Well what a rollercoaster that has been. I can’t believe how quickly the last three months have gone but I’m so happy to be back with Wendy on the blog and am really excited with the new content ideas we’re planning for the season ahead.
As we’ve mentioned previously we’re not going to become a mummy blog by any means but I will be sharing experiences and advice related to motherhood if I think it’ll be of interest. One thing I’ve been asked about a lot is my pregnancy/birth experience and I have to say neither of these went the way I thought they would. I feel so lucky to have been blessed with such a happy and healthy baby but it’s a very personal and individual experience for every woman and there were a few things that massively took me by surprise.
First off I have to say that since I was a little girl I have always dreamt of what it might be like to be pregnant. I would sit and day dream for hours about the phenomenon of growing a human inside you, feeling an instant bond and overwhelming love like no other. And don’t get me wrong pregnancy is all of those things but there was one thing I had never even considered.... the hormones. I’ve never been a massively hormonal person or struggled with PMT but the pregnancy hormones knocked me for six. Before I even knew I was pregnant I had already turned in to an irritable irrational version of myself. Couple that with 16 weeks of severe morning/lunchtime/evening sickness and my husband said it was like I had been replaced with an evil twin version of myself. Something we can laugh about now (only just) but it was something I really struggled with. I just didn’t feel like myself at all and was plagued with guilt for not enjoying my pregnancy or my new husband when I knew how incredibly lucky I was for both. The day Seb was born it was like the clouds parted and I was finally back. Looking at my husband like we had just started dating again and feeling like my glass was very much half full.... it was honestly that instant. So bizarre how much hormones can control you.
When it came to a birth plan I knew I wanted things to be as natural as possible. We had visited the midwife unit at Kings hospital and were so excited with the idea of a water birth and hypno-birthing. So when it came to my 36 week scan and we found out that the baby was breached we were both really shocked. There was a chance he would turn still but an elected caesarean seemed like the more likely outcome. Call me crazy but having gone through all of the ups and downs of pregnancy I felt as though the experience would only be half complete if I was unable to experience a natural labour. We discussed the possibility of a breeched vaginal delivery with the doctors but due to the size of his head (unfortunate family trait on my side) this wasn’t a safe option. So we put our disappointment to one side and were booked in for surgery on the 22nd May. It’s a strange feeling being given a time and date to meet your baby but we knew it was the safest option and quite liked that we could organise ourselves the week before to know that everything was ready. Silly us. On the 15th May on route to Sainsbury’s to start our batch baking I heard a pop and looked down to discover a large puddle on the floor. Had I wet myself or was this the mythical waters breaking that our NCT lady claimed would only ever happen in a movie or on Eastenders? As it continued to flow out soaking my feet we quickly realised that I wasn’t having a Tena Lady emergency but was in fact in early labour. We called the hospital and they said to pop in and be checked out but that we might be sent home again.
As we arrived at the hospital we couldn’t believe our eyes. Another local hospital had closed sending all of their patients to Kings. There were two women giving birth in the toilets of the reception as the beds were all full. My husband and I settled down in the corner waiting to be seen but were told it would be a few hours before a doctor would be free. I was having mild contractions at this point but they felt like strong period pains and were definitely manageable in comparison to the screams of agony coming from the poor women around us. They strapped me up with some heart monitors as Seb was still breached and we waited our turn. As the strength and length of the contractions increased I used my hypnobirthing techniques to get in to a calm state of mind and was enjoying the fact that I was at least getting to experience this part of natural labour. I could tell that my husband was nervous but he knew to leave me to it and sat patiently with one eye on the clock timing how close the contractions were getting. As it had only been one and a half hours since my waters had broken we weren't too worried as there seemed like a lot more people were in need of the midwives help. It was only when we asked if we could remove the heart monitors as I felt like I needed to poo that we really caught the receptionists attention. So stupid in hindsight as this was one of the main things we had learnt in our anitnatal classes (that needing a poo might mean that it's time to start pushing) but I just thought that there was no way it could happen so fast. A doctor was over to assess me within minutes and I was was 10cm dilated.... the baby was on it's way.
Unfortunately the theatres were both already in use with emergency c-cections so I was given an injection to stop my contractions and told very firmly under no circumstances was I allowed to push. Unfortunately the injection didn't work and my body and Seb were adamant that nothing was stopping them. It took so much mental strength to stop myself from pushing. I was so excited to meet our boy but I wanted do everything in my power to keep him safe. Again the hypnobirthing techniques came in very handy here but for the reverse purpose I had originally planned. A doctor held my hand at this point and told me that there was a very strong possibility I would have to deliver Seb naturally despite the risks involved. After this everything went a little bit crazy. The theatre became free and I was rushed on to a bed and through the wards with the doors flying open. It was honestly like a scene from casualty. Knowing Seb now I can understand why such a dramatic entrance was required!!
Once we were in theatre there were about 15 people firing questions at me, getting me to sign paper work, taking blood samples and administering the anaesthetic. All the while the contractions were coming thick and fast but I was beyond excited to meet our son. The surgeons were incredible once the spinal injection had kicked in to action and he was out in under four minutes. Chatting throughout the whole process like it was no big deal, their energy and high spirits were so reassuring. At 00.16 on the 16th of May Sebastian Dana Karimian arrived in to our lives and changed them forever. Thank goodness for all of the doctors and midwives at King's College Hospital that worked so incredibly hard to keep us safe and calm. I'll be eternally grateful to the NHS and the healthcare we receive in this country. They really don't get the praise that they deserve.