Zayaan's birth story: 'The day we became a family'
This mother shares her experience with an elective c-section.
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On the 25th of September 2013, the littlest human made his way into the world and we became a family. This is his birth story.

The 24th of September being a public holiday The Husband and I spent one last childless day together. My hospital bags had been packed so off we went to the Waterfront to have lunch at Krugmann’s and just stroll around aimlessly for a bit. I was scheduled for a c-section for 7:30am the next morning which meant I had to check in at Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital by 9pm.

After dawdling at home for as long as possible (I was NOT looking forward to spending the night alone in a foreign bed) and getting there in the nick of time, I had to take a shower with some pink antiseptic in preparation for the morning’s surgery. Awful, awful stuff! Worst shower of my life.

Once I was settled in for the night The Husband went home and was due back at 6am when they would wheel me upstairs. I tried to watch some episodes of Friday Night Lights on my tablet but I was far too anxious and Whatsapped The Bestie instead. Figuring this was probably the last time I’d get a full night’s sleep in a long time, I tried to sleep on the uncomfortable pillows provided. Why do hospitals have the worst pillows? I sent The Husband a text to bring me my own pillow the next day. I’d be damned if I was going to spend 3 nights in Pillow Hell.

At the ungodly hour of 5am the nurses came around and woke me to take another shower in the lovely pink antiseptic and change into a theatre gown. By the time I got back The Husband had arrived and we waited to be wheeled up.

Once upstairs I was taken to a side room to be prepped for surgery. I had a drip put into my left wrist (I HATE NEEDLES) and there were a few questions that they needed answers to. And a million that I needed answers to. I find that when I know exactly what’s going to happen I feel less anxious. The Husband was then given scrubs to put on and then left us alone after for a few minutes and we sat there watching the sun rise and the city wake up. It was a nice moment with excitement just buzzing beneath the surface.

Then the anaesthetist came in to introduce herself and explained what would be happening in theatre. My gynae popped in next and said we would be starting shortly and not to be nervous. But I was SO beyond nervous even though I had elected to have the surgery (personal choice – deal with it).

The next part is a bit of a blur so I’ll recount it as best I can.

Once in theatre I sat on the side of the bed and leaned with my front on to the nurse and was told to bend my back. I first felt the local anaesthetic needle go in. A little pinch but not really sore. I didn't really feel the spinal needle though, it was more of a pressure. Then my legs started getting warm which was the start of the numbing process. I couldn't feel anything from the chest down. The anaesthetist sprayed water on my hand and then on the number area to demonstrate how I wouldn't be able to feel anything.

Then they got started with the cutting. I didn’t feel a thing except for some tugging and my gynae spoke to me the entire time putting me at ease. The Husband was my left side and my anaesthetist was on my right stroking my hair.

Then the next thing I knew (7 minutes later apparently) I was looking at my little boy over the curtain and I cried. I somehow didn't think I would but I was so relieved. He was perfect. And so angry! Poor sausage! They took him to be weighed and The Husband went with him and I could turn my head to the right and see the whole thing. They wrapped him in a towel and handed him to me and I have never been in more awe. It was overwhelming to say the least. I didn't quite know how to hold him and the nurses encouraged breastfeeding immediately in the recovery room. But I was so cold and shaky from the anaesthetic that we just didn't get it right.

After a few details were taken down we were wheeled back down to the ward and the rest… Well, the rest is a hospital stay filled with so many injections, difficulty breastfeeding and disgusting food. Oh, and cuddles with my perfect little guy.

This post originally appeared on Adventures in Parenting. Post used with permission.

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