Birth Story

I felt it was about time I shared with you all the story of how our little Calleigh came into this world.

I'll start with when we went for our 37 week scan. I was booked in for this scan by the midwife because Calleigh was in a breech position most of the way through my pregnancy. Whilst at the scan it was confirmed she was still breech and we were faced with three options. The first option was something called an external cephalic version (ECV) where they would try to turn Calleigh into the correct position. I was told it was a pretty painless experience, if a little uncomfortable, but was not guaranteed to work. The second option was booking in for a Cesarean Section and the third option was to wait it out and hope that she turns by the time her due date came along.
We were not thrilled by any of the options to be honest but we ruled out the ECV straight away as it seemed pointless if it was not guaranteed to work and I didn't want to cause any unnecessary stress on Calleigh. After a long talk with the consultant we came to the decision that we would book in for a Cesarean Section. I was told by the consultant that with my small frame attempting to give birth to a breech baby could cause complications and that if she hadn't moved a Cesarean would be safest.
I didn't argue, it was a great feeling having a date put in place for when Calleigh was to arrive. We booked in for the 28th November at 7am, I would  be 39 weeks at the time.
We then went home and began to prepare everything and tell family and friends that in two weeks time we would be holding our precious baby.

My Experience of a Cesarean Section

On the 27th of November Paul and I went down to our local pub with family and friends to celebrate. Everyone wished us luck for the morning and we went to bed that night knowing that this would be the last night it was just the two of us- such a strange feeling. I didn't sleep very well that night, a bit because of the excitement for the day ahead but mostly because Calleigh would not stop moving, I think she knew she was soon to meet her Mummy and Daddy.

We arrived at the labour ward just before 7 and checked in. We waited for about half and hour before being taken into a private room where the midwife was to come and check everything was still the same. I got dressed into my lovely hospital gown and began pacing the room. I had no idea what was going to happen next and was terrified about the operation. The anaesthetist came to see us and briefed us on what was going to happen and made sure we knew what to expect. Then the consultant came in, she informed us that she was going to do an ultrasound to check Calleigh's position. If she had moved in the correct position we would be sent home to wait for a natural labour but if she was still breech we would be going straight away into surgery. I lay on the bed and then consultant covered my belly once again with that freezing cold gel. It only took a minute and she exclaimed that Calleigh was still breech and she told the midwife to prep us straight away.

Everything was suddenly happening so fast. Paul was taken into a room to get dressed up in his scrubs and told that he could not see me again until I was in surgery. I was terrified, Paul was not there and I was all on my own. I was taken into a small room and sat down on the hospital bed. And suddenly the room filled with people. Anaesthetists, midwifes and someone who I'm pretty sure was just there to hold my hand and talk to me whilst they prepped me for the procedure. I was shaking like a leaf, every part of my body felt cold and my hands were shaking so fast the poor lady couldn't even keep hold of me. I can't even remember much of what happened in that room due to the fear, but I do remember having the epidural (which didn't hurt at all) and then someone prodding me in my arm with something cold and then moving down my body. I lost the cold feeling as soon as she got under my ribs. I think that satisfied them that the epidural had worked and I was wheeled into surgery.

As I lay there waiting, completely unable to move the lower half of my body I kept asking for Paul, when was he coming? And then I heard the midwife say "Here he comes, George Clooney" and Paul was by my side again. I was so happy to see him, he kissed me on my forehead and then we looked at each other whilst they got to work. A curtain was up so I didn't have to see what was going on, thank god. It felt so strange I can't even explain it. I could feel someone pulling at me and rubbing but none of it hurt, even though in my head I knew that it should be hurting. I just kept looking at Paul and waiting to hear my babies cry.
After what felt like forever an unmistakable and beautiful sound filled the room, Calleigh's cry. At first it was very croaky, almost like a dry cough but then broke through into a proper cry. The next sound we heard was the midwife "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10" counting she had the right number of fingers and toes.
The time was 10:23am and our little girl was here (with the correct number of fingers and toes)!

At that moment I looked over to Paul and saw tears fill up his eyes as the midwife brought Calleigh over to us. She laid Calleigh down on my chest and I looked into the face of my beautiful baby for the first time. It was magical, Paul kissed me on the head and we waited together whilst they finished stitching me up.

The Next Few Days

After the Caserean Section I had to stay in hospital for a couple of days to recover. It took a while for the feeling to come back in my legs, in fact it was the next day before I managed to get myself out of bed. The first night was very hard with not being able to move very well and Paul had to leave at 11 so I put Calleigh on top of me so I didn't have to go very far if she needed me. We had a very good night together, occasionally a midwife would come in to check on us and take some stats and then it would be just the two of us again. Family came to visit whilst I was recovering and Paul came everyday and stayed with us the whole day until 11pm came around again.

As soon as I was up and walking about we were cleared to leave. It was Wednesday 30th November and we were finally taking little Calleigh home for the first time. I remember her being so tiny that the car seat was massive around her. The walk to the car was slow and painful, it was the first time I had seen outside in two days and unfortunately the hospital car park was quite a walk.
As soon as we arrived home, although I was ecstatic to finally be out of hospital, this wave of fear hit me. We were on our own now. I looked around the house and even though we had everything we could possibly need I felt so unprepared.

It was about a week and a half before I finally felt well enough to go out of the house. The midwife had visited a couple of times and was happy with how Calleigh was doing. Paul was amazing and did pretty much everything I couldn't. I did feel really useless at times, at first even picking her up was a challenge. Once I was able to do things by myself we decided it was about time we took Calleigh out for the very first time, to show her off obviously.

We worked really well as a team and pretty soon got into the swing of things. After a couple of weeks all that fear I felt when we first brought her home had completely vanished and I was finally able to relax and enjoy being a mum. 

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