The two weeks before the C Section, Stephen and I got a lot of the baby items ticked off our list! To say we’re laid back is somewhat of an understatement! Were so lucky that we had the help and support of our family, and that we received some amazing gifts from our friends to get the ball rolling.
The items that we decided to go ahead with (which I’d totally recommend to anyone looking for a pointer with regards to essentials for a new (first) baby):
- Pram – Bugaboo Chameleon – We got this as a gift from my mum and granny, it was 849 from Winstanley’s Pram World in Wigan (which was recommended by one of my good friends) and we got the car seat included in the price (worth 200). We also got the isofix adapters so that the seat could go on the pram frame. As we’re moving to Australia we wanted a pram that could be adaptable to different terrains, we also wanted a buggy/ crib option, which would give us the best of both worlds. It’s such a dream to push, the only issue we have is with the storage, which can’t be accessed easily when the crib fitting is being used.
- Car Seat – BeSafe Izi-Go Modular – Midnight Black – We decided to go with this option as opposed to the Maxi Cosi as BeSafe is the regulatory / safety body for the manufacturing of car seats, we felt confident that this would be the best option for us when it came to the safety of the seat. This car seat is the only one that has been tested not only for front and rear imp ace, but for side impact also.
- Isofix base (for car seat) – When my friend in Aus recommended this, I had no idea what this was – but if you have a car, this is a must have. It makes putting the car seat into the car and taking it lout of the car so much easier. No seat belt required!
- Co-sleeper Crib – Chicco Next to Me – This was recommended to me by one of my friends in Australia who had just had a baby. I’d never heard of them, but let me tell you that this is one of the best purchases and options for those wanting to opt for co-sleeping.
- Moses Basket – With Moses baskets, I feel these are a personal choice – all I will say is that if you have a family member or friend that is willing to donate or let you borrow one of theirs, I would do. I completely understand the desire to have everything new when it’s your first baby, however they do grow out of the moses basket at about 3/4 months (depending on how big your baby is). You can however pick up a lovely Moses basket for upwards of 30, so it doesn’t break the bank and they really do come in handy in the first months – especially if you’ve had a C Section and don’t want to be climbing the stairs over and over again.
These are what I feel are the essential ‘big items’ to buy before the arrival of your little one, if you’re breast-feeding (however, if you’re bottle feeding you will need things like sterilisers and bottles etc.)
One of the elements that I had ZERO clue about was the hospital bag, I didn’t know what was too much, too little, essentials and ‘nice to have’… However now I’ve been there and done that so to speak, here’s what I’ll say is best to take:
- 4 x vests (short sleeve) – for throw up allowance
- 4 x sleep suits
- 1 x hat (to put on once born)
- 1 x babygrow (to put on once born)
- 1 x pack of new born nappies (Mamia from Aldi are the best)
- 1 x pack of cotton wool
- 1 x natural baby wash (paraben and alcohol free)
- Comfy PJs (with nursing option if breastfeeding)
- Packet disposable knickers
- Packet of pregnancy pads
- 2 x pack of chunky socks (some painkillers can make your feet feel v cold)
- 2 x loose fitting outfits (one size bigger than normal dress size) – I went for leggings, cami and loose fitting nursing jumper
- Lanolin – if breastfeeding for your nipples (lifesaver)
- Nice body lotion
- Shower gel (its mad how much a nice shower after giving birth can make you feel better!)
- Face wipes
- Phone charger
- hair tie/ head band
- Towel (hospitals don’t provide these)
So now I’ve given you my hospital bag 101, I’ll tell you about my amazing experience welcoming Peanut into the world.
Our booking time was 8am, so we set off from home at 7am as the drive is about 40 minutes away. I didn’t feel nervous at all, I was just so excited to meet my little bundle. I think it helped as I’ve had four major abdominal surgeries before, I kind of knew what to expect from a recovery perspective and the thought of a spinal didn’t phase me.
Upon arrival at the hospital my best friend Sophie met us, she was my midwife and would be in theatre with me. It felt so reassuring knowing that she was looking after us. We were shown to our bed on the ward, but advised that we would be provided with a private room (the perks of being bests with the midwife!). The team told us that I was the only C section that day (4th July 2016), so that I should be in by 9am. I was told to put the hospital gown on and wait for them to come and grab me.
Stephen and I sat and chatted and were very relaxed. I think Stephen was more nervous than me, but didn’t let me see it.
We found out that a lady had had complications with her birth that morning and had to go to theatre, so we actually ended up waiting until about 10:30.
When they came to get me, I felt nothing other than excitement that I was going to meet Peanut very soon.
Once we got to the theatre, Stephen was taken to ‘scrub up’ and I was taken to have the spinal. The room was filled with lots of people, but was v calm and the radio was on. I remember noting how relaxed it was and how it filled me with ease.
Now a lot of people asked me if the spinal hurt, honestly I didn’t feel anything. There was pressure at the bottom of my spine, but definitely not pain. Once I’d had the spinal I was told to lie down. They did a test with cold water to make sure I couldn’t feel anything, it was so surreal as I could feel it on my breast but then it disappeared. I remember being worried as I could wiggle my toes, but the anaesthetist (who was amazing BTW) laughed and said I wasn’t giving birth through my toes, ha!
Once I’d lied down they put the screen up so that I couldn’t see what was happening the ‘business end’ and Stephen sat beside me. Sophie popped around to say hello and I gave the other midwife, who was also a friend, my phone to document the birth.
I did have a little wobble when the began, my blood pressure dropped and I felt very faint and sick, however a quick dose of an anti sickness drug into my canular soon put that to rest.
Throughout the whole process I was kept informed, the surgeon was just amazing and I felt totally at ease with him. Sophie told me he was the best in at what he does, so I had no reservations at all.
The next thing I remember is my anaesthetist telling me that I’d feel pushing and pulling as they pulled Peanut out, however I felt absolutely nothing. Some people say it feels like washing up in your stomach, but honestly I didn’t feel a thing.
One moment later Stephen was standing up to see Peanut be delivered, he turned to me and told me he was a boy – I was just in awe, it didn’t seem real.
Sophie shouted over that he was gorgeous and perfect. Before I knew it he was all wrapped up next to me. I looked at Stephen and we knew in that moment that this was our little family, just amazing. On the radio was M People, Moving on Up, which tickled me.
They put Peanut on me for skin to skin contact, all at once I felt complete. I’m not going to lie and say it was like the movies with sunshine and rainbows, but it was pretty special thinking that this little bundle of joy was mine.
Little Peanut was born at 11:06am and weighed 6lb 10oz.
They gave Peanut to Stephen to take to recovery as they operated on my dermoid (cyst) on my ovary – again they talked me through the whole process and I was reassured that they were able to drain it and preserve all of my ovarian tissue, phew!
In recovery I was reunited with Peanut and had more skin-on-skin contact, Sophie even tried to get him to breastfeed, he didn’t latch the first time, but definitely had the instinct.
Once we’d been in recovery for 30 minutes, we were taken back to the ward whilst we waited for our room to be ready.
It was so surreal being wheeled back to the ward with our baby, such a special feeling. Whilst back in the bay I decided to have another go at breastfeeding and after a few false starts he latched on, it was literally the most amazing feeling in the world and it literally was sunshine and rainbows. I remember ‘What a Wonderful World’ being on the radio and that was the song that I knew I’d remember forever.
At 3pm our room became available and I got ready for my first night on my own as a mum – amazing!
When I first found out that I had to have a C Section I was absolutely gutted, however I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life and that I wouldn’t change it for the world.