In the Seychelles, if it’s your first baby you go to Mahe (the main island) to have your baby (we live on Praslin island) three weeks before the due date. Now for most people this isn’t too much of an issue, as they will have friends or family living there that they can stay with. Well, we didn’t have that option and so we had to find accommodation for me to stay in. My husband would have to stay on Praslin as he would still be working. Luckily for me my mum and dad were coming over so I had some company and some help if I needed to get to the hospital. Of course also for just general help while I was a big ball of a pregnant lady! So accommodation booked for 5 weeks (3 weeks before and allowing up to two weeks after due date before I would be induced)
At my 20 week scan (which was actually at 22 weeks) they told us we were having a boy. They also told us that at that time he was breech. It was no problem though, it was still early days and he had lots and lots of time to turn around still. I don’t know what it was but I knew he wasn’t going to turn around, I just had this feeling he was going to stay breech.
The kind of thing that can make it more likely a baby will be breech is if it’s the second baby, it’s twins or more, the uterus is an unusual shape, or placenta previa among some other things that I can’t remember! Well none of those things matched up with me. Even armed with the knowledge that less that 5% of babies are born breech I still had this feeling that he wasn’t going to turn. My husband felt the same way.
It got closer to my due date and every check up I had, our little guy still hadn’t turned! I knew he wasn’t going to….little monkey! At 30 weeks I was booked into have an elective c-section. I had read a lot about how people feel really disappointed at having to have a c-section. I’ll admit I did feel this a little bit, that I wouldn’t be able to have my baby the way ‘nature intended’!
However this actually ended up working really well for us. With my husband on a whole different island we didn’t have to worry about how he was going to get to me if I went into labour in the middle of the night! Also it meant that my mum and dad could plan their stay around it (after all they were still going to be in the Seychelles and they wanted to enjoy their time before the baby came!).
So I went into the hospital on the 25th June (at 37.5weeks pregnant). I had a chat with the anaesthetist, discussed that the two main options were an epidural or general anaesthetic. The decision was clear for us that I would have an epidural. I didn’t want the risks involved with a general anaesthetic. I then was put in a room where the baby was traced, I could hear him moving around and his little heart beat it was beautiful. They then shaved my belly and I had to sign some forms. No more action until the next day. I got little to no sleep, how could I? I knew I was going to be meeting my baby in the morning!!
My husband and my parents arrived at 7 in the morning on the 26th and things then went pretty fast. I got dressed into my hospital gown and taken into theatre at around 8:45. In the Seychelles no one is allowed to go into the theatre with you so I was by myself. I made sure that my husband was going to get to be with the baby while I was being stitched up. I didn’t want either of them to be on their own!
I then met my doctor for the first time. The anaesthetist was there and was really calming and reassuring. He told me that the epidural would be uncomfortable but as I had a tattoo on my back he told me I would be fine! He was right, to be honest the needle wasn’t bad at all. That could be due to adrenaline of course! I then felt a cold feeling, which i guess was the anaesthetic. That didn’t feel very nice but within a minute or two that had gone and the numbness started going down my legs. I had a oxygen mask on, not sure if that is normal or not but I had one never the less! I think it did help me as it made me concentrate on my breathing rather then what was going on down there!
At 9:25 Arthur was born, I had prepared myself that quite often the baby makes no sound initially when first born by c-section but i heard a little coughing noise and then a cry. I burst into tears!! That was it I was a mummy!! They cleaned him up a little bit and the doctor was then removing the placenta etc (I guess thats what he was doing anyway!) I got to give Arthur a little kiss, he was bundled up in a big fluffy towel. He was then taken away from me to get properly cleaned up and to go into a little incubator while I was being stitched up. My husband was with him at this time.
I think it was around 10:15 that I eventually came out of theatre…..it felt like forever! I got wheeled back into the ward where my mum and dad were with me. Shortly after that Mark came in with Arthur and I got to have my first cuddle. I had been away from him for less than an hour and I had missed him, he had been inside me for 9 months and so even that short little time without him felt like an eternity!
Recovery was surprisingly okay from the surgery. I didn’t get out of bed at all on the 26th but the next day I walked to have a wash and use the toilet, the first day was pretty slow and painful but it got better really quick. I didn’t take much pain medication at all. I can’t even remember what the strong stuff was that I had but whatever it was I only used it for two days and then after that I was just taking paracetamol.
My entire stay in hospital was 5 nights (including the night before I had Arthur) I went back to our apartment on Mahe. Mark had started his paternity leave on the 25th so he was there with me along with my mum and dad. We took Arthur back to Praslin when he was around 2 weeks old on the little inter island plane.