09 June 2008

Having a C-section

Dr T advised that small babies may not survive the trauma of labour, so a Cesarean was the best way to go. Not knowing any better, I went along. Anything for my baby's well-being.

Now I know that there are T18 babies that come into this world the natural way. Given Vera's record so far of fighting to survive, perhaps she could have made it on her own? Who knows.

I remember the operation vividly. I had wanted to undergo General Anaesthesia, but after hearing about the higher risks, chose to go with Dr T's advice of Local Anaesthesia. Well, the result of being entirely awake through the operation is that I now know I don't want to go through it again. Ever.

The operation was scheduled early on the morning of 22nd Feb, 2008. I remember being wheeled into the holding room, where the anaesthecist greeted me. A young man, bit cocky from the tone of his voice. Breezily, he said, "You do know right, your baby's head will be quite big when she comes out, are you sure you want to see her? I thought to myself, what a funny question. Why wouldn't I want to see my own baby? Was he afraid I would be too traumatised by the look of my own baby?

Anyway, he then said that she may need to be whisked to ICU if needed, so I may not get to see her. Thinking back, I should have insisted on seeing her. Yes she needed to be taken straight to ICU, but I'm sure I could have seen her for a few seconds. That was a moment I regret not having: seeing my baby fresh out from my tummy.

Everything happened quickly. They transferred me onto the operating table. A green cloth was pulled across my face. The moment I was asked to turn to the side for the needle to be inserted was when fear flooded over me. Thankfully, mom's friend was there. She held my hand and reassured me that it was going to be ok.

Next thing I knew, my body started going numb, all the way to my chest. What a strange feeling, not being able to move your limbs. Then, Dr T peeped over, said hello, and got to work. It happened so quickly. To calm myself, I imagined I was descending during a dive. I was at the 7 skies, free falling through the deep blue water. It worked. I couldn't feel the incision being made at all. Minutes later, the anaesthecist said, "Your baby is out, they've taken her to ICU". It was so quiet. I remember thinking, why didn't my baby cry? What was wrong? He then told me that it may be because she may still think she's in the womb, and had not yet reacted to being "taken" out.

Now came the horrible part. As the uterus was being pushed out, I could feel breathlessness in my chest. It felt like some thing was sucking the air out of me. It was hard to breathe. Then, when it subsided, I started to shake uncontrollably. I had read that I may shiver from cold, but it wasn't shivering at all. More like fits. I had no control of my body at all. Scary.

Then came the road to recovery. Having to stay motionless for a full 12 hours. Followed by learning to walk the first painful steps the day after.

Today, nearly 4 months later, the area is still tender and slightly raw to the touch.

The scar is 10 cm long. It will stay with me forever. A reminder of what I went through out of love. And a reminder that this beautiful little girl named Vera was once in my tummy.