Wear Your Heart on your Stomach …love the idea ….

I thought more about the post yesterday after it was posted than before I pushed “publish.”

Partly due to some of the comments I received, and this link that Jess and Julz sent on to me.

It got me thinking, I’d love to have a good photo of me and my scar so that I can look at it and think of it fondly rather than in distress like I do at the moment.

I think of it as ugly and want it to go away – but I love the idea that we look at it as “wearing our hearts on our stomachs.”

Really love that concept.  I had a little mind paradigm shift there.

I would love to do some black and white photos of c-section scars or birth scars.

I would like to get a few moms into a studio and take some studio pics that they can have and also I can have in a gallery.

I think it would be even better to wait for better weather and do it outside in a private garden.

I am not 100% clear in my head of how to do them yet.  I figure I can work it out.  I want it to be something you would keep and cherish, rather than hide in the back of your underwear drawer.

If you are in Cape Town, feel like getting na.k.ed or partly clad in a studio or outdoors – and want to do this drop me a note.  My email address is along the side bar, or leave a comment and I will contact you.

I am thinking if I have 3 – 5 woman, I can rent a studio for 2 – 3 hours, if the ladies are keen to chip in to cover the cost of the studio, I will sort out the rest.

We can do wine and photography — I find that is not always the worst combination.

Drop me a note if you are interested in the idea.

If you do not want to do it with anyone else, drop me a note and we can see what we can do.

Or if you have a suggestion to improve on this idea.  I am not sure when I will do it, but it is running around in my head.

Here is Georgia’s birth on 20 June 2005 – first cut and final dab …. look away if you are squeamish …

<seriously – look away, stop scrolling ….>

Last warning.

Otherwise, have a good weekend. Happy Friday everyone!!

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It’s a ……….. baby

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.

The Crying Game Begins

The pregnancy moved along without much incident.  There were some work issues and  I resign to do some freelance work.

I worked three freelance jobs in my last two months of pregnancy as I felt this overwhelming urge to ensure we had a nest egg in place.  I was feeling fit and good, so other than being a bit tired, it was all quite jolly.

My OBGYN was supportive of an elective c-section – bless him.

I’m a bit of type-A and the idea of squeezing something the size of a rugby ball out of my front-bottom, compounded by not being able to plan when-where-and-how was really not helping my stress levels.

Once I had a date, and a theatre booked, I felt much better.  I had managed to focus only on the pregnancy and the idea that at the end of this   I had nothing to compare the two procedures against in terms of pain and drug supply, but I felt strongly I would be more calm in a situation where I had some control, so a c-section was the block that I ticked.

The idea of freedom of choice has not really worked its way down into the rather complicated maze of childbirth and there was still a definite opposition to c-sections.

The question I had to field the most regularly was “what’s wrong with you?” and I found myself explaining my situation even to a very strange woman in Woolworths who happened to get my work telephone number and ring me there to “chat” some more – I kid you not.

The idea of the c-section was a bit daunting.  Someone hacking through you with a very sharp scalpel and moving your insides around is scary no matter how good a mood you are in.  I felt like I had read every pregnancy/birth book (I am a voracious reader) and felt comfortable and safe with my choice.

Everything went to schedule and our bonny wee lad Connor was born on the morning of the 10 December.  There was much hand clapping and cheering – I had my friend David come and take photographs during the surgery and he was a great addition.  I was blissfully happy until day three rolled around, then I started to cry and cry.  It was quite staggering exactly how much tears and snot really could come out of one person and I was almost inconsolable.   The nurses seems to look at me with disdain which did not help my cause in the least.

My friend Alice refers to it as “literally crying over split milk,” which is a very good reference.  I was sobbing and howling – the kind where your eyes are red and swollen and there are large globules of saliva dripping out of your mouth.  I am not talking about the polite cry where the odd tear makes it’s way down your just foundation-applied face.

I felt the nurses all knew more than me and were mean and controlling, actually the janitor probably knew more than me at that point.  I was hopelessly untrained and unskilled for my new role.

My biggest surprise was that I did not get a baby manual at the hospital – it seemed like a very complicated purchase to not be provided with some sort of manual.  I felt information about the baby, when to feed, my boobs and I could not retain anything.  I really really started to panic.

It was so apparent that when it came to going home day, my OBGYN asked if I would like to stay another day – through my blubbering I said “I’m fine.”

Kennith fetched me.  I was still blubbering.  I managed to get myself dressed, bath my wrinkled little baby, get my flowers and “congratulations it’s a boy” balloons together and make my way to the exit of the hospital.  I felt reassured that the nurse walked with us to the door of the hospital.

I was so desperately afraid I am sure she could see the pleading in my eyes and smell the fear on my skin.  It did seem rather abrupt when she handed us the baby, and then retreated with the bassinet behind the sterile sliding doors of the hospital leaving us alone on the kerb holding this wrapped up baby.

I had not factored the “drive home from hell” – so in retrospect I wish I had known what a truly happy moment I was having right then and there.