Birth of Charlotte by Lucy
So my whole pregnancy was trudging up to St Georges hospital to be checked by either my Neurologist Consultant or to be monitored by the epilepsy nurses every two weeks, it was nothing but a pain in the back side as the journey from from Caterham could take over an hour in bad traffic. I was to have my natural birth at St Georges and there was no option, it was the safest place for me and the baby with the added factor I was a controlled epileptic. I spent 8 months fearing that journey full of contractions or surges; depending on your view !!!
I had planned to work as a nurse until 38 weeks, but was stopped in my tracks at 30, as I looked like elephant man over night and felt beyond horrendous, it turned out I had developed pre-eclampsia.
After many midwife and epilepsy appointments and discussions, it was decided it was a risk to have a natural birth for me in my condition, and a risk that I wasn’t prepared to take. So I made the choice to have a planned c-section to avoid the chance of having a seizure and losing my lisence and potentially harming my precious baby girl I was carrying.
As soon as I made that decision I felt amazing and so incredibly in control. I knew the date I was having Charlotte, as well as having already planned her room and name….. I am by nature a control freak at the best of times, so this was right up my street!
On the 2nd of April my Mum hosted a wonderful pink baby shower with all my friends and family….. I came home totally shattered and was proudly showing my other half all the amazing gifts our unborn child had received…. and then just as I was marveling over all these tiny clothes …….. BOOM………. I had a bloody almighty huge seizure!
Woke up in hospital where I stayed a few days, I had lost all control and also lost my driving license !!! GREAT !!!!!
So I spent the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy taking it easy and trying to do anything I could to keep my blood pressure as low as possible.
All this time at home I could do nothing but prepare Charlotte’s beautiful pink and grey room and nest in our flat; soon to be our family home.
I had everything planned to a ‘T’ …. On the 24th April I went out for a delicious lunch with my Mum, had repacked my bag that I had already repacked 10 times, as well as Charlotte’s bag, Rob my partner’s bag and of course my V–Pillow !!! I had a lovely bath that night and went to bed early, after washing my hair, shaving my legs and nether regions, full body moisturised, plucked my eyebrows and perfected my nails so I looked as good as I could in tomorrows photos. I went to bed early, but was so excited I could hardly sleep but I got myself about five hours; knowing I was never to spend another night for as long as I may live with no dependants !!!
THE 25TH APRIL…..
I was up at crack of dawn, maybe even before and arrived at St Georges at 7 am on the Maternity ward with beautifully blow dried hair and a full face of “natural’ make up.
Because I was high risk I was first on the theatre list – WOOHOO – I got to meet my baby before anyone else !!!!
I excitingly got dressed into my sexy hospital gown, went down with my Mum and Rob to theatre, where they also got to dress up in scrubs, we sat on the chair and chatted and laughed with the scrub nurses and anesthetist, as Mum filmed and Rob held my hand in between selfies, the surgeon had to ask me to refrain from giggling just while he injected my spinal into my spine, it was so hard to contain my excitement and joy while he did so, but for the fear of being paralyzed ….. I managed it !!!!
We then had me laid down and the staff were all so lovely and we all chatted about my nursing career and how nurses are the worst patients !!!!! Most inpatient anyway !!!!! For the first time I understood how bizarre the feeling of a numb spinal block is.
I now was weirdly enjoying the feeling of having all theses hands and tugs being felt in my belly even though I couldn’t see beyond the blue curtain, yet I was well aware of what was going on, as they spoke me through it all, I could feel everything and it was the weirdest sensation with zero pain …. Just tears of joy…. And then the lovely Irish midwife looked at me and said “are you ready?” as she winked. Then there was my beautiful girl help up like Simba and still attached by the cord and that cry that will never leave my head !!!!!! SHE WAS BEYOND PERFECT and very white !!!
Within two hours I had gone from being wheeled down to theatre on my hospital bed, to be wheeled back to the ward with my princess in that same bed. Another hour later my legs were totally back with me and I could stand !!!!!! Four hours post-op I was walking to the toilet and peeing ! I had a little pain but it really wasn’t too bad and I was well aware that as long as I mobilized and took my pain killers on time I would be home as soon as possible. Rob went home that night and was back in the very next morning 7 am sharp to see his girls……. I didn’t get much sleep that night, as the high is like something I had never experienced before…. I ACTUALLY MADE THAT SMALL HUMAN.
Leaving Rob in the care of our new baby, I went and had a shower and looked at my scar, that I was so proud of and never will I be ashamed of it, its my stamp of where my Charlotte came out. We saw who we had to see that morning, had a review from surgeon, nuero team, baby team etc and then like pros off we went with our baby in her car seat and her little red book.
Over the following weeks other friends we made at NCT became parents and we all shared experiences, but when I listened to some of the stories, I felt guilty and I never felt I could quite say just how amazing our planned C-Section experience was, we were blessed with the best birth in the most happy and controlled environment. I would not of changed a thing about it, although next time, lets hope I do not lose my driving license.