My personal experience.
My baby was born at the beginning of September 2020. While Corona had already started, it began getting better during the summer and I was extremely relieved. When you are reaching the term and a world pandemic starts it is quite impossible not to panic. I started to question everything. Will I be able to deliver in the hospital? Will the staff be able to give me the same kind of care they normally would? Would I be able to get an epidural, if I need it?
I was confident in myself and going for a natural birth. I was sure I would be able to handle things. I have a high pain tolerance and I am used to sleepless nights. I even went to labor courses with Amala (a very naturist approach). I couldn`t have been better prepared.
My doctor suggested that we should “schedule” the birth, or try to keep on track with the birth as I was due on 28 August and Emil was not very eager to get out yet. They were monitoring me constantly after the due date. And 4 days after the doctor decided to sweep my membranes to speed up the labor. I had read that this was not a good idea but found myself in a dilemma as I was trusting my doctor and accepted.
I will never know for sure but I think this started a cascade of weird events. Let's just say that nothing went according to plan and I ended up having an emergency C-section after a whole day and night of labor.
Following the membrane sweep, I had contractions. They were not severe, but very frequent, I was still able to walk and talk through them, so I just carried on. In the evening before bedtime, I noticed blood clots and I called the hospital for info. The night nurse suggested a quick visit for monitoring. So I went. You are supposed to be at your most relaxing before birth to help the labor advance faster. They installed me at the maternity on the active labor bed, very hard and no head support, but I was on my back because the monitoring was installed on my belly. I was not very comfy. Then the monitor was not working. They realized after 30 minutes of sitting in that uncomfortable position. In place of the new, non-working monitor, an old one with a needle and paper was used. Ok. But after 15 minutes they realized the paper was not bugging. Fixing the paper took another 15 min. I was starting to feel uncomfortable and the contractions were getting painful. As I was going to the restroom, I found blood from a former occupant of the birth salon, adding to my stress. Then after more than an hour, they send me home because I only had 3 cm dilatation and my cervix was the same. I was in such pain and fainting when I arrived that Jan decided I should go back. The pain was higher than normal for that stage of labor because Emil was so low and already engaged. Dizzy, sweating, and with chills, I was so out of it that we decided it might be best to have an epidural. At that time, the anesthetist was not in the hospital, so he had to be called. We heard his car squeaking in the parking lot when he arrived. He was probably coming from a party, he was in a full cowboy outfit. He asked me: “Madame, vous voulez un epidural?” Jan answered before I could open my mouth “ Yes!”. Then he ordered Jan to sit on the opposite side so he wouldn't be able to see the needle entering my spine, apparently a crucial stress moment for a lot of partners. The hard part is to keep still through the contractions. The needle you don’t feel. And then heaven! From highly uncomfortable to cozy I would describe the transition after the epidural. Only now I could not move so the cascade of medical procedures started. There should be a urinary catheter, synthetic oxytocin, hydration bag, monitor placement, and regular checkups every 2 hours. But I was fine, I could rest and Jan too. They gave me a button to push every 30 min to release the epidural drugs. About 5 a.m. something happened, maybe the nurse pushed my button and I did the same, but I could no longer feel anything, I could see my legs up, but they didn't seem to belong to me. There was a slow dilatation, and I had a drop in blood pressure and almost fainted. The baby's heart was not synchronized with my contractions, so the doctor decided it was time to perform an emergency C-section. Jan was frightened and extremely emotional. Within an hour I was transported from a warm to a very cold room in the operation block. The surgeon asked him if he wanted to see the surgery or if he preferred to have the wall put up around my belly. The second option was his choice. As I was already under anesthesia they just gave me an extra dose and started the procedure. As I shook so badly and was so cold, I thought my teeth were going to crack. I heard Emil screaming within 15 minutes. He was so beautiful and I immediately took him in my arms and cried. Until now, I never imagined being a mother. This little creature was mine, we made him together, it is so normal yet so extraordinary.
We were well taken care of by the hospital staff, especially after birth. The nurses were amazing! Kudos to them and to my partner Jan, who handled the situation incredibly well. I don't know how I could have managed without his support I could barely move.
In terms of recovery, going to the toilet without support from an army was the hardest cap to surpass.
Then you come home and there is breastfeeding. Yeah, easy, no? Probably not for everyone, but I believe that most people struggle with breastfeeding. Boost your production, do this, do that, you are becoming a milking cow, a happy one, but nonetheless. It was a pain in the ass for me because I am not very organized and hate routine, and you have to be on a strict schedule if you want your production to increase and you want to feed your little miracle.
After a time, I felt like a mere means to an end and not a woman, constantly in pain, neck, belly, cracked nipples, with no one to share my feelings with since all my aunts, friends, or even my mother forgot what I was feeling and were weirdly unsympathetic. Add to that the lack of sleep and loneliness, and we were already confined.
Jan was helping me stay on track, but he transformed from my best friend and perfect partner into a timing machine.
Work kept me sane, but it also drove me insane! I was lucky to be able to take advantage of more congé de maternity when we were closed. On the other hand, I was panicking and had to think of ways to remain actual even when the spa was closed. Create more online content, develop skin coaching with more research, connect with people through social media and learn the ways of digital marketing (very frustrating).
My SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT i WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU.