Birth Story | Zoey Cassian Kaia Bell

In the days leading up to the date for our elective c-section I was a mixture of all sorts of emotions, I was still in shock that we were going to meet you in less than a week and I remember how I felt the moment I opened the letter with the date in it. It was all panic stations in my mind and I quickly went through the list of multiple things that we still needed to get or do before your arrival. I did a few things before leading up to the date to kick start natural labour if that was the way God wanted it all to go, but in my mind I don't think you would of come out on your own, I just have a feeling you probably would of been overdue like Phoebe. It has already been like a few weeks and a bit since your birth and I have already forgotten how pregnant I felt in those last few days, I can still remember all your little movements inside me which is nice but I know I will miss those special moments. 

On the 8th of March we all woke up pretty darn early, I mean still dark because we had to travel down the mountain to the hospital for the c-section. The entire week was a mountains week, in our words that means, fog, clouds and rain [a perfect mountains day} and I knew it was the week that you were meant to come into the world, just had a feeling like when all the planets align or something. So we all got ready with enough time to spare to not rush everything, I took my last bump shot in the mirror post waking up while I was starving away because I had to fast since midnight. We packed the bags into the car with one very sleep wee kiddo and one rather annoyingly loud doggo. My nerves were slowly building and I was trying so hard to focus on everything else but my grumbling stomach or how hangry I was getting, I mean who makes a pregnant lady fast when all she wants is a decent coffee in the morning. We dropped Phoebe off at my parents place and then made our way, just us, to the hospital. 

Hello nerves and hello darkness, it was still dark when we got out of the car as we fumbled to find the actual entrance to the hospital because after hours. There was one lady and her mum walking in front of us, well they were rushing so we followed them into the emergency entrance and towards the birth unit. If we knew were the entrance was we honestly would of been first in line for a c-section but we were second in line so we thought it would not be that much of a wait. well were we wrong on that part. We got told to wait in a waiting room/tea room thingo with a few other people waiting to be induced I suppose or had a c-section booked, it was quite awkward waiting in a room while your starving, dying of being so tired and just plain bored waiting, I think someone tried to start a conversation but it died after a while. So we got to the hospital before 6am, woke up earlier than that to get down the mountain in time so we were flippen exhausted, we had so many 10 minute naps in-between watching the worst morning tv shows ever on not the best comfy chairs. 

We were sitting in the eye-line of everyone coming in the main doors which I don't think made the waiting much better, we watched midwives and staff come into work for the morning and a few ladies in labour as well which was exciting to see. After waiting sometime, we finally got to meet the midwife who was assigned to us for the morning, she took us into a birthing room, gave Ben scrubs and me a lovely revealing gown, she took a few stats and asked a few questions, she then ushered us back to the waiting room to wait some more. I was way more nervous now and was expecting someone to come get us any minute. In my mind the procedure would only take like 10 minutes and then you would be here and all would be well, I think I just wanted to meet you already and to forget about all the "major surgery" thoughts in my mind. At this point I was insanely thirsty and hungry, we got called back into that same room to have a chat to the anesthetist who was the most soft spoken man I have ever heard, like honestly I could not even hear him properly and I was sitting right opposite the man. He just explained a few things, asked some more questions and listed some risks obviously, thankfully he was a nice man and let me have some water up until 8am because I had been fasting since 10pm the previous night. {yayy ice chips and water} 

So the whole time of waiting and not drinking water I surprisingly needed to use the toilet like so badly and had that whole multiple trip thing before the movie starts feeling, thankfully the midwife from before came in and told us that they were ready for us and asked if I needed the bathroom, I jumped up so quickly and practically ran to the toilet she showed me and then I still needed to pee after that pee because nerves. I went back into the corridor and there was a bed waiting to transport me to the surgery room,. I laid down on the bed while the guy cranked it back up and legit this was the most loudest bed cranking noise ever {mind you I was stuck with the loud bed the entire stay}. The one thing I hate in hospitals, well lets be honest there is many things on that list but being wheeled through the hospital on a bed is just one of the most demeaning things for me personally, everyone stares at you and wonders whats wrong with you plus your in one of those revealing gowns. 

We reached the floor for the surgery and I got wheeled into the pre-surgery room I suppose and my first thought was its so damn clinical in here. I was full of nerves by this time and again had to answer the same questions and such before I finally got wheeled into the room where the c-section would happen. They had plastic door flaps behind me in the surgery room and I could hear everyone getting organised and such but it was super blurry through those doors so could not see a thing. The room I was waiting in was smallish and full of surgical supplies, the soft spoken man was back and he said that he was going to put an IV in my hand beforehand, it was pretty damn cold in this room so my veins where being so silly that he did many attempts and legit made my hand bleed like cray [I knew there was blood because I watched Ben's face to know} and then he made me go ahead and put pressure on my hand and then I got blood on my other hand and it was just gross. But anyway in the end he eventually got an IV in and then he did an ultrasound to check my spine for the spinal block he was going to do which was a little scary but glad they do that because hell noone wants to be cripple.

I had to say farewell to Ben just before because he was not allowed in during the prep part, I walked into the surgery room and just studied everything and every person because it was so different to an emergency section. I was told to sit on the side of the bed while they got things ready for the spinal and I just watched the nurses and assistance prep everything surgical wise around me which probably did not help my nerves, also at this point I started to shiver like a dog at the vet also. The nice soft spoken man was back and he kindly got me a warmed blanket which was soooo good but did not help me nerves. It was time for them to put the spinal block in and I was barely keeping my emotions in check at this point and just wanted to cry like a blubbering child out of fear, his assistant was nice enough to offer me her hand to hold and was very on point in watching my reactions during everything. He put in the local aesthetic which btw I was freaking out alot about because I read online that it can hurt like the dickens but it was not half bad, the spinal on the other hand was scary as hell. Once he put the local in my back he began to start doing the spinal, now this is the part when I started to freak out massively, all the risks with a spinal entered my mind and I was so tense. The feeling of a spinal is one that I just cannot explain, its like pressure and pain but not in a comfortable way at all, he had to reattempt it so many times that I almost had to get put under because it was taking to long to find that sweet spot, every-time I would feel pain on my right side and at one point my leg jumped and I was like oh I am legit paralyzed now but thank God in the heavens he finally got it before giving up and I immediately felt the heaviness begin in my legs. 

I got moved to a lying down position with some help and the heaviness spread like wildfire throughout my body, things moved pretty quickly after that happened but I think waking up super early and not eating anything quickly caught up to me because I felt insanely woozy, like soaking in a deep bath woozy and was struggling to stay awake, it also did not help that the minute I was lying down despite taking the anti acid medicine I started to throw up {by the way lying down and being just able to turn your head to the side to vomit is sooo not ideal}. Benjamin was allowed in just a bit before I started throwing up so he was there to help me with that but I was just so insanely sleepy at this point that I swear I was going to fall into a deep sleep. I felt small things here and there but no massive pressure or anything like that, the spinal worked a treat for all of that so I am thankful it all worked out. The whole procedure was fairly quick once they got things going and within seconds they pulled Zoey out and she instantly started crying the most sweetest little cry ever, like a wee little kitten or something. Benjamin followed her to get her stats and all that done while they began to do the rest of the procedure with me, at this point I was exhausted at best but they brought Zoey over for me to somewhat hold and she had the cutest bottom lip cry thing going on and I got to give her kisses which calmed her down {kissing vernix is quite gross}, I got to hold her for a wee bit before she went with Benjamin up to the ward while I got stitched up. So here I am getting stitched up and barely hanging onto being awake and I swear the doctor and his assistant stitching me up are actually flirting, like he is actually asking her at this point and time if she is seeing anyone and if she wants to see anyone...{wow there is not a person lying here at the moment guys} it was so bizarre because its probably there everyday to do surgery so they are that comfortable with it they can have normal conversations? Anyway they finished everything and I got transferred to that cranky old bed again to be whisked away to recovery. 

Thank god recovery this time around was not several hours but just half an hour wait, I had a lovely nurse looking after me and taking my stats etc and was feeling more awake as the meds wore off slowly. Being in recovery is so so weird, everyone is just so glum waiting on their beds to be "released" and you have to wonder what they are all here for. So as I waited in recovery I tried moving my legs and it is the creepiest feeling when you can feel your mind telling itself to move your legs but they don't and then you just freak out in your head because you should be able to just do it. Let's just say I was much relieved when I finally got feeling back in my entire lower body! After recovery I got taken to the ward level where I would be staying for a bit, we hoped to be able to transfer to Katoomba hospital eventually. Once back in my room I pretty much just slept, had some more recovery time and fluids in my IV to flush out the meds {pretty basic boring stuff really}. My memory is shot to hell and I honestly have blanked out half of the stuff that happened in the hospital or maybe I am just super sleep deprived, but I remember holding Zoey and just staring at how much hair she had and her beautiful blue eyes. She was born at 11:57, weighed 3085kg and 51cm long, which is insane because she was actually larger and heavier than Phoebe who was born way past her due date. 

Staying in the hospital was not much different from last time, as always I dreaded the night time the worst, it is so difficult when you can barely move and your newborn needs a feed and stuff. Also it did not help that Nepean was just so loud, so many babies crying just insanely loud, room alarms going off for midwives and just general noises, being woken up for stat checks and medicine was not fun also. That first night I barely got any sleep and all Zoey wanted to do was sleep on me instead of her bed thing, I am pretty sure I woke up looking like shite in the morning because of no sleep. Another thing at night time, the midwives for some reason are just less nice, more older, and more "wiser" in their own opinions, I had one midwife who just was not my cup of tea and then I got severely judged by a few of them when I stated I wanted help trying to breastfeed after when I said I wanted Zoey to have formula feeds, I knew from my last c-section that my milk took darn ages to come in and I was barely getting any supply at all because of the surgery so expected that this time around but so far the breastfeeding journey has been a good one. Thankfully during the day the midwives where soo much more nicer and I had one lovely midwife who I sadly have forgotten her name but she and me got on so well, she was there a few times to look after me and I welcomed her friendly face each time. 

So the morning came for me to stand up for the first time and thank God again that the nice midwife was there to help me because we were just making jokes the entire time. She took my catheter out {which btw is still the most uncomfortable thing ever in the entire world} and then we took everything very slow from there while I somehow made it to a standing position. I did have to sit back down again because I felt super dizzy and she did not want me to faint at all, eventually made my way to the bathroom where I had to sit on a chair, all naked like while I showered myself like an old lady while the nice midwife watched incase I fell and died. {who needs humility right?} pretty much from the moment I stood up and managed to walk around a bit I did not want to sit back down again at all. I had bed sores and skin reactions from of course lying down the entire time and from the surgical tape or something they put on my back when he did the spinal so my lower back was just insanely affected, the same thing happened last c-section and again the hospital did not know what to do with it.

But to divert the blog post a bit, from the moment we got admitted we clearly expressed our desires to be transferred up to Katoomba because it would be so much more ideal for us and I really wanted to experience Katoomba hospital since I could not birth there. We continued to express our desires throughout staying at Nepean and we quickly got admitted for a transfer asap which was so flippen exciting. Now I am not saying Nepean was great but Katoomba has some sort of magical mountain goodness to it and it is so much more accommodating. So we had to wait around a bit for the transport guys to come down from Katoomba so in between falling asleep again and listening to every footstep up the hallways we just hoped it would all happen soon so I would not have to stay another night in Nepean. Thankfully they came, we "stole" a wheelchair from the ward and made our way down to the transport vehicle, now Ben had to go in his car to get Phoebe and Dakota so it was a bit odd going in a random van, with a newborn and a fairly fresh c-section. To be honest the entire drive was a bit bumpy, more bumpy then I actually expected but thankfully Zoey stayed asleep the entire time and I got a wee nap in. When we got to Katoomba they had to help me out and back into a wheelchair but the minute they opened the doors of course I would noticed a goddamn bee flying around {seriously bee's and Katoomba}, so here I am freaking out over the bee, because I am half cripple and don't want to get stung or anything but thankfully they moved us quickly inside. 

From the moment I breathed in that mountain fresh air it was home to me, certainly much colder than Nepean that is for sure and being wheeled into the hospital was just chill, I mean the birth unit/ward only has eight rooms so it was pretty damn different to Nepean. I got put into my room and it was heaven, window open with mountain sounds and air coming in and a delightful heater keeping things toasty {sometimes too toasty} but it was welcoming. Another bonus was that my mum was allowed to stay with me from the first night which made all the difference, soo much better than being alone and just relying on the midwives to help you, it was seriously a godsend having her there with me and I would not of changed it for anything. At Katoomba, I also had some great help establishing breastfeeding and getting advice on my latch that by the time I left it was only a few days and my milk came in so my breastfeeding journey has been tough but so far everything is just getting better. The hospital food was pretty darn alright as well, I mean I am semi vegan {ben vegan} so we have not had meat in our house for a while, so I kinda ate like all the damn roasts and things in the hospital, one because I was fricken starving and two I did not get menus until the last day and tried a vegan option which was okay, seriously juice was like life and hell they even had iced coffee as an afternoon snack {yessssss}

The staff at Katoomba were all so lovely it was honestly like a One Born Every Minute kind of vibe, such a teeny little ward meant that I was well looked after, I even asked one of the midwives when I could go home and she said its up to me, if I wanted to stay for five days I could or go home tomorrow. Honestly if it was my first kid I totally would of stayed like forever but I really missed Rey and was a tad bit over the hospital vibes at this point. So I decided to go home the next day because I was feeling pretty confident in my movement and walking around at this point, so the next day came and Benjamin waiting with me to be discharged and then we just kind of walked out of there because it was super quiet and the midwife said we can go. It was so eerie walking outside for the first time in a while, into the quietness but not quietness of Katoomba. Benjamin put Zoey in her car seat while I studying the front seat attempting my way into it and of course another flippen bee has to decide that flying in and out of the open car windows is fun while crippled me attempts to not rip a stitch for fear of bee sting, eventually I got into the car quite easily than the last time which was surprising and we drove home slowly. When we got home I finally got to see Phoebe who was a little bit more interested in the small human we brought home but we have all settled in quite nicely to our somewhat messy structure of living at the moment and everything is going as smoothly as it possible can. I still cannot believe that everything happened so perfectly and how we even have another teeny tiny daughter again, like it is insane and I would not of imagined this would of happened at all this year.

Hope you enjoyed reading this and can't wait to share how our wee Zoey grows in the next few months. Here are a "few" captures from her birth and a few days of us staying in hospital.