Sorry this post is so late. We had a few complications which I will discuss below. But first…
Reece Kyle Watt was born at 9:01am on Wednesday the 4th of October 2017 via c-section. He weighed 3.65kg (only 10 grams more than his sister!) and was 51cm tall (2cm shorter than his sister!). He had a MASSIVE head, the circumference measuring 37cm! He is such a calm and happy baby. So far we have hardly heard a peep out of him!
C Section story:
So we arrived at the hospital at 6am Wednesday morning. We were essentially just shuffled into a room and told to wait. That was fine. The lady in the bed next to us had a baby already and at first we wondered if she was also a c Section mama or if she hadn’t had her baby yet, because it was SO quiet.
Fast forward half an hour and her baby rose like the devil out of hell. It literally did not stop crying. Even as we were walking out of the hospital 2 days later, it didnt stop. But that’s a whole other story.
So we were waiting to find out more about what was happening with the c section. I had been told that the theatre list goes up at about 8:15am, so we had a short while to wait.
Lacey, my birth photographer, got there and started taking some photos before she realised she had parked in a 2 hour parking zone, so she went to move her car.
In the 15 minutes she was gone a midwife came in and told me that I was first up on the theatre list and I could be taken in within 5 minutes!
We were freaking out because we had essentially just got to the hospital and had seen no one. No doctors or anything and suddenly they were going to be taking me up to theatre in 5? Lacey wasn’t even back from parking her car yet!! So I rang Lacey and she rushed back.
Then it was all so quick. A bit of a roller coaster really!
Within a few minutes they decided to take me up to theatre.
We got to a surgery waiting bay where they confirmed all my details and what procedure I was having. The surgeon/OB came to speak to me as did the midwives and anaesthesiologist.
I explained my fear of the spinal needle and she told me it was nothing to worry about. She assured me I would hardly feel it, so I decided to trust her.
They gave lacey and my mum surgery scrubs and asked them to get ready. They had masks and everything to wear, it was all very funny to watch. They wheeled me away and told lacey and my mum that they would get them when my spinal had been done.
They took me into the next bay and put a canulla in my arm. They also gave me this disgusting liquid that was supposed to help with reflux and tasted like urine! The taste literally stayed in my mouth, it was gross. Then they asked me to stand up and walk over to the table. I did and they started prepping me with that cold back wash. Once everyone was scrubbed up they came back in and the anaesthesiologist felt my back. She then did the local injection and inserted that in various places.
She told me it took a while to work so I waited and waited and then felt a popping sensation in my spine. But it had only been about 30 seconds. I asked what that was and she said that was her being done! She told me the needle had been inserted and medication had been given and that my legs would start getting a warm feeling.
Almost immediately my legs got heavy and warm. I could still wiggle my toes. Eventually that stopped though.
They did a pin prick test to see if I felt pain. They stuck a pin around my eyes, then down my shoulders, chest and lower. I felt no pain from my waist downwards. It was weird because I felt her touch me, but there was no pain.
Then they put the drapes up, brought my mum and Lacey in, and they started the procedure. I must say, I was prepared for the tugging and pulling but I wasn’t prepared for the weird clicking and bones popping sensations. It felt so strange. No one told me that with a c section, you can feel them cutting you!! There is just no pain associated with anything they do. But I felt the pressure of the blade and I felt their hands pulling for Reece. The clicking and popping feelings were the worst for me though.
Anyway, Reece was apparently nice and comfortable because he didn’t want to come out. They were pushing and pulling and he was determined to stay in his little hidey hole. They ended up using forceps to get him out.
He immediately cried when he was born, but he was a little shocked. While they stitched me up he went over to the warming bench thing to get a rub down to help with his vitals. He was good but didn’t want to cry after that initial one.
Here is a sneak peak photo that Lacey took of him coming out:
Eventually they deemed him great and brought him over to me for some skin to skin. It was great until they started pressing on me again and I started feeling sick. I passed him to my mum at that point and she got a good snuggle in.
Before I knew it the surgery was over and I was going to recovery.
We were only in recovery for about 30 minutes before they took me back to my room.
The spinal started to wear off about an hour and a half later, but it wasn’t until about 3 hours later that I had full feeling back.
This is where things started to get problematic.
I was laying there waiting for the spinal to completely wear off when I felt a small gush between my legs. Blood.
It wasn’t big and I expected to bleed. Then about 10 minutes later I had another gush. This time it was much bigger, to the point where the blood actually gushed upwards first, soaked the sheet and blanket on top of me, then went down.
I had a pad between my legs and a bluey pad (one of those big blue ones they put under you) which had only been changed about 30 minutes prior. Both of those were completely soaked through.
They waited to see what was happening with the bleeding, and in the meantime they called a doctor to examine me.
The gushes came about every 10-15 minutes and there was a lot of blood with each gush. Each gush filled the pad and half filled the bluey.
A doctor came in and explained that she would have to examine my surgical site, then she would have to be a little nasty and push on my uterus. The wound looked great, but then she pressed on my uterus and it was a world of pain.
Each time she pressed more blood gushed out, so at that point they decided to give me an injection (which I later found out they had already given me) to contract the uterus.
When that didn’t stop the gushing, they put me on a pitocin drip to contract the uterus. They explained that sometimes after a birth the uterus will get lazy and not contract. The blood vessels in the uterus rely on these contractions to stop the bleeding, as the contractions close them off. They suspected my uterus wasn’t contracting and blood was pooling.
The drip didn’t work. The gushes just kept coming.
They then gave me oral medication to take in the hopes that would work. Nope. Another injection and another type of IV medication was given. They also tried these tablets that go up your bum and they are apparently very effective for stopping this kind of thing. Not for me apparently.
By this stage it was 5pm and I had been gushing all day. Some hours were better than others, and sometimes the medication looked like it was going to work, only to have an extra big gush come out.
Then they cut me off from eating and drinking. They thought they may have to take me back to theatre and examine me under general anaesthetic. But they still wanted to try the medication. Every half an hour someone would come in and push on my uterus. It was so painful. They thought that maybe there was a clot preventing the uterus from cramping and that if they pressed enough, it would dislodge and come out, which would stop the bleeding. I wasn’t so lucky.
My parents left at 9pm after not knowing whether to stay or go. Visiting hours finished at 8pm and although the doctors had said that they could stay in case the surgery was needed, the doctors still didn’t know if they were going to take me or not.
After lots of going back and forth, they eventually called in the head of OB in the hospital. She came and examined me and decided the best thing to do was to go to surgery.
She explained that they would be doing an examination under general anaesthetic. Depending on what they found, they may insert a balloon into the uterus. This balloon is designed to be inflated in the uterus to put pressure on the uterine walls. The pressure is supposed to cut off the blood vessels from openly bleeding. She explained that if (for example) the typical uterus would hold 500ml, they would over expand the balloon (so they insert 600ml) to put the added pressure to the uterine walls.
She explained that they usually just use their hands for this, but if they struggle they may need to use instruments. The tools they use have been known to cause tearing of the perineum.
I couldn’t believe it. I had just been through a C section to avoid tearing, and I could be coming out of this whole thing with a c section wound AND tearing? I was pissed.
They then said that sometimes if they have had to use tools and the tearing is getting too out of hand, they will stop, open up the c section wound, make it bigger, then insert the balloon tbrough there.
So I could have a LARGE, REOPENED c section wound and tearing. Seriously?!
I knew it was what needed to be done so I went along with it. At this point the blood loss was at 1.2 litres (they were weighing the pads), so I didn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room as things were getting dangerous.
They finally decided to take me up. Reece went with the midwives and I headed to surgery.
They explained that the balloon won’t be painful, but it will have some pressure associated with it. The OB said it sort of felt like a really overfull bladder without the urge to pee.
So they get me into the waiting bay again. Then an anaesthesiologist comes to see me again. She says that we have the option to do a spinal but this would increase the risks of the spinal, like the headaches and low blood pressure.
I was told that the balloon wouldn’t be painful, so why would I need a spinal? The spinal went really well the first time but I didn’t want to push my luck. So I just went with general anaesthetic.
Let me state it here that This was the worst decision that I could have made.
I woke up in a state that I could only describe as distress. I felt like I couldn’t breathe because I was in so much pain. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going or where the pain came from. My body recognised one thing and that’s all I could focus on. Pain.
I remember the nurse or whoever she was screaming for a doctor and then having another lady rush over and say ‘give her fentanyl now!’. I remember it going in and feeling relief for maybe 10 seconds, then it escalating again. The doctor was still there and she said ‘give her more’.
So they did. I was still in pain so the doctor said ‘another!’. She did this two more times before the nurse said that I was at my maximum dose. The doctor looked at my chart and quickly called the anaesthesiologist back and they had a brief conversation before she came back and said ‘we’ve agreed, double her dose’.
So they gave me double compared to what they were supposed to.
But it did nothing. This pain was like a pressure with a cramp and then almost contraction pain. At least it’s how it started out. The longer I was awake, the more I was able to feel and comprehend. It was the pain of contractions. Full blown contractions.
I don’t think they took it seriously until I started crying from the pain then vomited everywhere.
So then they gave me codeine, no change. They had already given me paracetamol and ibuprofen (not that they would have done ANYTHING with the pain I was having) but I heard them say give me another dose of those.
They were then scurrying for what to give me. I had like 10 people around me discussing what I could and couldn’t have. Mean while I was crying and moaning from the pain.
‘A spinal! An epidural! Those will work!’ I told them all, and you should have seen the looks I got. Like I was possessed or something.
They just kept talking amongst themselves.
Then they decided to try a single dose of morphine. No change. They gave me endone tablets, no difference. Targen, no change. Then tramadol.
One of the people there who I can only assume was a doctor then made it very clear that I could NOT have any more opioids. In fact, he said ‘she’s already had enough pain relief to put her on a respirator at best or in a coma at worst, so do we really think it’s a good idea to give any more?!’
While I agreed that I had had a lot, what could I do? I was in severe pain and nothing was working. The pain relief didn’t alter anything, they may as well not have given it to me.
The head OB started talking to me then. She explained that the contraction pain I was having was due to the pitocin drip they have put me on again. She said that for the balloon to be affective, they give you pitocin to contract your uterus. My uterus wasn’t responding on lower doses so they bumped it up to the highest level, which seemed to make it respond.
She said I was probably in so much pain because the wound across my uterus would be under a lot of pressure right now with the balloon stretching it and the uterus contracting. Hence why I was in a world of pain.
She said I ‘only had about 3 hours’ of the drip left and since they couldn’t give me anything more, I would just have to live through it for now. I only had one bag to get through, they didn’t want any more pitocin after that so I only had to get through one bag.
But when I looked at the drip monitor screen, it had 3 hours and 35 minutes left.
I know it doesn’t seem like a very long time, but these contractions were terrible. I couldn’t move because I had wires all around me and a catheter in, plus I’d just woken up after a general anaesthetic. They wouldn’t let me up until after the drip had run through.
I didn’t know how long I could take it. I repeatedly vomited from the pain and it got to the point I was biting my lip so hard I drew blood without realising. The contractions where one on top of the other and so much worse than when I was in labour with Scarlett. And let’s not forget that I didn’t get an epidural until I was 8cm dilated with Scarlett AND she was posterior, so the contractions were everywhere. But that was nothing compared to these contractions.
I kept checking the ‘time until infused’ number and the minutes were going by so slowly.
I got down to 2 hours and 14 minutes before I begged to be put back under GA just to ride out the contractions. They refused, so I begged for an epidural. They refused that too.
They told me that I could have more tramadol and more endone but that was it. And if I wanted to take them I needed to be okay with a doctor AND an anaesthesiologist being in the room 100% of the time from then on because I was so likely to go into a coma from all the medication I had already taken.
I agreed and took it. Still it did nothing. We got down to an hour and 25 minutes when I noticed the contractions were starting to slow. There was a longer break inbetween them but when they came they were even more painful.
Then with about an hour to go I started to get drowsy. I was okay with this however because it also dulled the pain. Very soon after that I couldn’t speak or feel my face.
A code was called and the resuscitation team came in. I was still awake, just unable to move really.
They examined me and decided it was from all the medication. They decided to have half of them would stay with the equipment and half would leave the room. Then I went to sleep.
I woke up 4 hours later to a room of people pacing and arguing that I shouldn’t have had that last endone. I think they were shocked that I was awake. I was just glad I wasn’t in pain anymore.
The head OB was in the room and she apologised to me. She said that they clearly underestimated my pain because with all the drugs I had, I should have been asleep within half an hour of taking them. She said she felt bad that they refused the spinal/epidural.
They told me that the balloon had to stay in until late that afternoon but I only had another hour to eat and drink because if I was still bleeding when they took it out, they would take me to theatre to reinsert it and start the process all over again.
I just remember being overwhelmed with dread at that point. If I had to do that again I was getting the spinal and no one would be able to tell me otherwise. It was that, or they would have to take out my uterus because I was not going through that level of pain again.
Eventually my family arrived at the hospital and we waited until it was time to take the balloon out. I was so drained at that point. I felt like I would fall asleep at any minute and I couldn’t help it.
Time came (and passed since they were running behind!) to take the balloon out and finally it was out. Taking it out wasn’t all that bad, they packed my vagina full of gauze and I think that was the worst part! It felt like sandpaper coming out from downstairs.
Once it was out I think we all waited for the bleeding to begin again.
There was a small gush, but absolutely nothing huge. They pushed on the uterus and nothing came out, so they were happy to say the haemorrhaging has stopped!
Within an hour I was allowed to get up and shower. I was worried that walking would hurt, but it was surprisingly easy. I was slightly hunched over but was able to straighten pretty quickly. I did feel a little dizzy but the midwife explained it was likely due to the blood loss.
I didn’t have any issues in the shower, I did have to sit down a few times from the dizziness but I otherwise felt fine- it was nice to finally wash all the dried blood from my legs!
Once I turned the shower off I started to get dressed and felt a massive gush. I had blood pooled on the floor and all down my legs. So I jumped in the shower again to clean myself off and quickly stuck a pad on to catch anything that came out again.
Luckily, no more gushing. But just the simple act of showering took it out of me. I was sweating and exhausted. I did tell the midwife about the gushing but she suspected it was simply from being sedentary for two days then getting up and doing an activity that would normally be fine, but with my blood loss and the amount of medication I had been given, would drain my bodies energy level. She said that since it was only one gush, she wasn’t too concerned.
Eventually they took me back to my room where it was pretty uneventful after that.
They explained that during the surgery they found my uterus wasn’t contracting. They found two massive blood clots in my uterus, so they removed them, weighed them, then inserted the balloon. She said that they filled it to maximum capacity to try and get it really effective.
I was allowed to have my catheter out by the next morning and by that evening I was home, against doctors wishes of course. They wanted me to stay another night but I just needed to get home.
I came home Friday and it’s now (late) Sunday night.
Reece has been awesome. He’s a bit yellow but still waking to eat and stays awake for a short while before going back to sleep, so while he does have jaundice, they aren’t concerned. He has nights and days confused so I’m usually up a lot of the night.
He does have positional talipes, so we have been given exercises to do with him st every nappy change. It should correct itself with time though.
He’s drinking every 2-4 hours. He’s a very good drinker and so far has been very good at burping!
Scarlett absolutely adores her brother and is constantly asking to hold the baby and help change the baby’s nappy and to help hold the baby bottle. She’s so good.
I’m managing pain well! I’m just absolutely exhausted most of the time. Of course, I think 50% of that is to do with blood loss and the other 50% is from sleep deprivation.
I am feeling a lot better this time round. With Scarlett I was constantly anxious and teary at this point, but I’m a lot calmer with Reece. Don’t get me wrong, I have my anxious moments and I have had one cry- mostly over being frustrated at myself for feeling any sort of anxiety. I have been through this before so why am I anxious?! I know the hard parts pass, eventually he will sleep during the night and I won’t feel so lethargic. I know he will get bigger and one day I won’t have to worry about him having wind.
Of course you can’t help hormones so maybe this is just my body adjusting. I think it’s hard too because I have been house bound since Friday. The midwife needed to come see me Saturday, but they don’t make appointments. They say they will be there between 9am-4pm, so you have to stay put all day waiting for them! Today I was supposed to have 3 different lots of family/friends coming to meet Reece but only one showed up! So I was stuck at home waiting for them before they eventually cancelled. Tomorrow I see the midwife again, so I have to be home between 9am-4pm again. But I’m going to try to make it a fun day.
I have decided to take some home newborn photos. Of course I’m not a professional so who knows what they will look like. But I love photos so I want to get them done while he’s little.
Then we may go out for dinner. Just to get out of the house!!
I’ll attach some photos here (I’m pretty sure they have uploaded backwards, so for the photos of him when he was first born, scroll down 😂):