously, is it that easy? NO! As we were driving back from the Gynae, I said to my husband, “this will be our first decision as parents…what do we do?” After a lot of debate, tears and many phone calls later (to my mom and my mother-in-law) we decided to take the route that posed the least risk to our baby. We then also decided not to wait and to do the C-section the following day. We immediately started with the preparations for the next day and the arrival of our baby. Even though I really wanted a normal delivery and was dead set on it, things change when the words “complications” and “baby” are used in the same sentence.
On 5 November we got out of bed, crack of dawn, and off to the hospital we went. All set up in the hospital ward, in my bed and with all the pre-meds and drip it suddenly hit me, “Okay, this is it!” I’m sure all moms know that feeling just as you are about to be pushed off to theatre! I wonder as well, whether everyone experiences the same feeling? I went into a state of calm as never before, but my nerves were shot. My husband was instructed, by me, to take as many photos of the experience as he possibly could. But NEVER did I think that he thought it would be necessary for him to snap a pic of his scared and uncomfortable walrus wife being propped onto the theatre table…I tell you people, that photo haunts me to this day! Oh, how humongous I was! Anyway, so there I sit on the freezing table and the anaesthesiologist started poking me with the needle to administer the spinal thingy. “Oh” he says, “your vertebrae are somewhat narrowed, I’ll have to keep on trying.” Thanks doc, it only took you eight tries! That amount of pokes are only appreciated on Facebook! I remember being so concerned, petrified even, that I’ll be freezing throughout the entire delivery but once the spinal thing kicked in, I was warm and cosy and ready, with my clicker happy husband by my side.
Before I knew it, the doctor had opened me up, while casually chatting to her assistant about décor items she wanted to buy for her family beach house. Then I heard her say “I’ve never seen this before in all my years of practice”. At that moment I stopped breathing, my heart stopped beating and I was scared to death! Was something wrong? Was my baby okay? After a second, or two…or what seemed to be a lifetime, she went on to explain that the umbilical cord was wrapped around our baby boy’s neck four and a half times. But he was okay and there were no complications. After all the formalities and tests were done, my husband followed the midwife who carried our son out of the theatre. He was like a super watchdog! While the Gynae was busy “putting me back together”, she explained that, if we had decided to continue with the normal delivery, our baby would have gone into distress with the first contraction and that she would/could have helped him IF she could get to him in time with an emergency C-section.
Our baby boy was born at a weight of 2.8kg (I know right, big difference from what the Gynae told us) and at a length of 48cm. He was and is a very healthy baby in every way.
Now, just to put it into perspective, about a month after my son was born, I Googled the statistics, according to American stats there is a 0.01% chance that an umbilical cord is wrapped around a baby’s neck more than four times!
So this is my birth story. It took me about a week after our son’s birth to come to terms with the fact that my, somewhat selfish, birth plan could have resulted in something that I don’t even want to think of. The fact is, I think that way before you become a mom, you have an instinct that guides you from the very moment you fall pregnant. At the end of the day, I’m of the opinion that we don’t really have a decision on how we give birth. What we do have is mother instinct, mother nature and wonderful medical technology! We have come a long way from where women used to give birth in caves, and in countless cases passed away during birth. So let’s be thankful for the fact that in today’s day and age, we have options and alternatives.
I just want to note that I appreciate that fact that my husband was there for me, supporting me, every step of the way. And I am grateful for all the doctors, specialists and staff that assisted in bringing my son into this world.
1st time mom
Ps. Dr Anaesthesiologist, it really wasn’t that bad, you were actually one of the people in that room that managed to keep me calm and made me feel safe. I thank you for that.
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