The Arrival of Hayden

Sunday, January 15, 2012

We woke up early on Friday the 6th January 2012 as this was the day we would meet our much awaited baby boy. We had to be at the hospital by 6:30am so this meant a 5:30am wake up call. After a restless nights sleep (due to excitement AND nerves) it was hard to get myself out of bed, but knowing that in a few hours I would be holding my baby made the tiredness fade. After taking a few last photos of my bump, double checking I had everything in my hospital bags we were ready to roll. My stomach was full of butterflies.

DH wanted to stop and buy himself an iced coffee to wake himself up and I convinced him to stop at the bakery where my mum works (she was doing the early open shift) so we could let her in on our secret. She was surprised to see us up so early but quickly realised why. She gave us each a big hug and wished us luck. I was glad to see her before hand-made me a little less jittery.

Once we arrived at the hospital we had to first present to a check in ward before heading up to maternity. The lady who processed the check ins was running late so we were standing around for a while. Shortly after we arrived another 2 ladies arrived who were also having c-sections. DH then realised that he had left the camera in the car (nice work) so rushed off to grab it. I chatted to the other ladies while waiting. Finally the woman arrived and we were first to check in and were on our way to the maternity ward.

They were of course expecting us but apparently had only just realised that I was a private patient..and they didn't have a private room available yet. They kept telling us that they would have one for me by the time I got back from recovery. So we were shown to a 4 bed ward and I was given a lovely purple hospital gown to put on. The midwife assigned to be with us for the birth was named Jane. She came and talked us through the procedure in detail and what her role would be (looking after our bub). She then helped me put on the stockings, took all my vitals and asked me the million questions they always ask you before a surgery. There was some confusion about my blood type and the blood that had been ordered to be on stand by for me so they had to hunt down a doctor to take some more blood and get it rushed through to the pathology department ASAP. I was then given a yukky drink to scull down-I think it was to assist with your stomach being settled and no bile coming up. It didn't taste very nice. 

Before I knew it, it was time to head down to the OR. Felt so strange to be wheeled down the corridors. DH was walking beside the bed chatting to the 2 staff members that were wheeling me along. Our midwife Jane would meet us downstairs shortly. We arrived and the first person I saw was our ob. She came over and said hello to us both. I then had to leave DH and was wheeled into a little room where the anesthetist would give me the spinal/epidural. DH said he was pretty much left in a waiting area by himself before someone finally came for him and gave him scrubs and a shower cap to put on. 

The little room was freezing. I was shivering so much but once they put some heated blankets over me I was ok. There were 2 nurses assisting our anesthetist to get me ready. He first inserted 2 IVs (one in each arm). The one in my right arm was right in the bend of my arm (very uncomfortable for movement but it was the only vein he could find). Once this was done and I was hooked up to the heart rate/blood pressure machine it was time to get the spinal done. They sat me up on the side of the bed with my legs hanging down and feet resting on a stool. I then had a pillow in my lap which I had to hug and bend over so he had a good view of my back. One of the nurses was standing beside me, holding me (I guess in case I moved or flinched at the wrong time). He was lovely and was chatting away which was a nice distraction. I was given a local anesthetic first to numb the pain. This was a little painful-kind of like a really bad ant bite. It didn't sting for long. I didn't feel anything (other than the touch of the anesthetist's hands) after this. When he said he was done I was quite surprised. The nurses then helped me back onto the bed. I was told my legs would start to go warm and tingly and they did. Then I was asked if I could wiggle my toes. I was wiggling them, but nothing was happening. I then was asked if I could move my legs. I couldn't. It was so strange, they were just a dead weight. The weirdest feeling! The anesthetist checked a few more things and then they wheeled me into the OR.

They got started and the sensations were strange. No pain, just pulling, tugging, stretching and touch of people's hands. Not very strong sensations either. I think I kept asking DH what was happening and he would lean down and tell me what was going on. I kept saying 'is he out yet? is he out yet?'. Then at 8:45am, Hayden was born. The sensation as the ob pulled him out felt like a release of pressure. As soon as I heard him cry, tears started streaming down my face. The ob held him up around the screen so I could see him, and he was then taken by the midwife to be dried off and checked over by her and the paed. DH went with them. I could hear Hayden crying but couldn't see him. I just felt this overwhelming surge of love and I hadn't even held him yet. 

Within minutes the midwife had bought Hayden back to me, and put him on my chest (under the blankets and the plastic air thing) to keep him warm so we could have skin to skin time. I cried even more. She asked what his name was and I said we didn't know yet. DH was beside me and I was saying how perfect our boy was. DH had a massive grin on his face and I can imagine I did too. I was so enraptured with staring at this tiny little person that I wasn't really paying attention to what was going on behind the screen. It wasn't until the anesthetist said they needed to prick my earlobe to take some blood to check my hemoglobin levels as I was losing a lot of blood that I realised things weren't going quite to plan. They couldn't get any blood from my ear lobe but I can't remember where they ended up managing to get some blood from. DH quietly chatted to me as we gazed at our son and told me everything would be ok. It wasn't until later on that he told me that there had been so much blood absolutely everywhere and it was covering the floor. He was quite amazed at how much blood I was losing but didn't want to panic me.

I'm not sure how long it took for them to control the bleeding and stitch me back up. They inserted a Bakri Balloon into my uterus to help with the bleeding. A blood transfusion was started. DH took Hayden and had his first cuddles and then it was off to recovery. 

The midwife checked Hayden again and then unwrapped him and lay him across my chest so I could get a better look at him. By this stage I was feeling quite lethargic and dopey (not sure if it was the blood loss, the drugs or both). The nurses were bustling round me checking my vitals and fussing with the IVs. They were quite surprised that the anesthetist had directed for me to have a personal morphine pump for pain relief especially as he had given me morphine with my spinal injection. It was hooked up but I wouldn't need to use it until the other morphine had worn off. I think it was in recovery that I tried breastfeeding for the first time.

I think it was around 11-11:30am when I said to DH that he should make some phone calls to our parents and siblings to share the news of Hayden's arrival. At this stage we had no name picked out and he hadn't been weighed or measured..and of course that's what everyone wanted to know! Eventually we were given the ok to leave recovery and I was wheeled back to the maternity ward. I think this was around lunchtime. They still didn't have a private room for me so I was wheeled back into the same ward where we had been that morning with the promise they would have a room for me later that day. 

Jane the midwife then weighed and measured Hayden, and helped DH to put a nappy and singlet on him before wrapping him back up to lay on my chest again. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. My vitals were being taken every hour so it felt like there were nurses coming and going constantly. We did decide on a name shortly after arriving back on the ward. We had about 6 names on a list and both agreed that he was a Hayden. Visiting hours started at 4pm and my parents were the first to arrive. DH's mum came later that evening. All very proud grandparents. 

 After the first blood transfusion they took more blood to check my levels which came back still on the low side, but ok. The next morning they were checked again and it was decided I needed a 2nd transfusion. That morning the ob also arrived to remove the balloon. They let out half the fluid and leave it for half a hour to see if the bleeding starts again. Mine was ok so the rest of the fluid was released and the balloon removed. Because I needed the extra blood transfusion my ob decided that the catheter should be left in an extra day and that I wasn't to get up and moving until Sunday (where as most Caesar patients get up the day after surgery). 

The first night I was still on the ward as a private room hadn't been made available. This meant DH couldn't stay with me and Hayden which I was quite upset about. As I couldn't get out of bed the nurse on duty looking after my ward had to take him and brought him back to me for feeds through the night which she helped me with as I had no idea what I was doing! I didn't get much sleep. The ward was full and 2 of the 3 ladies had babies. The other lady's bub was in special care and she was being wheeled in and out all night to go up there to feed. Plus 2 of the ladies were snoring extremely loudly.

By lunch time Saturday we had our own room which was great as it meant DH could stay (the recliner in the corner folded out into a single bed). The 2nd night was hard. Hayden did not sleep well and poor DH spent the majority of the night changing him then handing him to me to feed then putting him back to bed (as I could not get up). One of the nurses ended up taking him from about 2:30am until 6am so we could get some sleep. We are forever grateful to that woman! 

Sunday was the day to get out of bed. A nurse and DH assisted me. It was a slow process to even get myself sitting on the edge of the bed. And I won't lie-it was painful. I shuffled to the bathroom with DH and the nurse on either side of me. I felt like an old lady the way I was walking. Next the catheter came out. I was worried this would hurt, but it didn't. DH then helped me to take a shower. Oh my shower ever! Was so nice to get under the warm water and get clean. That was about as far as the good feelings went as afterwards I needed DH to dry me and help me get dressed...there was no way I was bending down! Plus by this stage I was beginning to feel a little faint and fatigued. Sunday was not a good day pain wise for me as once I got up they took away my morphine pump and I was just on the tablet pain relief. After getting up for a shower I was quite sore, and then when I got up later to go to the loo that added to the pain...especially as the toilet seemed really low and just getting down to sit on it was agony for me. I don't know how long it took me but I was almost in tears and required the help of DH and the nurse (a low point for me). Each time after that got easier thank goodness. 

Monday we had a few comments from some nurses who seemed quite surprised that I was not going home that day. My ob had seen me that morning and had told us we would just take it one day at a time depending on how I was feeling. And on Monday I was definitely not feeling ready to go home. I was still asking for extra pain relief and getting in and out of bed was an effort (though made easier with the electric bed). I also had my first 'blue' moment on Monday night. DH had ducked home to take a shower and grab some clothes so I was by myself. I'm not sure what triggered it but I just started to bawl my eyes out. I suppose you can't stay on cloud 9 forever! I was still quite teary once DH got back but we talked and had a cuddle and I felt a lot better. 

By the time my ob came to visit on Tuesday I was feeling a lot stronger and less reliant on the pain relief. She let me decide if I wanted to go home or stay another day. I decided it was time to go home. I was sick of the hospital and ready to be at home with my little family. Getting discharged took the better part of the morning. Hayden had to be checked over by a paed. I had to have a discussion with one of the midwives and go through a stack of questions. Then they had trouble finding the scripts my ob had written out for meds to take at home. But eventually we were free to go!

It felt so strange walking out of the hospital with Hayden in my arms. I kept thinking someone was going to come running after us and tell us we weren't allowed to take him home. I kept saying to DH 'oh my goodness we actually get to take this baby home! He's ours!'. Lots of people stopped us on our way to the car park, but just to take a peek at Hayden and tell us how gorgeous he was! We even had an old lady stop us as we walked out of a lift. She kissed his little feet and told us that he would be a blessing in our home. It was kind of weird, but very sweet. 

Hayden is now 9 days old and I fall more in love with him everyday. We have our good days and bad days (or should I say bad nights) but it's all totally worth it. Some days I still can't believe that we finally have our own little miracle in our arms. DH has been wonderful. He's looking after us both so well and being very patient with the limited amount of things I can do at home. It is just beautiful to watch him with our son. I knew he would be a wonderful dad and I love how much he dotes on our little man. 

Everything we went through on our TTC journey has been totally worth it for this outcome. I know people used to say this to me when I was still in the throes of TTC and IVF and I don't think I ever fully believed them...but they were right. It hasn't made me forget our journey and the pain and heartache, but it has made me realise that I would have endured so much more if I knew how amazing it would be to hold my baby in my arms for the first time. 

And now for some photos...


babycrazykiwi said...

Oh wow what a lovely story!! I seriously got teary there. I'm so happy you finally have this beautiful little boy in your life. Well done and keep up the great work xxx

China Doll said...

Many congratulations on the birth of baby Hayden - he is just gorgeous. And so interesting to hear the details of your birth story... glad you're now at home and doing well xx

♥ Cass said...

A big congrats mummy :) he is just adorable! I'm glad you recovered well and hope your settling in well at home. I'm so glad I was able to follow your story because it really makes me hopeful for the future! Congrats again to you and your hubby!!! xx

Sushigirl said...

Congratulations. He looks lovely! Hope you're all settled in at home and have your DH bringing you cups of tea!

Baby Hopes said...

Oh my goodness, he is so amazing!!! I'm so glad that you're well after some touch and go moments with your transfusions and such. I loved what you said at the end... such a beautiful way to start the next stage of your journey!!! Congratulations!!!

Gurlee said...

Wow, what a beautiful boy! Congratulations. Glad you ate home & on the mend.

Stinky said...

what a little cutie, well done and welcome to him. Loved reading your birth story - good insight into the Caesarian ways! Enjoy your snuggletimes

Lindsey said...

Congrats on your handsome lil man!!! Right there with ya enjoying every minute with my own lil man :)

Kelli said...

congrats on your cute little guy!! love his name!! =0)

Lindsay said...

Oh your story! That precious little face! Just beautiful. I just loved reading and your ending made me smile.