Well I did not expect the same experience as my first child, and how right was I…
If you have been following my journey you would know that I was given the opportunity to have a vaginal birth or a caesarean (my first child was a caesarean). I experienced so much turmoil. At my 37 week check up, my gyne set a date for the 20 March for a c-section. But we made a choice and wrote it down that if I went into labor before I could give it a try and she was super happy to do so. We also made the choice I would return the day before for another appointment. Where I would do a CTG to monitor baby and see if I could actually push the delivery date to the 28 March (39 weeks). As the dates were still flexible.
Sunday 18 March
In the early hours of the morning (more like 19 March). I started to feel a strange swelling – it was extremely uncomfortable and I just knew what was happening and really could not believe it.
It was not what you think… I was not going into labor….
I had the beginning stages of mumps! When I looked in the mirror and saw the one side of my face, the sinking feeling in my tummy struck. My daughter had it 3 weeks before and I never had it as a child. But how is this timing – I thought. I wanted to wake up my husband straight away and tell him. Instead I lay in bed wondering what I was going to do.
Monday 19 March
Arrive at the hospital very early for the CTG – it’s results were all screwy. And the gyne was not so happy, and wanted me to do it again. But after we had our consultation and scan. During this time I told her I suspected I had mumps. The gyne looked at me with a big “oh no” look on her face. All baby’s vitals were fine. But we did not know what complications I could develop if I kept baby in and waited it out. Instead we confirmed – let’s get this baby out as soon as possible. The next day first thing.
Mumps is dangerous for pregnant women before 12 weeks, and can cause a miscarriage. Mumps is a virus, you can’t use antibiotics and can only treat the symptoms. Which is high fevers, extreme pain and inflammation. Those who have been pregnant before will know – all you have at your disposal is Panado. In some cases mumps can develop into extreme meningitis type symptoms. Swelling of the ovaries for women and the testicles for men, which in some rare cases can result in sterility. Note you can still get mumps even if you have been immunized but the symptoms are not as extreme (same as chicken pox etc). Once you have had mumps you should not be able to get it again.
So later on that day….
Husband and I need to now get our a into g as baby is really coming the next day. As the day progresses, my just swelling face, is no longer just about the look – but the feeling. The pain started to sink in, woozy, can’t stand type of pain. Popped 2 Panado and drank as much water as I could. Tried to do last minute things around the house to be prepared. Panados are not kicking in, the pain is getting worse…. Somehow I manage to pull myself together and double check the hospital bags, everything out and packed back in. Room double checked for everything we will need.
Pain is now really bad. I fall asleep from about 3 to 4:30pm – husband goes to pick up the toddler from school. Which I was even more upset about. As I wanted to spend the rest of the day with her. We chose not too, as I was just not right and needed to finish off the last bits. While hubby was out. I repacked his clothes draws, painted my nails….
Yes I painted my nails…. and my gyne said I could and wear make-up (so different from first delivery)
We get take out, cause no one wants to cook and we still got last minute things. I have no appetite and eating was painful. When you have a caesarean or any major surgery you can’t eat from about midnight until the surgery is complete.
I forced myself to bath and put my toddler to sleep. Women – we are amazing – the strength we can gather to do things for our kids – no matter the pain. I wanted to do those last minute things, as I would not be able to while in hospital and for the next few weeks while recovering. It was also important for me to spend that time with her. After the bath, I took her into her “bruddas” room, which she was so excited to experience. Showed her the tiny diapers, and clothes, she was beyond thrilled to see some of the matching clothes I had for both of them. I read her a story about becoming a big sister, and tried my best to explain that I will be in hospital to have the baby and her brother would not be in my tummy. Her brother was very excited to meet her and she will be mommy’s special helper.
During the night (before delivery)
I gather my strength and flat iron my very curly hair. In hope by wearing it down I could cover my rather large cheeks. My gyne asked me to shave the surgery area the night before and apply an antibacterial ointment after. Ran the bath, and hubby had to help as I could obviously not see a thing down there. Thank goodness for our amazing husbands and the things they do for us. Throughout the night I applied an ice pack to try reduce the swelling and pain. And had 2 Panados every 2/3 hours. They barely worked. The pain was so hectic, I wanted to cry, vomit, faint all at the same time. Throw in a giant amount of nerves about the impending birth. Only 2 hours sleep – which could only be done sitting up as I could not lie on either side of my face or lie on my back.
Tuesday 20 March
Up from 3am… toddler and dad are fast asleep in our bed (she has been wandering through to our room every night for the last 2 months consistently). I run another bath, as I was requested to clean and place the ointment again. No creams or anything like that to be applied. Out the bath – look in the mirror… oh my
MOTHER MUMPER – what the mumps
My face looks horrific! During the night it had swollen and swollen on both sides. I stopped taking Panado at 3am because I did not know if it would effect the other drugs later. We needed to leave the house at 5am. I applied TONS of makeup and even did some contouring to try make my face look better – I know this sounds incredibly vain to be worrying about that – especially when you are about to have a child.
Sorry… not sorry…
I see no problem with me wanting to look my best, especially on one of the most important days of my life. Years to come, looking back at photos, I did not want to explain each time why mommy looked like a blow fish.
Toddler does not want to wake up, she is fast asleep. I get her ready while she is still past out on my bed. When grumpily awake. She is a total cling on. Only wanting mommy – and I had to carry her around the house. Only after some convincing from dad and I – she cheered up. When we went outside it was still a bit dark – she said “it’s moon time” (instead of day time) – she said she is going to show her brudda the moons and keep it for him.
Break of dawn
Toddler is dropped off at the grandparents and we head to the hospital. I am being a snappy bitchy wife – the pain and nerves are overwhelming. I try to keep calm and not react badly. And don’t want to cause a fight. Like a “mama bear” with a sore head.
The pain is getting worse – it feels like I might be having this baby through my FACE. I am feeling so hot now, and agitated. We come up to maternity ward to “check in”. I would of been put into a general ward. But due to the mumps the only shining light of the situation is I am put into a private ward… cause I am “quarantined”. YAY
In maternity ward
Note I was irritable so my first impressions might have been a bit skewed. The nurses who were still the night staff, felt a little unorganized and probably due to lack of sleep. But I did not think about it at that time. I was short and annoyed, Nathan had to go and do the admission while I got settled. Their disorganization took so long, I was meant to be in surgery at 7am. My gyne had to come look for me. And she chased the process up. This was now not as calm as the first time as we are rushing to get me down to theatre. I was the first up, and could delay the whole surgery room.
As I am lying on the bed, moving through the corridors. I start to feel all kind of emotions. I was worried how the pain of the mumps would effect me this time around. I wondered how different the surgery would be, different hospital and different team working on me.
The pain is increasing around my jaw now.
The anesthetist comes to see us and explains what will happen. A lovely lady, she calmed me a bit. Explained to her the mumps situation and asked if it will make any difference. She said she would monitor me closely. I thought Nathan would go in with me while they did the epidural – NOPE – they would only allow him in once I was prepped and on the table.
That was so different to last time. I would not have him by my side, not there to hold my hand as the needle is placed in my back.
Sitting in the surgery room… the hustle and bustle is happening all around. My gown is open at the back as I sit on the bed, ready for the needle…. the staff are all chatting and catching up on family news. It’s a happy environment of mostly women. The music is put on.
I bend my back over – gasp… that was different to the first time. I can feel this needle. I can feel it wiggle… I instantly feel a wave of pain, faint and want to vomit. They are not finished yet, my wonderful gyne comes and comforts me. She holds me close, tells me to squeeze her hand and gets a container for if I do vomit. I wanted to cry, scream and everything in between the nerves had really kicked in.
I am now lying down. I tell them I still feel faint. Something is adjusted in my drip to help. Slowly all pain goes away… with my dignity.
The screen is placed nearly on top of my face. I know I am all bare for everyone to see. Feeling is quickly disappearing and soon I can’t wiggle my toes.
I see a pair of familiar eyes all scrubbed up, sits next to me and holds my hand. Relief to have my husband with me now. Things are happening quickly. I can feel a few tugs – no pain. Exactly how a caesarean should be. You feel tugs, pulling, and pressure but no pain. This time I smell burning. They must be using a new tool to help. Tug tug tug.
I feel like I can’t breathe, I feel faint again. I tell Nathan. He tells them. They check my vitals and say all is fine. Just relax. They explain that I am going to feel some pushing at the top of my stomach as they will be pulling baby out soon.
Whitney Houston – I will always love you!
Was now playing through the sound system one of the song choices of the gyne from her USB. It made me think of my mom, it made me think of my dad, it was one of his song choices for our wedding CD we put together as a gift for our guests. It was his song to me his daughter. And now it was playing as my child would enter the world.
Nathan quickly starts taking photos, I can hear a cry…. I start to cry… I can breathe again – I never cried with Skylar. I was emotional- just no tears. These were tears of relief. I can’t see him… they say he is a beautiful boy… taken by the pediatrician to be examined. I still can’t see him from where I am. The Apgar score is done – 8/10. Still a bit blue around the face. I am listening to it all.
He is brought to me. I can’t hold him properly. My arms and hands feel clumsy and heavy.
Quick quick quick. Take photos and look mom… he needs to go get warm.
I turn and just look and smile, a bewildered what the ‘f’ is going on smile. I am so drugged. So overwhelmed by it all. I just start to go with the flow.
Nathan leaves the room with baby. And I am sewn back up. Tug, tug, tug again.
The staples and stitches are done. I am the. Moved from the table to the bed again and moved to recovery. Feeling faint again.
Then I am wheeled up to my room for the wait…. I had to wait so long to see him, as he has to be warmed up.
I obviously can’t feel my toes. Or legs. Lying on my back. No pain anywhere. I can’t move to the side to reach for the buzzer to call anyone.
You know you just had that baby – but where is he? Can I remember his face, you want to see him and know he is real.
Bloods were ordered to take for the mumps. They could not get a good vein. Poked three times in my arm. And nothing. They came back to try again… yippee NOT.
Nathan comes in, says baby is fine, he is just a little blue still around the mouth, he goes for what seems like an eternity to see if he can come through yet. I see him… brought on his hospital trolly – still with his vernix, they now don’t wash it off and don’t bath the baby until you leave the hospital. This is new – my daughter was washed the same day. I could only hold him briefly and they take him back to the nursery as his colour is still not good. My heart breaks a little. I want to study his face, nose, fingers- take him all in.
Later that day…
A beautiful face pops her head around the corner of the curtain. It is Zandra (Conway Photography) it’s the first time we are meeting, she is here to take some “fresh 48” photos. I checked with the hospital before hand and let the nurses know on the day what would be happening so they were prepared.
I was so sad that I did not feel amazing. I honestly looked like “fat” Monica from Friends (Friends fans you will know what I mean). Lucky I was in no pain and had movement in my legs.
(Day one and then day two face – it just got bigger)
I could not get out of bed yet. And Zandra was amazing. We buzzed for baby to be brought through.
It was awesome getting to chat to another mom about our children and more, it made me relaxed and not worried about my giant face.
I hear a familiar voice – it’s daddy and my darling girl, come to see her “brudda” for the first time.
She was a little shy at first, who is this tiny baby and why is my mom in bed type of look. Soon she was holding him, apprehensive smiles and pride beaming from her face.
Snap, snap snap, quickly photos are taken taken and baby is whisked back to the nursery- the general visiting hour was to begin.
My dad, brother and the kids great granny are here already. They are quickly taken to the the viewing window, by a very excited sister, quick to show off her “brudda”.
My in laws arrive soon after the road is abuzz with visitors and happy laughter. I soon forget about my moon face.
I give my toddler her gift from her brother. I bought a simple lucky packet with goodies to keep her amused while sitting with us. She is so thrilled. Love how grateful she is of everything. It’s now her turn to give brother his gift. Love seeing the relationship starting already. All I want to do it hug them both.
Everyone goes. It’s just me and my boy. The pain is returning – now on my belly too. Morphine is administered via an injection to my arm – another ouch! If you don’t like needles…. sorry, you will have to women up and grit and bear it.
Let me leave the story here, consider this part one – there will be a second post with what to expect while in hospital, especially for moms having a caesarean.