There will be a lot of swearing. You see, I’m not a big fan of hospitals, needles or blood. Which was totally fine until I was told that I needed to have a Cesarean section to safely delivery my baby (more about that here). I pushed it out (geddit?) of my mind until my obstetrician asked:
“So, how does Friday week sound to you?”
He was talking about locking in the birth. He was talking about deciding which day my daughter’s birthday would be. It felt weird.
Until I sat in the car. That’s when I thought, F*ck, I’m having a baby. Forward “Friday week” and this, my friends, is what a caesarean really feels like:
10:05am Order the largest breakfast that you can fit on the table. I won’t be allowed to eat for the next 24 hours (2 hours is the longest time imaginable for a pregnant woman not to eat, 24 hours sounds like hell).
10:10am “Our last meal without a baby.” That’s my husband. Sounds like I’m on death row.
Avi and her daughter. Image supplied.
Noon Answer phone call from mum talking about what I'm up to today. You see, only my obstetrician and husband knew I was having a C-section. I just didn't need anyone reminding me I was about to give birth. "Not much... no, I don't think I will come to the shops with you this afternoon... yeah, best to rest... okay bye."
12:30pm Respond to second text message from considerate friends asking if I've given birth yet. They don't know about the C-Section. Just asking in general. As you do.
3:00pm Leave for hospital. Hyperventilate. Breath deeply. Tell husband not to touch me.
4:15pm Midwife comes to get me dressed. Realise she is also trained as a beautician as she offers to give me a Brazilian, unfortunately I already spent the $40. She insists on checking the work of my beautician. Number of people who have seen my vagina: 1.
4:30pm Pee. The Anesthesiologist said that I could drink water until 3:00pm - the more water I drank the easier the spinal block would be.
5:00pm Tell off husband for fidgeting. Pee again.
6:10pm They were supposed to get me at 6:00pm. Decide to give them another 10 minutes and then if they don't come, I'm leaving.
Avi at 34 weeks pregnant. Image supplied.
6:25pm Ask my husband if we can leave and do this another day. "No, it'll be fine. They'll be here soon."
6:30pm Something has gone wrong with the woman before me. These doctors don't know what they're doing. "I think we should just leave."
6:45pm They come to wheel me to the operating theatre. Damn it, I should've left.
7:00pm Meet Anesthesiologist. Happiest man on the planet. Gets me to sit on the edge of the bed, bending over (which is easy unless you have a basketball sized belly in the way) and squeeze my husband's hands. I see my husband grimace from me crushing his hands as the numbing injection is put in. Next is the spinal block, which feels like your spine is literally separating. Numbing injection my arse.
7:10pm Wheeled into operating theatre. Number of people who have seen my vagina: 20.
Click through the below gallery of Sarah Downs who was unable to have a natural birth, so she decided to make her caesarean experience more personal.Read the full story here and post continues after the gallery.
7:15pm Anesthesiologist asks me if I can feel my legs. "Yes." Runs some ice down my chest. "Yes I can feel it on my stomach."
7:16pm Tries again, can still feel it. And my toes. Turn to my husband, "I don't think I can do this, we need to leave." "It's okay, it will be over soon." F*ck, f*ck, f*ck.
7:17pm Tries again, can still feel it. And my toes. Obstetrician peers over the partition, "good to go?" Anesthesiologist, "yip, all good here." WTF? I can feel my toes. Turn to my husband, "No one is listening to me, I can still feel everything." "It'll be okay, the anesthesiologist is giving you more drugs in your IV." Liar.
7:18pm "F*ck." Every single person in the room freezes. "Are you okay?" Sh*t, I said that out loud. "Yip, fine." Turn to husband, "I'm not fine, we need to leave. We can come back tomorrow, today is just not a good day to do this." "They've already cut into you, we can't go." F*ck.
7:19pm Pull the blanket that they've placed on my chest over my head. Nurse comes over and pulls it down, "oh this silly thing has crept up, here this is better." Pull blanket back over my head. Nurse comes back, Jesus, lady, it's bad enough I have to be here, at least let me hide.
Avi and her daughter now. Image supplied.
A few minutes later they pull my baby out and coax me from under my blanket to look at my daughter, purple, covered with blood dangling in the air. My husband says it's amazing. I give a weak smile and pull the blanket back over my head.
They bring her over and place her on my chest. That's the moment when everything is okay. That's the moment when I no longer care about the pins and needles in my toes. Or the fact that my vagina is on display to everyone. That's the moment I stop swearing.
What was the scariest part of your birth experience?
Watch: The things you aren't told about giving birth.