Sunday 9 October 2022

Meet Belle

Belle Ngareta Te Ao Kapua Carlson, our baby girl arrived into the world on the 2nd of August at 9.06am weighing 7.8 pounds of total sweetness! We are officially parents of two and my heart has never felt so happy!

We’ve been getting used to being a family of four. I’ve made sure to be truly present these past couple of months and putting all my energy into being a mum. I decided to take a step back from the blog, but thought it was about time I shared Belle’s birth story. Time truly goes so fast in these early new born days. She’s pure magic!

Belle’s birth was a completely different birth to Arlo’s which you can read about here. Arlo’s birth was very traumatic and became life threatening for me after haemorrhaging and needing emergency surgery after his birth. Jake and I even joked about not having more children after our experience!

Shortly after becoming pregnant with Belle we were referred to an obstetrician due to our previous birth complications. It was recommended early on that we should have an elective C-section to ensure that I wouldn't haemorrhage again or re-tear and cause more damage to my previous injury.

To be completely honest, I was so thankful that it was suggested we should have a c-section. Once the decision had been made, I felt much calmer about the birth for the rest of my pregnancy. I don’t think there are enough positive c-section stories. So, I hope by me sharing my experience helps any other mum-to-be out there feel less upset or fearful.

I was booked in for an 8am surgery and we were asked to arrive at the hospital at 7am. I also had to fast from midnight the night before. Not being able to eat was the worst! I always wake up being pregnant, absolutely starving! I was thankful that my surgery would be the first of the day and I wouldn't have to wait too long.

Once we got to the hospital we were taken through into the room where I’d be staying. Despite being prepared, I was still feeling really nervous! It was a funny mix of excitement knowing I’d meet my daughter soon but also nerves that I was about to undergo major surgery!

The midwife came in and went over the process of everything that was about to happen and asked us if we had any questions. We communicated that we would like a delayed cord cutting along with using a Muka Pito to tie the umbilical cord. Soon enough I was in a hospital gown and Jake was in his scrubs and I was being wheeled into the theatre.

The next part was what I was most nervous about, having a needle inserted into my spine for the spinal block. I could feel myself getting anxious and my legs started shaking as I sat on the edge of the bed. I tried to concentrate on my breathing. I couldn't control myself and started to have a few nervous tears. Jake gently stroked my hand and I was so lucky to have the most incredible team of our midwife, anaesthetists, nurses and obstetrician taking care of me. They immediately put me at ease.

The anaesthetist inserted a local anaesthetic to numb the area before inserting the spinal block needle. With a spinal, the aim is to make you numb from the nipple line down. After a few minutes, they laid me down and I immediately started to feel the effects. One of the nurses asked me to wiggle my toes, which I couldn’t do. Once they were happy the spinal block was working effectively, we were ready to meet baby!

The drapes were put up and Jake sat next to my head and whispered to me that he was so excited to meet our daughter soon. Each step of the way, my obstetrician talked me through what was happening and at no time did I feel kept in the dark or uncertain. Funnily enough I could actually see what they were doing from a reflection on the roof. At first, I didn't know if I should look, thinking it may make me feel sick but I couldn't help myself and watched as they cut me open. I could feel the pressure but no pain whatsoever. I knew it wasn’t long until we’d meet the baby.

I saw as they slowly pulled her out of me and I instantly felt the pressure release. It was as though my lungs finally had space again and I took a deep breath and told Jake “She’s here” and the next second we heard her cry. It wasn't long before she was placed on my chest and I said ' ‘Hello we've been waiting for you’’ and announced to the room that her name was Belle! One of the nurses said that Beauty and the Beast was her favourite Disney movie which I replied to "Mine too". We then softly sang her an oriori (maori lullaby) that we had written and composed for her. I barely got a few words out before I cried but Jake managed to sing the rest which is good because he’s the one that can actually sing and hold a tune.

I soaked in every moment enjoying all the skin to skin with my baby girl as they stitched me up. Shortly after I was wheeled into recovery and the midwife helped me latch Belle onto my breast. She latched perfectly straight away! I couldn't believe it! I looked up at Jake and said ‘Look she's doing it!’ and my eyes filled with happy, proud, overwhelmed tears of joy. I can’t explain how magical that moment was and what a sense of relief I felt. These precious moments were everything to me as after Arlo’s birth we were separated as I had to be wheeled off to emergency surgery and never got to experience this with him.

In recovery they monitored that the spinal block was wearing off by touching me in different places and asking me to move my toes. To be honest, all of this after-surgery care is kind of a blur as by then I had my baby girl in my arms and that was all that mattered.

I was wheeled back into my room and the nurses did a great job of keeping on top of my pain relief and checking things such as blood pressure as well as blood loss. Regardless of whether you give birth via c-section or vaginally, you have post-partum bleeding. It didn’t bother me in the slightest but, be prepared that people will be checking your pad regularly to see how heavy you’re bleeding.

My Mum arrived shortly after being wheeled back into my room bringing my much anticipated McDonalds order. There we were the three ‘Gilmore Girls’ together at last.

Despite undergoing major surgery and knowing I had a long road of recovery ahead, I was completely and utterly on cloud nine after my birth. It was such a calm, relaxed and stress-free experience. The first few days were tough, there’s no denying that. A c-section is major abdominal surgery and it’s extremely tender and painful to move those first few days. But over all this was such a healing and positive experience for me. I couldn't have done it without such a supportive partner and the help and care from my mum.

Now that I’ve experienced both a vaginal and a c-section birth, I can say that there is no such thing as ‘the easy way out’. Both experiences were unique, wonderful and challenging in their own way.

No comments:

Post a Comment