The last things I remember of the operating theatre were:
- Trying to roll off the table
- Deciding I needed to sleep and wondering if I’d wake up – dramatic I know!
Honestly though, I was battered after the 40hour run up to meeting our baby.
I woke up 5 hours later to see Michael holding our son.
It was genuinely the best wake up I’ve ever had! Despite the inability to move!
Washer Women and Drugs!
I won’t lie, waking up and not being able to move my legs was rather bizarre. It wasn’t the worst thing I’d experienced – the hole in my thigh aged 11 probably takes that biscuit, but it wasn’t pleasurable. The nurses and health care assistants came in and cleaned me up after my surgery. This is probably the oddest experience of my adult life so far. Lying in a bed, being rolled one side to the other whilst some ladies whisked old bandaging away, gave me new ones and just generally cleaned me up. Literally all control and dignity was lost!
Once that was over I started to feel more of the pain and had a run through my drug choices by one of the nurses. I could have liquid paracetamol, oramorph, dihydrocodeine and ibuprophen. I had never been offered so many drugs in my life! This was all going to be on a rotation so I could maintain a degree of lucidity throughout my recovery!
I stayed on that ward for a few hours and Michael had to leave me to go home over night. We both had a good catch up on some sleep; Mike at home, able to get his last decent sleep in a while, Me with the support of the nurses waking me up to attempt to feed a sleepy Heath. This was fairly unsuccessful!
De-catheterisation and Shuffling
Whilst Mike was away I got the all clear to move from the immediate recovery ward to the next one. I had regained feeling in the lower half of my body and I was starting to move my legs more.
It was time to de-catheterise.
The prospect of this scared me as I’d heard from a male friend the entire trauma that had occurred with his catheterisation after appendicitis surgery. In hindsight perhaps he was a little more precious about his ‘down there’ bits and pieces than myself. The removal of the catheter happened before I knew it and in all honesty, I hardly noticed.
I was almost immediately saddened. As a girl who likes to get her drink on, of water that is, it was a novelty not ‘needing’ the loo. Honestly, I can down a pint of water like no one’s business.
However, I didn’t have too much time to dwell on it as, as soon as my catheter was removed I was being ushered off the bed and in to a wheelchair. They told me that I had to do it by myself.
Are you joking?
I couldn’t move my toes an hour ago and now you want me to sit up, stand up, shuffle, spin and sit down? Did you forget that less than twelve hours ago my insides weren’t quite inside my body?
I genuinely thought they were talking sheer madness.
Fortunately at the time a friend who worked at the hospital had come to visit me. With her words of encouragement and the support of a nurse and assistant I managed it.
It was the slowest movements I had ever performed. It was fairly excruciating. I must have looked like the witch from the Snow White original movie but I did it!
New room, New Recovery Challenges
Once I made it to the other room I then had to get out of the chair and into the new bed. The worst part of this was steadying myself backwards into the bed. The electronic controls could only bring it so far up! I should say at this point I certainly don’t envy those among you who have gone before me when there weren’t electronic beds! You ladies are goddesses among women as I don’t know how I would have done it without!
Now that my catheter had been removed I faced the arduous task of getting up when I needed the loo. I also had to prove that I was functioning too. Honestly, have you ever tried shuffling to the loo then suspending yourself over a bedpan whilst you go about your business just to prove you can do just that!?
Fortunately, I was told I was a bit of a superstar in that department and was let off it pretty quickly! I’d like to thank all the basketball minibus trips for helping to develop my bladder of steel!
In the meantime a kind nurse gave Heath his first hair wash. Gosh he had so much hair. He still does!
It was in this room that our immediate family were able to come and meet him for the first time. The experience was surreal. My sisters, my Mum, Mike’s sister and his Mum all came in and left as Aunties and Grandmothers respectively. These were the moments we had been waiting for.
Room 6 in 48 hours
We’d had the initial room where we’d waited for labour to fully kick in. We’d had the delivery room then the operating theatre. Then it was the immediate recovery room followed by the next recovery room. Finally I was on to my final destination – no not the being trapped in a sunbed kind.
I’d been deemed well enough to not need as much observation and Heath and I were on our way. We knew this meant we were closer to going home.
A porter came and with his help and Michael laden up like a pack horse we moved to the Robert Watson ward. It felt nice to know that we were making progress in all the right directions. I still had a few more days to wait before I’d be able to go home but here we were kind of left to our own devises in comparison to the constant monitoring of the previous two areas.
Team Showering and Requesting to stay in
Once we arrived and were set up I decided it was about high time I had a shower. This was going to be a task. I had to shuffle to the washroom and to top it off I had to step up in to the shower. I genuinely felt that this was unattainable. Michael came with me, as did Heath in his little bed, and he helped me in to the shower. I was able to wash the top half but I needed Mike’s help when it came to other areas. He also had to peel off my bandage as I just couldn’t bring myself to.
At this point I was very swollen and tender. I was really bruised and still couldn’t really see it properly as I still looked fairly pregnant. Michael was a superstar. He talked me through everything and was so gentle.
Here was this man who I have known most of my life teaching me new things about himself. I couldn’t have asked for more.
The nurses told me that I could be going home the next day. Now most mothers would be excited for this but I just felt terrified. I couldn’t get up the stairs if I needed a wee let alone get to my baby and look after him when he cried.
When the next day came around I requested to stay. Going home was just not right for me at the time and I needed the extra 24 hours to feel equipped to take on home life. Heath still wasn’t feeding well either and I just wanted to extra support. Fortunately they agreed with my request.
The extra day just helped me to feel fully ready.
Our finally day in hospital came round. Heath had all his tests and we were given the all clear to go. I dressed myself in my baggiest clothes and Michael fetched the car.
This was it. He was really ours.
We loaded him in the car seat. Walked out the doors and never looked back.
We were ready to take on this parenting journey and my recovery from the safety of our own home.
I just had to brace myself all the way back in the car – pretty sure that was worse than all of the above!
If you need further information about recovering from a c-section please click here.