Life’s a journey – part 2 – Emergency C Section

……As the nurse stood there shaving the top of my lady jungle I was scared about what was to come. It was a laugh or cry moment. I normally revert back to humor when nervous so joked and asked her “are we going steady now?”. The nurse could see what I was doing and cracked a few jokes in retort to mine to lighten the mood. She helped me get in the gown and my hands began to tremble.

As we opened the door to the room I had been prepped in there was another nurse waiting for us in scrubs. He had a wheelchair and asked me to hop in. They put my stuff in a bag and we immediately headed to theater. We went down halls with no windows and so many lights. I remember one flickering, distracting me if only for a second of my impending fate.

I kept thinking this is not the birth I had planned. I had planned a water birth minimal drugs as I didn’t want the baby affected. With my partner and Doula there to support me. A Peaceful environment with my relaxing play list I had put together. I had only packed my baby bag days before hand still sitting in the unfinished nursery not realizing it would be needed so soon.  I realized we hadn’t even contacted my Doula in the rush of everything happening so quickly. On the grand scheme of things and how fast everything had gone that was the least of my problems. In a perfect world it would have went according to plan. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world and it’s always throwing curve balls our way. All we can do is ride the wave and hope it all turns out ok.

Entering the surgical theater I wanted to run I wanted to pretend none of this was happening. It was all too real. I felt sick and I wanted to throw up. I smiled politely at the staff but inside I was freaking out. I thought to myself this shouldn’t be happening this was a nightmare. I had to concentrate on my breathing to try ground myself as I didn’t want to make anything worse for my baby, even if I was freaking out and scared for her. I asked the staff what happens now? They said they didn’t have time for an epidural that scared me even more, and I thought to myself how bad is this? Is my baby going to survive? is she already dead?they already lost her heartbeat once. If they don’t have time for an epidural this situation must be really bad. I asked if I could be knocked out as it was all too real, but they said it would be too dangerous as anything I have passes to her. They said they would do a straight spinal block. No numbing just a big needle straight in my back. If I thought I was freaking out before I was really freaking out now. The nurse could see I was obviously scared and started chatting to me to take my mind off it while they prepped the drugs for the spinal block. I wondered if it would hurt and the doctor told me not to worry as “he makes a great cocktail”.

They leaned me over a cushion while I held my partners hand. I felt the coolness of the liquid they used on the area tingling cold on my skin before inserting the needle. The cold of the liquid gave me goosebumps. It was the most unique pain I have ever felt when they put the needle in. Too scared to move but in pain I let out a small noise and squeezed my partners hand while tears rolled down my cheeks. After it was done they lay me back on the bed and got me in what I called my Jesus pose my arms were out and I could see them moving my legs but I could not feel them. It was bizarre to see part of my body moving but not feel it. Then the screen went up. The nurse next to me held one hand while my partner held the other. I thought to myself laugh or cry so we reverted back to humor quoting silly lines from tv shows like the mighty boosh, trying to distract myself from the fact my body was being cut open behind a screen.

I felt some tugging that brought me back to reality. I asked the nurse if that was normal and she said yes and made sure I wasn’t in any discomfort. Then came some immense pressure, I felt winded. When I caught my breath I yelled out what are you doing? I will never forget the face that popped up from behind the screen. He looked at me and in a calm voice explained they were pushing the baby out. Confused I said don’t you just pull it out? I seen his eyebrow raise and he said no we dont just pull it out. His head still looking at me went back down behind the screen. It was a rightio as you were moment. I felt more pushing but kept telling myself what they were doing was getting my daughter out. I had to grit and bear it and wait. Then I suddenly felt lighter and a tiny angry little squeal was heard. She was alive my baby was ALIVE. It was the most beautiful little noise I ever heard. Relief washed over me. I watched as they immediately moved her to check her over. I could see she was absolutely tiny. I had never seen such a small baby before. One minute she had been in me the next she was out naked and screaming. She was tiny perfection. They checked her over thoroughly and said they would be moving her immediately to the neonatal nursery and asked if her father wanted to go with her. He chose to stay with me as I still had to be stitched up.

Getting stitched up felt like forever. The stitches took longer than the surgery as they had to do 3 layers of stitches. The uterus, the muscle wall and then the skin. I was growing impatient but the nurse kept talking to us to distract us talking us through what was going on behind the curtain. By the end of it I was wondering with all the stitching if surgeon’s maybe moonlight as seamstress’s. When they finished the hundreds of stitches I was wheeled into recovery. I kept asking if I could go see my baby? was she ok? what was happening? They just kept distracting me with questions then every now and then asking if I could feel anything yet. Then to my surprise they pulled out a zooper dooper (icey pole) and they were testing my legs to see what I could feel it. I couldn’t yet but I sure wanted to eat the zooper dooper ( I ended up eating 3)  As the spinal block faded I started to shake violently and had a bit of a rash. I was kept in recovery until the block wore off and I stopped shaking.

I was not sure how much time had passed by but all I wanted was my baby. Part of me was missing and in another part of the hospital. I longed to be with her, with every fiber of my being. When they wheeled me to my room on the gurney I asked the nurse what can I do to be able to see my baby? I was told until I could get in the wheelchair I could not go up to the neonatal and see her. I was willing to do whatever it took. They wanted me to rest for a bit but all I wanted was my baby girl so they got me some strong painkillers and warned me it may be very uncomfortable to get in the chair as I had just had major surgery. I didn’t care, I took the medication and waited anxiously for it to kick in. I was so close to being able to get up and see her. Then my world went fluffy….. whatever the painkiller I had been given was , I was now floating on clouds. My daughters father looked at me and asked if I was ok? I was wonderful no pain not a care in the world. The nurse walked in and had a half smile on her face ” I see the medications working how you feeling” So I told her I was flufffyy. She laughed a little “you ready to go in this wheelchair and meet your baby?” to which I responded “BABIES all the BABIES” the nurse and my daughters father both burst into laughter at that. I got off the bed and onto the wheel chair with a bit of help. Even in the haze of the fluffyness I felt excited and scared I was finally going to see my baby.

Down the corridor and through the double set of locked doors we entered the neonatal nursery. There were incubators and plastic tilted bassinets. A small room filled with tiny babies and that sterile hospital smell. All I wanted was my baby. They wheeled me over to her incubator. The incubator had little windows I could open and put my hand through. I burst into tears as I held my daughters perfect little hand for the first time “hello Abigail I have been waiting to meet you”. Seeing her for the first time up close she was so tiny. Her skin looked thin and I could see little veins and the pulse on the soft spot of her head. The nurse told us she weighed only 1.72kgs (3.79lbs) I wanted to hold her and to my surprise and delight the nurse got my baby out and put her in my arms for the first time and helped me hold her. It was everything I imagined and more nothing ever prepares you for the moment, the euphoria, the overwhelming love that hits you. There aren’t words that truly cover the feeling you have when you hold the life which you grew and created for the first time bundled in your arms. Everything else melts away and its you and this little soul. In that moment I pledged myself to my daughter. To do everything I could so she grew up happy and healthy. Where she goes I go.

In that neonatal nursery we started the longest 3 weeks of our lives. We entered the NICU bubble………………

 

 

#AustraliaStopDomesticViolence

****Last week 6 Women lost their lives to Domestic Violence in Australia****

I myself have experienced domestic violence in more than one form and so will 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men. After all the deaths last week and not standing up for myself due to fear and feeling ashamed when I was put through such horrible things I need to make a stand. It is time for ALL AUSTRALIANS to make a stand and say enough is enough. On Friday October 12th 5:30pm WA time so 8:30pm Eastern states I am asking everyone to share your stories and support with the hashtag  #AustraliaStopDomesticViolence on your social media be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc to raise awareness to try help make a change to stop Domestic Violence in Australia. This is so families and friends don’t have to bury another loved one. So people feel safe to leave when they feel unsafe instead of feeling trapped. So the government steps in and stops cutting funding to the most vulnerable. Please save the date and set a reminder for Friday October 12th to share your support and help make change in Australia.

There are many forms of domestic violence:

  • Physical
  • Financial
  • Emotional
  • Verbal
  • Social
  • Sexual
  • Stalking
  • Spiritual

The number of people affected by domestic violence is sickening 1/3 women and 1/6 men so amongst your friends and family you will know several affected by domestic violence. Lets look at some of the stats first of all for women (stats thanks to White Ribbon Australia)

  • Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children
  • 1 woman on average will be murdered every week because of domestic violence
  • 40% of women continue to experience violence from their ex partner even after they separate.
  • 1 in 6 woman have experienced stalking
  • 1 in 2 Women will experience sexual harassment.

Children

  • 1 in 6 girls abused before the age of 15
  • Leading cause of homelessness in children is domestic violence
  • Children that experience DV to themselves or their parent have a higher rate of social and emotional problems than other children

The stats that really hit home that things are getting worse and that re-education programs for young people to target these issues need to happen are

  • 1 in 4 young people think its normal for guys to pressure girls into sex
  • 1 in 3 young people don’t think that controlling someone is a form of violence
  • 1 in 4 young people don’t think its serious when guys insult or verbally harass girls.

Violence against women is estimated to cost Australia $22 billion a year. That is with all the funding cuts the government continue to make putting more people at risk. The stats are sickening / scary and the cost of the violence is astronomical. The government need to get a plan in place for starters young people being educated about DV, the effects of DV and eradicating the sick toxic masculinity that’s rife in Australia. Toxic Masculinity is the pushed stereotype we see here in Australia that men and boys are not allowed to express certain emotions or not aloud to cry. Putting social expectations that they are meant to be tough aggressive alpha types that are uncaring and in charge. They are unable to explore who they are as very set lines of what men should be like and what women should be like. Its 2018 not the middle ages we are meant to evolve this Toxic masculinity needs to stop. Feeling emotions in a healthy manner is what we are meant to do not suppress them and become volatile. Telling kids they can’t feel things can turn them into ticking violent time bombs that explode when they get older. It doesnt help that DV is swept under the rug with people embarrassed to talk about it. NOW is the time to talk.

The police are at a loss with domestic violence between picking up people who have violated the terms of a VRO and then are released soon after by the courts to re offend and traumatize their victim. Police being called out to jobs at the same place several times as victims are afraid to leave for fear of homelessness or they have tried leaving before and have been stalked or mentally broken down by the perpetrator. The authority the police have only goes so far the court system needs to back up the work the police have done instead of slapping the perps on the wrist. I have friends that have lived in fear with their exs that violated the VRO 6 times in one case and still no charges were laid.

The Prison system when men are actually sentenced needs better re-education programs in regards to domestic violence to stop them re offending when they are out. Instead they are very much boys clubs egging each other on where prison guards have lost hope and stop reporting what prisoners say when they brag about re-offending when they get out. The system is very much broken. Then there are the women that finally stand up for themselves that are getting beaten by their partners and one day decide to grab a weapon to protect themself and they end up killing their abuser and end up in jail.

At the end of the day it all comes down to the abuser wanting control “Domestic violence can be dressed up, you can use fancy words, but it comes down to one thing. Control. The need for the offender to control the victim. And that need for control comes from their own inadequacy.” Sean McDermott.

This is so important to me to make change after living through 3 DV relationships.

  • The first being when I was only 15 where my boyfriend had isolated me from my friends and psychologically tormented me to the point I was an anxious mess. Then a week after he broke up with me and i thought i was free he broke into my home when I was getting ready for school held me at knife point and sexually assaulted me. I eventually got away and phoned the police. He was later charged with aggravated burglary only and a vro was put in place that he violated twice.
  • I was in another at the age of 19/20 that was Physically and Sexually violent and when I left him he stalked me for months after. I had to go over seas for an extended period to escape. He later married and did the same to his wife traumatizing her and their 2 children. She left after a very violent assault.
  • In more recent years I ended up in a DV relationship that was Emotionally, verbally and financially abusive.

4 out of the 6 women in my family have been sexually assaulted. A man close to me who does not wish to be named has been in 2 DV relationships where his partners assaulted him. After talking to friends the amount of others that have lived through domestic violence and sexual assault is too many to mention. We all have people dear to us affected by Domestic violence. The Violence needs to stop.

There are a few ways you can help make a difference to people affected by domestic violence. You could donate to local women’s shelters’. They always need clothing for women and children of all ages. You could donate to https://www.sharethedignity.com.au/ or https://youthoffthestreets.com.au to name a few.

If you need help you can call 1800 RESPECT

Allot of information about domestic violence can be found on http://theredheartcampaign.org/ or https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/

How many times are we going to  have to look to the sky and say goodbye to another lost to domestic violence. It is time for us as a nation to regain control of this epidemic to share our stories and support at the same time on Friday October 12th 5:30pm Western Australia and 8:30pm Eastern states so we can to make a difference and spark change by joining in. It is time the government and us as a nation stood together and said #AustraliaStopDomesticViolence

I hope the links are helpful and I hope to see everyone posting their stories and support with #AustraliaStopDomesticViolence

Nadia

xoxo