Kennith needed to go home and go and sort out a hospital bag for me, as I had nothing prepared. I called my mom to update her as to what was going on and ask that Connor stay on a few more days.
They wheeled me in around 18h30 and I was terrified. I am one of those people who can prepare for anything given the time to get my head around it, but do not do well with things being sprung on me. This felt a bit like an ambush.
Suddenly every old wive’s tale relating to c-sections was going to come true and I was going to feel everything and the baby was going to be in distress and and and …… The surgery went fine, I was scared, and the doctors were great. They spoke about where they were going to go for sushi after they finished putting my uterus back together, which I thought was nice and jolly of them. They pulled screaming baby out of the warm gushy spot that had been it’s home for 9 months and dangled baby over the curtain divide. The problem was that the genitals were so swollen that I had no idea what it was and had to ask Kennith.
Of course it was a girl – my female intuition was so far off. I could not have been more shocked than if they dangled a giraffe over the divide. There just was no portion of my mind that had allowed for this to be a girl. I was thrilled, shocked and stunned.
I was even more stunned by the way the hospital was behaving. Once the doctor’s had checked her over and she was fine, they put her with me in surgery while they were stitching me up. It was a bit awkward, so I handed her back to Kennith fully expecting her to be whisked away to neonatal care for observation as they had done with Connor.
They wheeled me to post-op and Kennith and baby walked behind – it was all very strange. In post-op the nurse was latching the baby and offering me tea. The name we had of Callum or Calub clearly was not going to work for this little cherub, so she remained nameless for the first few hours while we toyed with a few options.
What really was incredible is that Kennith had known since 12 weeks at the first fetal scan that it was a girl. We have a great doctor at the fetal assessment centre who has yet to get it wrong. She told Kennith it was a girl at 12 weeks, 3 days – and confirmed it when we went back in at 18 weeks . Kennith managed to keep this a secret and did not breathe a word to anyone.
He had gone through the entire process with me of picking boy’s names and the associated discussions. We had even bought a blue and green dragon fly light for the baby’s room. He had gone along with it all, without giving it away for a moment. I was convinced he had let it drop on two occasions that it was a boy – which had only further reinforced my knowledge that it MUST be a boy.
Georgia remained with me even when they wheeled me to the room and she was left with us to feed and bond. Eventually at about midnight they came by and asked if they could take her to give her a wash.
The hospital was great and the nurses were really good. The main motivation for wanting to go natural (and initially I wanted a home birth … ha ha ha… I am screeching with laughter at the recollection – I am such a woos for pain, there is no way I would have got past the first contraction. ) I just did not want to be pushed around by the nurses. I wanted some control over what was going on. This was 180 degrees from the birth with Connor. I felt much more in control, and the nurses had a very different attitude – I was more of a client than a patient, and they definitely were not as pushy as I remembered.
Kennith made the relevant calls to friends and family to announce the arrival of our girl, but it really was tinged with a veil of sadness. As people were saying congratulations, they were also passing condolences on for Kennith’s sister, Melanie. The day after the birth Kennith attended the funeral – and then came back to spend the evening at the hospital.
We were both exhausted, and though happy that we had a healthy girl, there was an undercurrent of unease and real unhappiness which would set the tone for many months to come.