It was supposed to have been one of the most beautiful days you can have; becoming a parent whether for the first time or not it is supposed to be a time of love and joy. Well unfortunately when my son Jacob came into the world that wasn’t exactly the case it was pretty damn traumatic. But I will start from the admission to put it into context.
Sunday 28th May I had been on and off getting incredible pains across my stomach and in my lower back. When it got to the point I couldn’t bare to stand up I rang my Mam to see if needed could she have Ra-Ra for a bit so 00Steve could take me through to the Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) The midwives of course did want to see me and so my Mam and Ra-Ra went off to hers (with Ra-Ra crying her eyes out which was utterly heartbreaking) and 00Steve and I drove to the MAU.
They had me on a heart trace monitor which was indeed picking up some contractions but not as many as I had been having. I had an internal which they said I was dilated around a centimetre so not much. We were moved to the Labour ward after a steroid injection and were really excited as you can clearly see.
After battling with the midwives that I was not having injections every 4 hours for the pain. I am pretty scared of injections; needles aren’t usually a problem tattoos/piercings/bloods/cannulas not a problem injections woah nope. Too many injections over the years have literally made me freak out now. I was given morphine and moved up to my home till my son was born ward 19. 00Steve stayed with me the first night but went home to try and sleep the next night but was with me everyday. Ra-Ra had an amazing time at her grandparents with all her cousins until the Thursday when she went home with 00Steve and visited with him. Which was hard when she would ask “Did you miss me mummy? Did you cry for me?” In fact one night she actually asked me to miss her and cry for her! I was like I do whenever I’m not with you, then she would cry. That in itself was pretty traumatic for me.
Yep a whole week on a maternity ward which I will summerise as a lot of it was repeats of the day before *sigh*
- My pain was blamed on duh duh duh my stoma as the input was next to nothing (I learnt not to have three meals consisting of bread) I repeatedly said how it wasn’t my stoma as I had had blockages both before and during pregnancy. But it took three visits from the colorectal team plus my stoma moving for the obstetrics consultant to believe that this was true. (FYI fizzy pop and a warm bath is my go to to budge blockages)
- Two obstetric doctors had a small argument whether I should go home or not in front of me, they decided as I was still getting tightenings and pain I was to stay.
- I was then told my pain was due to hyper-sensitivity and they didn’t think they could do much but try to keep me comfortable. No bringing my baby early to try and ease my pain nope still the following Monday.
- I had to miss my obstetrics appointment as it was at a different hospital and that meant discharging myself. I waited two days to see my consultant, whose secretary failed to pass a message on saying I was admitted and she had fully expected to see me at the Friarage. I was given my growth scan on the MAU which showed everything was going fine with Button.
- I had to ask for my bloods to be done as we had been keeping an eye on my iron. It was 117 the Wednesday before and when they got my results it was 93. My consultant again didn’t seem to be aware as she was hoping to keep my infusion for when I was having the section. But soon changed her mind when she found out and Saturday I was hooked up to a drip.
- That same night I felt like I may have started to lose my waters but thought stuff it I’m having a bath, well I had just ran it. Then once in the bath I was having crippling pains so out I got as the Show Girls were kinda yelling at me that I should. After 00Steve dashed to Northallerton to drop Ra-Ra off with my parents he raced up to James Cook University Hospital, they had me on a trace again which all week had shown an irritable uterus. I had an internal to check to see if my waters had gone but they hadn’t. This was becoming beyond a joke for me not the midwives they were lovely but I was so fed up I just wanted my baby now.
- Finding out my consultant was no longer going to be doing my section panicked me. I like to know who is going to cut me open if I’m honest. I started to become quite anxious and I needed to know what was going on. I was allowed to see an anaesthetist who said he couldn’t be much use as each of them have things they are comfortable to do etc. All I wanted was to know I wouldn’t be fully aware of the needles going in be it pain relief anything. I was also told I could go down to see the ward I would be moved to after my baby was born, that due to it being busy didn’t happen which was fine. I had heard the midwives say the suite had been closed three times due to being full!
This brings me up to the day that my little baby button was born Monday 5th June. The traumatic events started with finding out the consultant doing my surgery was the one who blamed all my pain on my stoma. I just looked at 00Steve in absolute horror, he had been in the room when we had originally met her so instantly knew. She was really unprofessional from start to finish; butting into the conversation the anaesthetist was having with me about my fear of needles and what we could do to keep me calm. She barely said anything to me but spoke to the people in the medical team then off she went.
Whilst we were outside the theatre, I was told repeatedly that we had plenty of time and not to worry about the injections, we had a plan in place we were going to try some emla cream on the site to try and offer some relief along with gas and air plus 00Steve was going to be right there with me. Can you tell what happened? 00Steve went off to get some scrubs on and I was escorted into the theatre.
I watched one woman sit him just outside the door that’s when I started to panic. I asked why he couldn’t come in and the anaesthetist sounded confused as he said he was allowed. Suddenly I was told there was no time for the emla cream I started to freak out and sent the alarms off as my heart was hitting 154/163 bpm I started to cry and begged them to put me under general, repeatedly saying I couldn’t do it. We even had to ask for the gas and air as no one had set that up either, I put my headphones in to try and calm down. I remember them putting the cold spray on my back then a sheet, one anaesthetist held my face to the side so I could face plant the mask, whilst I clung on to 00Steve okay tried to as another woman kept taking my hand off his back and tried to hold it. I appreciate the sentiment but the only person I wanted was my husband. I screamed and cried a lot when the needle went in but somehow stayed relatively still (which didn’t happen with Ra-Ra let me tell you!)
Can I point out that as your legs go numb if they aren’t completely straight you will feel like they are in a funny position the entire time which is not fun. So if you thought the needle bit was the end to the series of traumatic events you unfortunately thought wrong. The surgeon wandered in and as the team started the checks the shit started to hit the fan for me. The anaesthetist asked if the utensils were sterile and she responded with probably. Yes probably who the hell says that whilst they have someone essentially paralysed from the waist down on a table with their gown being used as a screen? I looked up at 00Steve and he was so pissed off, to be fair so was the anaesthetist as he responded with “So that is a yes”. Then someone else pointed out that the thing I was hooked up to wasn’t done correctly and I just thought are you being serious, these people are delivering my baby. Part of me actually feared for our safety if I am honest but I was in a heightened state of anxiety.
I started to feel really sick so I was given IV Cyclazine which resulted in me becoming quite drowzy and looking/feeling very hot. The surgeon piped up with “Oh this isn’t as tricky as I thought it would be”. I thought no it probably isn’t as they have always tried to remove as much scar tissue as they could. Then at 11:26 am my beautiful baby boy was born crying straight away, he was passed straight to 00Steve as per my request who laid him on my chest. All the fear and anxiety literally dripped away from me as I held this tiny bundle of joy against my chest.
Well until the last part of my traumatic tale the surgeon that I had no faith in had me feeling like I was broken as she said “Am I being thick or have you had one of your fallopian tubes removed already?” Erm nope I as far as I was aware other than my bowel and rectum I was pretty much in tact. 00Steve is then asked to go change from his scrubs and Jacob is weighed at 6 lbs 15 oz. All that serenity I had felt as he was handed to me washed away as quickly as it came when the surgeon told me whilst alone might I add that she couldn’t find my left ovary and tube, due to this I would also have to go for a dye test to make sure she had successfully done the right. Oh and some weird metaphor for having sex which she then made me feel like I was an idiot for not knowing, then left and I didn’t see her again.
I am absolutely mortified that this woman was allowed to a, be so unprofessional and b, talk to me the way she did. I have never been so upset hell I’ve even cried writing this, but I needed to work through it. I have had some traumatic stuff happen to me over the years but nothing like that, which was completely different to Ra-Ra’s birth where my only issue was jumping out of my skin with the needles. I knew the staff and the surgeon which to me made a huge impact on how I was able to mentally deal with being cut open whilst awake. I also noticed on the ward a new stoma bag had been applied. They found one they thought matched and plonked it on. It was flat and cut at 40 mm, I wear a convex and cut at 30 mm if they had anticipated a bag change I would have provided one, it was just a good thing that I hadn’t eaten.
So this was pretty traumatic as I have repeatedly said throughout this post I have now had two sections and like I said the first was fine. My issue is the injections and this time round a thoughtless surgeon who couldn’t have cared less about how I was feeling and how easily she could have spoken to me like an adult and a human being. I will be talking to my colorectal surgeon in August to see if there was any chance that when he removed scar tissue the ovary and tube could have gone with it. But irregardless of that clearly having my ileostomy didn’t hinder my fertility.
Can I point out this is not what will be for other mums. I needed to write this for myself more than offering the darker side to sections. I truly believe if my actual consultant was the one preforming the surgery my anxieties would have stopped at the injections. I will be writing a post on what it’s like after the section and a new born which I can promise you is much more positive.