Naughty Breech Baby – The big scary (not so scary) theatre room
Jack and I were smiling at each other walking down to the theatre room, I couldn’t take Jack seriously all gowned up. We were understandably nervous but also quite relaxed compared to how I thought I would feel. It’s quite a strange feeling to know you’re walking down to theatre, I had a few people on shift wishing me well as I walked past, it’s not how I imagined at all but I suppose they’re doing their best to make things seem as normal as they can.
It was pretty daunting to be in a theatre room awake and aware of everything around me, you wouldn’t normally see any of this for most other procedures and I didn’t really know what to expect. I was in the zone at this point, Jack said I was extremely focused and just did everything they asked of me really calmly including the epidural which I was terrified of! I have always been scared of needles, so the thought of one going into my spine was something I didn’t even want to imagine.
I’m not just saying this and I know everyones experiences are different, but the epidural was honestly not that bad, it just felt like a hard pressure in my back for 20 seconds at the most. They got me to hold onto Jack as they did it so that I wouldn’t flinch, they also do their best to make sure you don’t see the needle or anything going on behind you so I just focused on staying still and clenching onto Jack and it was over quite quickly for me.
Once on the bed I had to wait and be checked every few minutes with a cold spray a bit like deep freeze only this one is extremely cold! They spray it from the bottom of your leg up to your waist. This tells the anaesthetist whether the numbness has kicked in enough. After their first check they asked if I could still feel them and I said YES I could, I was terrified of feeling a thing so made sure they sprayed me a few times to make sure. I remember being really scared of the catheter being put in as I thought I’d feel it, but you are numb from the waist down so when my midwife said the catheter was in I was relieved.
One of the side effects of the epidural and something that surprised me was getting the shakes. As time went on my jaw was shaking uncontrollably, I can only explain it as if you were really really cold and shivering. I naturally get the shakes when I am nervous, but this was another level, I think Jack was a bit worried and kept asking if I was ok. The other nurses in the room made little jokes out of it in the end to keep the mood light as it was so intense to start with, it didn’t hurt or anything though. I suddenly felt sick which wasn’t helping me stay calm either, the anaesthetist administered something to counteract the sickness and it quite quickly made a difference and from then on I was a bit more controlled towards the end.
So I was on the bed, numbness had kicked in along with the shakes and we were pretty much ready to go, there was one major thing missing though, the obstetrician! We waited for what seemed like an eternity for someone to find out where he was, I think our anaesthetist was starting to get a little concerned as obviously he’d administered enough to last what he thought would be a good amount of time for the surgery. Eventually the obstetrician arrived and from here, time seemed to fly by.
To be honest, the theatre room for me was so much more relaxed than I thought it would be, I think what you see on tv drama’s and movies really gave me a perception of people running around like crazy and panic everywhere. I’m sure that is the case for a lot of scenarios but I don’t know why I thought my experience would be anything like that because it wasn’t at all.
Once I was on the bed and the sheets were up, the radio was playing the whole time, I couldn’t tell you a single song that was played during the operation but it was great background noise. The thought of lying there in silence looking back would’ve been awful in my opinion, the staff around me were amazing! It was all over so quickly, I’m sure Jack feels differently haha, within 15 or 20 minutes of the obstetrician being in the theatre room, our baby had arrived! Once I knew our baby had been delivered I didn’t really care what was happening afterwards.
As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, a nurse in the room told us the obstetrician was about to show us our baby so Jack had his phone ready and took a few pictures which are amazing to look back at so I thoroughly recommend doing this. Whilst being held up briefly Jack tried to see if we had a boy or a girl and said to me quite quietly that he thought we had a boy!
Our baby wasn’t crying immediately when held up for us to see like you’d expect, I didn’t tell Jack until we were back in the recovery ward but the nurse next to me did make a sound as if something was wrong after we were shown our baby. Jack then saw them rush off into a side room, we didn’t know if this was standard procedure or not and we still couldn’t hear our baby crying. I remember Jack and I looking at each other with an increasingly worried expression and I muttered to Jack a few times “why aren’t they crying?”. I think this is probably any parents worst fear when you don’t hear your baby cry for a period of time once born, you just want to know everything is ok and hold your newborn. It was probably a much shorter amount of time than it felt before we finally heard a cry from the other room, it felt like forever and hearing that little cry for the first time was the best feeling in the world. The relief in our faces was clear to see, Jack and I instantly smiled and gave each other a cuddle as best we could, it was quite emotional.
The nurse next to us asked if we were happy with the gender of our baby, we had no preference at all, we said we wasn’t even sure if we had a boy or girl as Jack couldn’t 100% tell. She immediately said “Oh! Let me go and get your baby all being well so you can meet properly”. She came over and let us look together to which we realised we had a beautiful little GIRL! Luckily a name for a girl was the only thing we had both agreed on beforehand so that was nice to tell the nurses in the room what she’d be called, ELLA!
She then lifted Ella onto my chest so I could have skin to skin, this also helps the rhythm of their heartbeat and keeps them warm. I think from this point onwards I just cried with happiness, I was so shocked she was a girl and was pretty overwhelmed that this baby was actually ours. The anaesthetist took some pictures of all three of us whilst she was on my chest and it was such a calm, relaxing environment, you are just beyond happy by this point that you don’t really notice what’s still going on behind the big blue sheet the whole time.
I had to stay in theatre for a bit whilst they made sure everything was as it should be and stitched me up. Jack and Ella went to the recovery room, you’re not allowed to carry your baby there so Ella was placed in a clear cot that is on wheels and Jack pushed her there. After being slid onto another bed I was able to join Jack and Ella in the recovery room where they was waiting for me, we were in there for about 30 minutes whilst they checked my blood pressure and a few other things.
During this time Jack cut the umbilical cord which we managed to get a picture of and was then tasked with putting Ella’s first nappy on. Jack was itching to have skin to skin with Ella so once nappy was on and the doctor said it was ok, Jack had his first cuddle with Ella. The doctors were happy for me to go down to the postnatal ward by this point
From this point onwards reality hits in that you have 6 weeks of recovery but it’s not all as doom and gloom as you think, you’ll be surprised at how amazingly the body does recover. We were creeping towards our first night in hospital which was probably more of a workout for Jack than a relaxing night, if you want to find out more, make sure you subscribe at the top of this post if you haven’t already. You’ll be kept up to date with any new posts before anyone else!
Have an experience from the theatre room? I’d love to hear about it, leave a comment below!