Step by Step Journey of a C-Section (Day 1)

Since my baby refused to turn, I was scheduled for a C-Section on week 38.5 of my pregnancy – late enough for his to grow a fair bit (estimated 3.2 kg by scanning), but not too late to risk the water bag breaking or any form of contractions before the scheduled C-Section, to avoid an emergency C-Section, which is more risky. Below is my personal experience of the few days in the hospital:

Day 1

  • Arrived at the hospital at 6am, for a C-Section that was scheduled at 8am that day. Thomson Medical Center has a very tiny reception, which happened to have only 2 people serving 3 couples scheduled for C-section that day – I was the 3rd. It took almost 30 minutes to register each couple, so by the time I was done with registration (oh the amount of paperwork!), it was almost 7am. 
  • I was brought up to my ward. I had reserved a single room, which was unfortunately not ready (yes, the hospital was FULL), so I was given a temporary bed in a 3-bedder room. There was a MAN sleeping on one of the beds, and snoring really loudly. But it didn’t bother me since curtains were drawn, and I was just there to change and get ready for the Operating Theatre. 
  • A nurse came to take some measurements (heart rate, blood pressure, etc) and confirm my personal details. I changed into the hospital gown, and she then proceeded to inject the solution to clear my bowels. It was awkward, having a tube being inserted into my rectum. But it was just uncomfortable, not painful. While waiting for the solution to take effect, another nurse came to brief me on some procedures and double check some details again. 
  • Within about 5 minutes, when the second nurse was just about done with the procedures, I felt an urge to poo. It was sudden, and very strong. I couldn’t even hold it back a few seconds. I rushed to the toilet (with whatever dignity I had), and started pooing. It was first all diarrhoea-like. When I thought I was done, another wave came. Then another. And another. And it was all so fast and furious, I was embarrassed with the sound I was making in the toilet. I was surprised at how many waves of poo there were. I probably had stored more than 5 times my usual poo amount! And I clear my bowels everyday – or so I thought. That was quite an experience, but by the time I was done, I felt 5 kg lighter, and it felt great. 🙂
  • By then, it was almost 730am, and time for me to head to the OT. The nurses did one final check, my husband took out his DSLR, and I passed the nurses a binder that I had prepped before hand. (as per instruction from my doctor. If not, the hospital will provide one) I got onto to the bed, wore a shower cap, and was all ready. 
  • The nurses pushed me through many many doors and corridors. I could see nothing much except for the ceiling. My husband left halfway, as he had to take another path to the OT. I missed him there and then. 
  • I reached a waiting area, where a man came by. He introduced himself as Doctor Chew, my anesthesiologist. He was very nice and friendly. He explained the procedure briefly, and told me firmly that in order for him to do his job well and safely, I would need to curl myself up as much as possible – like a shrimp, he said. That was a superb analogy, because I immediately knew what to do. He reasoned that the more I curl, the wider my spine would open up so he could aim properly. I decided then that I would curl myself up until I could no longer breathe. 
  • Dr Chew joined the nurses to push me into the OT. They kept chatting with me, and that helped keep me a little calm. The OT was bare, white, and very cold. I was surrounded by unfamiliar objects, and I saw the typical OT lights shining right above me. Everyone around me was very busy, hooking me up to machines, setting everything up, and getting ready. 
  • Then it was time for the injection. It was really really scary. I knew the risks and side effects of epidural, and I didn’t look forward to any of them. The least being shivering and vomiting. A nurse helped me curl into the shrimp position – it was more difficult than I imagined. I curled with all my might, but they kept asking me to curl more. The nurse was strong and pushed me hard. I really appreciated it. During the entire process, no one stopped talking to me. They asked me about my son’s name, and I told them it was undecided between 2 choices – which we had a fun time discussing the merits of each. For a few minutes, they successfully took my mind off the injection and the OT, and I’m so grateful for that break.
  • Slowly, I felt my body numbing. I could feel my chest getting heavier. It felt uncomfortable, but I saw that Dr Chew was monitoring me well, and never left my side. I felt reassured, despite the discomfort. 
  • At that moment, I saw a familiar yet unfamiliar figure walking in. My husband! He was all wrapped up except for his eyes, it was the DSLR hooked around his neck that gave him away. hahaha! I was so relieved to see him with me again, for I was getting scared of all the unknowns around me. And the fact that I was about to get cut up ‘volunteerily’.
  • By about 810am, my gynae (Dr Joycelyn Wong) was in the OT and getting ready swiftly. She greeted me, and proceeded to explain briefly that I would not feel anything, and just some tugging and pulling at some point. My husband started taking pictures. I heard the doctors and nurses talking amongst themselves, so I knew the procedure had already begun.
  • Sure enough, a few minutes later, I felt some strong tugging. It was a strong pressure, but no pain (phew!). Then Dr Wong exclaimed “oh he’s big!”. And in a jiffy, my boy was out! My husband started snapping loads of pictures, including the clock to record his birth time – 827am – just 17 minutes after the doctor started work. Dr Wong warned that the baby would look darker than expected, and sure enough, he was all purplish. If she hadn’t warned me, i would have been frightened! He was whisked away to get checked, cleaned up and warmed up, before he returned to me. Meanwhile, I was getting all cleaned up and stitched up, of which I felt nothing. My baby’s cried filled the air of the OT, and it finally felt less uncomfortable and cold. 
  • My baby was wrapped up warmly and snugly like a cocoon, and rested on my chest. We took a few photos, and Dr Chew happily volunteered to help us take a family photo. He was very generous with his service, and took many many shots at different angles. Once again, greatly appreciated. 
  • Soon, the baby was taken out again, and my husband followed. He was going to get weighed and measured. Dr Wong proceeded to stitch me up, while Dr Chew continued to monitor me. By then, the climax was over. The doctors started chatting about their kids and stuff, and left me alone there (to eavesdrop). 
  • Before 9am, everything was completed, and the doctors waved goodbye. The nurses wrapped me up in the binder I had provided earlier, and pushed me back to the waiting area that I had been earlier. There, I was constantly monitored by nurses on my heart rate and blood pressure, for about an hour before I was pushed back to my 3 bedder ward.
  • Back at the ward, my husband was waiting. I was again glad to be reunited with a familiar person. The ordeal was pretty much over. I could still feel nothing except my hands and above, and it was extremely uncomfortable.  
  • At this time, my husband was making multiple phone calls and whatsapp messages to report that mother and son are well 🙂
  • Despite the nurses’ assurances, it took my son a couple of hours before he was ready to be pushed to me for a second look. Apparently the shower and ‘quick check by the pd’ took hours. Unhappy about it, but at least my son is well.
  • I believe it was only about noon time that I got to move into my single bedder room. It was all the way at the other end of the entire level. 
  • Family came to visit, though for just a short while. It was awkward not being able to move at all to chat with them. I had my hands on my chest all the way from the OT until late afternoon, because I didn’t dare to move. I was that afraid of pain. Every hour, the nurses would check on my vitals, and every 3 hours, my baby was brought to me to nurse. He was such a cutie, though he was asleep 99% of the time. The nurses at Thomson Medical were very helpful in teaching me how to nurse while lying down, since I could still not get up nor move much. 
  • By evening, I was able to feel some of my toes and feet. I started doing some simple exercises as instructed – just bending my feet up and down repeatedly. Not sure if it was the effect of the medication, but even that felt like a lot of work, and I only did a few each time. Since I was on morphine, I didn’t need to take painkillers the entire day. Yes, I didn’t imagine that one day I would be on morphine. But I was glad that day I was. 
  • Dinner time was late, but I was finally given the go ahead to eat. It was almost 24 hours since I last had food, and I craved for it. I wasn’t hungry due to the medication, but I love food, so I craved it. I had fish porridge – light, soupy, and nutritious. Yummy. Eating in bed was a new experience too. I had to incline but not too fully because of the pain and discomfort… but at least I got to eat.
  • By bed time, I was able to feel most of my body. But I barely moved, for fear of pain. I was also given the pass by the nurses to stop monitoring me every hour, but rather every 3-4 hours. Yes, they did that throughout the night.
  • That was my first day after C-section. Extremely uncomfortable, but made better by the care and service of all the hospital staff. At least, I survived 🙂

Published by wendysoon

Mother of 3 lovely boys Doctorate in biology and genomics Serial Entrepreneur

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