My Birth Story From Dad's Point Of View - Dad's Edition

Welcome back!

This month, I have asked Max to write about my birth story, as March marks the month where it would have been a whole year ago that we went in for my elective c-section. I thought it would be fun to read about my experience from Max's point of view, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Amy gave birth at the hospital in the afternoon of the 19th of March 2018.

We knew the day we were going to the hospital in advance, as we had opted for an elective cesarean. Edith had been breech for much of Amy’s pregnancy, although it is common for the baby to flip before the birth (in some cases hours before). Edith was still the wrong side up and back to front a couple of weeks before being full term, we had it in our minds that we would be having a cesarean of some description and had begun planning for this. In fact, we had an appointment at the hospital to scan Edith and determine the course of action and to work out whether she was still breech. However, when the ultrasound showed an engaged baby our whole plan went out of the window.

At this point Amy became incredibly anxious. The sudden change of plan meant that she now, again, had to give birth naturally which scared her to the point that she thought she couldn’t do it.

We arrived at the hospital at around 9 in the morning, we had packed our hospital bag and Amy had not eaten since the evening before. It seems strange in that you can have an emergency cesarean when you've eaten the entire labour but with an elective you have a whole different process to go through. Amy had to wash herself with a special antibacterial soap the two nights before (thanks superbugs!) and was not allowed to eat any food until she had given birth. She was given some special calories drinks (which I tried and didn't taste great) to have in the morning to keep her going, but it wasn't really enough to sustain her through the extra long wait that we had.

Our last photo together, just the two of us!

When we arrived we were talked through the events and were told we only had one other elective in that day. The reason we were moved from one hospital to another was because the other had an elective unit that only deals with elective cesareans. This is supposed to speed up the process, let staff deal with only the booked in operations and let the other theatre deal with emergencies. We were told that at our original hospital we could end up being delayed by emergencies, perhaps to the next day, so the other seemed a more sensible choice. 

Being only one other elective we thought we wouldn't have too long to wait, however, the other mother was picked first (seemingly at random) which meant we had to wait for at least the length of the procedure (about an hour and a half) to get ready. Although we got there at 9, there was a lot of waiting around. I've experienced my fair share of hospitals and there is never much to be doing. I was there trying to support Amy and keep her mind from wandering and I was also there equally as anxious waiting to see our daughter for the first time.

We were told to keep close by in case they needed us, which mostly meant we were confined to the waiting area next to the delivery suites. The other lady was called in about 1pm and I don't believe we got called until 3:30ish. I had snuck off to the canteen between this time to get a sandwich, but Amy still had to fast. A mixture of being hungry and nervous and worried is never good, especially if you're about to have a baby cut out of your stomach. 

Amy was also asked to put on a pair of compression tights, which I offered to help with. We had a good laugh at just how hard they are to put on (well I remember laughing, I'm not sure Amy was in the mood to laugh). When the consultant finally called Amy’s name he introduced himself and got her to walk into the theatre, it was at this point I had to say goodbye. I was asked to get into my scrubs (which by the way, are awfully sized and didn't quite fit). At least I got to keep my pants on and got given some trousers! After storing my stuff in one of the lockers provided, and trying to fit my phone into a tiny pocket, I got asked to come into the theatre.

The nurse said they were already starting as Edith’s heart rate had dropped so I walked into the room and sat on a stool next to Amy. It was very surreal to watch a team of people work behind a curtain, on my awake and very pale wife. I did my best to keep Amy calm and distracted, but have to admit I had a moment where I could see a pool of blood from under the sheet and didn't feel the best. It was a weird mixture of beeping and sucking and watching Amy’s face contort as they pulled at her stomach. 

Finally Edith came out. Although, we didn't get to see her above the curtain which we both knew then that something wasn't right. We were told that she was out and okay, which is doctor speak for she is out and isn’t okay

I did my best to keep Amy calm and reassure her everything was fine but I too was starting to worry. Amy’s asking the nurse if she is okay had a muted reply of 'she is okay and just needs some help'. The theatre’s mood shifted and was quieter than before. I watch as they carried her into the room next door, then finally I heard a short cry, a pause and then a longer cry. My heart lifted as we finally got to hear that she was okay. Although Amy never got that first cuddle as she was lifted out. I could finally tell Amy that she was a mum and that I was so proud.

I was then asked to come up to the counter and help cut the cord (which I had been a bit nervous about doing). I finally got to see our beautiful baby (and not that horrible purple colour like when they are first born), and immediately noticed she had my ears (this being the first thing I said to Amy later). I got to cut the cord which was purple, veiny, spongy and just weird to look at and get her in a a nappy for the first time. I took a few photos and finally got to take Edith to see her mum. I never expected to have such a responsibility from the moment she was born, I'd expected Amy to have cuddled her first and to have been the first person to look after her.

It was finally when Amy got to see Edith and hold her that I got to see how happy Amy was. The stress and worry that was there just 5 minutes before had disappeared into joy and love. Despite being stitched up and losing a lot of blood, Amy looked over the moon. When the doctors had finished and it was time for Mum to be moved into recovery, I took Edith and got her dressed for the first time. This tiny, fragile baby was in my care and I spent some time carefully putting an outfit far too big for her on.

We then began our lives as a family of three.

Do you ever talk about your birth?


No comments