This morning, rather unexpectedly I was transported back to that faithful morning my lovely daughter was born……….
My sister saw a rather funny article on Facebook and knowing that we had both had our children via c-section she tagged me in it to remind me of the things people don’t tell you about having a cesarean. However yet again, it was missing one glaring piece of information. Information that is so precious, I have had no problem sharing with any woman who asks me “what was the section like” because ya know what? They should know!
My sister had 3 babies before me, all via cesarean. My sister in law had 2 babies before me, both via cesarean. Two of my friends had children before me, both via cesarean and guess how many filled me in on the full experience? ZERO! Yep that’s right, I heard all about the planned ones, and the emergency ones. I heard about getting the spinal, getting the catheter, the no eating, no drinking, no getting out of bed. To be fair I think some woman feel what you don’t know wont hurt you. Or its better to just go with the flow, however that is not me. You see I wanted the in’s and out’s. I feel like if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
The idea that I may not deliver my daughter myself was thrown about by the team in the hospital around week 32. It was a gradual conversation that got more and more concrete as my final weeks crept in. By week 38 I knew that my faith was sealed and by week 39 I knew my c-section date. Now having heard whispers of what it was all about I felt quietly confident about what would happen on the day. In fact my nerves were somewhat kept at bay by knowing just about every step that would happen. I was wrong. Putting aside the fact I had complications with my spinal, which resulted in my planned c-section becoming an emergency, it still fit the bill of everything I expected. Now don’t get me wrong, you can hear all about it but until you are there living it you don’t know! The only beauty is you don’t care. For me it was so easy to get swept up in awe of my little girl, it was easy to ignore the cold hands of the midwife fondling my boobies while attaching my little darling to what were once my pride and joy’s. It was simple to forget that my husband was on the phone to his mother telling her what a miracle it was, as he held what looked like a Chinese take-away carton up to my face so I could throw up into it without having to sit up! It was a breeze to be only able to hold my baby when someone handed her to me, as I couldn’t lift her myself. In fact because of the pain killers that first day, I forgot that what I had gone through was major abdominal surgery. And ya know what? I had prepared myself for it all. Thanks to the wise guidance of my friends and family nothing that day phased me. The next day however….. well that phased me!
You see, the information that my family and friends had given me, while good, was lacking in a vital piece of the picture. The same information had any of those woman decided to share, would have been most welcome and my “morning after” may not have been cloaked in shock, disappointment and horror. Information that I have shared with every woman who has asked me about the experience since. Information that if I have another child the same way, I will have prepared myself for and be ready to meet it next time round without being completely horrified!
I was awoken the day after the birth of my daughter by two older women pulling back the curtain screen with large smiles on their faces and “oohhs” and “aahhs” at my little bundle all wrapped up in the cot next to me. These “oohhs” and “aahhs” didn’t last long. In a matter of seconds they had pushed that little cot aside and each taken a spot either side of my bed. “Now dear, its time to get you up and freshen up” Having spent the last 17 hours lying down in this bed the words “get up” and “freshen up” were music to my ears. I began thinking about where my body wash was, where I had left my towels, where was that new facecloth and sponge that I bought special for just this moment, but those thoughts did not last long…….. It was back down to earth with a bang! One of the ladies began pulling away the bed sheets while the other rooted around in a tray they had taken into the room with them. Then they were in, all guns blazing, from the waist down, they were in business. Now I still haven’t been able to decide what they used but if I could describe it in very simplistic terms, I would say imagine a Lucozade sport bottle! Take a minute and picture it. Now fill it with water!………. Now imagine some sort of cloth on a stick!…… Is the experience becoming any clearer? While one sprayed with the “Lucozade bottle” the other gave a little rub around and a little pat down to dry me with paper towels. Then came the realisation that I had a child the day before. And only at this point did I remember that I did not have the ability to tend to myself, so something else must have taken care of that for me for the last 17 hours. Something else had taken care of it. Now I am not sure if anyone has ever house trained a puppy. If you have, you may have come across what you and I may know as Puppy Training Mats. Well let me tell you, these are clearly a very versatile invention, because just as they finished with the Lucozade bottle and the rag on a stick they began to roll me side to side and remove yesterday’s training mats for new ones! Does anyone remember a program on TV, The Chuckle Brothers, “to you, to me, to you, to me” you get the idea anyway, until I was back in the same position that I started, albeit with my pillows propped behind me. I was then handed my toothbrush, a small plastic cup of water and another of these Chinese take-away foil cartons and told to brush. After a half hearted attempt at running the toothbrush around my mouth they took it back off me, pulled the nightdress over my head and replaced it with a new one, tucked the blankets back around me and here’s the kicker……. One of these nice women looked me dead in the face and said “now, do ya feel lovely”
Did I feel lovely? Lovely is not a word to describe it. Shocked? Maybe. Embarrassed? Possibly. Lovely? Nope! You see nobody had told me to expect this. Not one person told me to expect what I have come to name “The vajayjay car wash” Had I have known about this vajayjay car wash I would have taken the words “freshen up” very loosely when that nice woman said it to me. I would have mentally prepared myself for the indignation of two 50 something year old woman scrubbing my lower regions. But I didn’t know. Because not one woman I have met who has had a c-section has mentioned it to me. Alas that is not me. I have been sure to mention it to them. In fact they have been known to laugh uncontrollably when I do mention it. None of them can tell me why they didn’t talk about it after. Just that they didn’t. Some have said, they blocked it from their minds, others have said they are embarrassed. Some have even said they didn’t know if it happened to everyone so were afraid to say. What do I say to these woman…….. Have no fear, I will sing the song of our people for you. I will put to rest those section’s are handy comments. I will ward off those too posh to push sayings. I will remind these woman that while they took showers and ate tea and toast, you were in fact lying there oblivious to what was to come the next morning.
So there you have it. The c-section information that people “forget” to mention. Now some might say “so what” some may even think I am being dramatic, but to those people I ask……. Have you had The Vajayjay Cash Wash? Because let me tell you, you will never look at a Lucozade Sport bottle the same way again!