When I was expecting the girls I so desperately wanted a natural vaginal birth, and the less pain killers the better, because that would make me a good, strong person. Wouldn’t it?
I fell into the bubble of pregnancy forums during this time, and if you haven’t come across these places, you really do need to dip a toe in just for the experience. Don’t get me wrong, I have actually met some lovely people and their children in real life, which stemmed from our online friendships built in these forums. I've also had some good advice thrown my way from time to time. However, these forums much like any virtual vicinity these days can also be bitchy, nasty playgrounds in which vulnerable mums-to-be feel they need to fit into to meet an ideal which doesn't actually exist.
Debates between mums were a daily occurrence. One that used to come up every week or so, was the natural or c-section delivery. There were arguments about people wanting c sections for no reason other than vainly preserving their lady garden; some labelled them too posh to push. I remember one woman wanted a c-section so badly that she was genuinely going to pay in the region of £8000 because the NHS and everyone she spoke to within it refused to give her a section with no medical reasoning behind it. At the time I thought she was bat-poop crazy. Now, meh, I still do, but I also have some sympathy too.
Others would insist that epidurals used in vaginal deliveries were a cop out and that you should feel the pain in order to really experience child birth. If you didn’t try hypnobirthing you were a terrible mother and if you did you were a hippy. You just couldn’t win no matter what you did and these ridiculous notions about childbirth went on and on. I spent hours flicking through threads and getting involved in debates that I actually knew sod all about.
Naively, I thought my birth plan was going to happen. I would push out the twins with minimal pain relief and effort, and then I’d be up and about, strutting round town and showing off my babies in my new shiny bugaboo donkey in a matter of hours. What. A. Twat.
In fact I went into a silent labour at 34 weeks; silent as in I couldn’t feel my contractions. What a bonus I hear you say. Well, actually, both babies weren’t feeling a natural delivery and were breech so all of my fluffy perfect birth dreams came crashing down around me.
The medical staff told me I’d lost a lot of blood and then for some bizarre reason I was sick in recovery (cue massive panic attack thinking my new wound would burst open and I’d turn inside out with the pressure of the vomiting!) so they proceeded to pump me full of fluids. This eventually lead to me being stuck in a room unable to see the babies for a further 24 hours because my body was too full of fluid. Doctors surrounded me and told me I had to pee within the next 6 hours or they would have to put a central line into my heart to relieve the pressure from the fluid THEY pumped into me.
The days that followed were absolute agony. I walked like the hunchback of Notre-Dame for a good week- it's impossible to stand upright after a section without feeling as though your womb, intestines and any other abdominal organ will burst out of your wound at any given moment.
After a few days the hospital staff stop caring as much and stop wheeling you around in a wheelchair. One morning I had to walk to NICU to see the girls, and then on my return I couldn’t get back into the post natal ward because all of the staff were too busy to buzz me in. Genuinely, I thought I was going to die at that door. Slumped in a pool of blood, intestines splattered all around me. Ok thats a tad dramatic and obviously I didn’t die but JEEZ was it bloody painful.
The recovery was a long slow slog, I would wake during the night feeling like my wound was on fire which I later found out was the sensation of my nerves stitching themselves back together. I couldn’t exercise, couldn’t drive, and had this awful kangeroo pouch as part of my new mummy bod which I was struggling to accept. My beautiful shiny new bugaboo donkey sat unused for more than 3 whole weeks, and amongst all of this crap-ness I was still waiting for that tidal wave of love to wash over me. My babies didn't feel as though they were mine, I was in pain, feeling low and it was all the c-sections fault.
To be continued...
Sweet Tooth Super Mum