On this day two years ago I was less than 24 hours away from my elective section. Pre-op was done, nerves were jangling.
Bags packed, children fed, Nanny and Auntie ready for the school run. Husband prepped, birth plan written and tears shed. I wrote a letter that was supposed to be a bit of a goodbye in case things didn’t go to plan. Why would they go to plan? They never had before. Why would this birth be any different? Why wouldn’t choosing an elective mean a disastrous outcome? I was prepared for the worst because the worst always seemed inevitable to me.
But I was not prepared, not really.
I wasn’t prepared for the shake in my legs as I walked- walked! Not wheeled! Not rushed amidst panic, surrounded by stranger’s eyes behind masks!- into the theatre. I wasn’t prepared for all the people. Those that were there to learn. Those that were there to take samples from me, a healthy pregnant lady. Those that were there to administer medicine. Those that were there to hold my hand. Those that were there to pluck my baby from my body and bring her into this world.
I wasn’t prepared for the lights. It was so bright. The lights above the table that were as huge as the sun. Blaring. Exposing.
I wasn’t prepared for the calm. Where were the beeps? Where were the rushed foot steps to and from my bedside? Where were the worried glances? The shouts?
One thing was the same. The beating in my chest. The relentlessly growing panic. Yes. This was the birth I chose but it was still frightening. It was still an option I wished I did not have to take. I was still lying on an operating table with my own and my unborn child’s life in someone else’s hands. I was still close to the edge.
But it was different. I had chosen this birth. Me. I had made a decision and I had been listened to. My wonderful doctor cared about what I wanted. How I wanted my baby to be born. Although in someone else’s hands, I was in control.
And so as they cut my body and reached inside for my baby, I held my breath. I dared not to breathe until I knew. That it was different. That the baby was ok. That the baby was really here, and mine, and all was ok. And that moment did not come until 9.35 am when she let out a cry that sang to the world.
I cannot believe it was all two years ago and that I would do it all again in a heart beat. In her short little life so far she has blessed every one of us in so many ways and healed so many scars in the process. My little Bellarina