I Had What Kim Kardashian Had (No, not a sex tape)
This is the story about how my son came into the world.
Like most things in my life, I tend to visualise what would happen before things happen - whether it's making a pitch, going into a meeting, or the bigger things - like birthing your baby.
Due to a condition I have had prepregnancy (that was only discovered at my first visit to the OBGYN. I went in for a check up and only emerged four days later), my gestational period with Brownie was considered to be high risk. This saw me back and forth in various hospitals all over the island for various checks. It is a condition that affected me, but it needed to be managed carefully so the baby didn’t get affected.
When I went in for my 32-week check up, nothing was amiss. I hadn’t gained too much weight, the baby was growing well and while I was achy and constantly dealing with acid reflux, everything was dandy. We were scheduled for an induction at 38 weeks so my OBGYN, Dr Manisha Mathur, could control all the variables that could happen.
And then the 36-week check up came. The usual routine test showed that my blood pressure was abnormally high, I had suddenly gained a lot of weight and there was protein in my urine — three signs that indicated I had preeclampsia.
Right from the start we knew that my risk for preeclampsia was high because of the condition I had. But in all honesty, I got so far — I got to 36 whole weeks, three A&E visits, two hospitalisations in one single pregnancy that I dared to hope that maybe, we’d be all clear.
But we weren’t. Dr Manisha wanted to observe my condition overnight so they took me to the labour ward.
I’ve never ever had surgery in my life, so getting prepped and wheeled into surgery was terrifying. I spent a good part of the morning crying, and giving John instructions on basically what he should do in case I died in surgery. Dramatic, probably, but you don’t expect the best when you go in for a check up and they tell you you need to deliver your baby.
Those were the final words Dr Manisha said to me before I was wheeled in at 11.50am on 20 Sept. My diastolic pressure on the surgical table went up as high as 256, which is severe preeclampsia — had we waited, I would have gone into fits.
My c section wasn’t any different from everybody else’s you would have heard, or read about thankfully. I was regaling tales of American Horror Story with the anaesthetist and kept occupied. The only time I was ever weirded out was when I smelled my own flesh burning, when they were cauterising me.
Here’s the funny thing about having a caesarean section — yes, it’s major surgery, yes, it’s fucking scary especially since mine was an emergency c section and I didn’t have my husband with me, and taking the first steps was hard as hell — but it’s actually not as bad as I thought it would be. I would have probably healed faster had I had a vaginal delivery but other than discomfort, I really haven’t been in any excruciating pain.
(Breastfeeding was more painful, but that’s another story for another time.)
My incision is a mere 10cm right where my torso meets my pelvis and it itches from time to time five months on, but it’s healed to nothing.
150 days on and I can close my eyes and tell you what every room or ward I was wheeled into smelled like, or felt like, what every doctor was wearing, and most of all, how I felt like. How daunting it was to get the hospital bed and drag my feet across the linoleum hospital floor, how much discomfort I was in to have to IV lines, a catheter, a blood pressure cuff, and a tocodynamometer (that's a new word you learned today, huh?) all strapped on you while people told you not to move.
People tell you you’ll forget, but I know I will always remember.
In the meantime I have about 20kg to lose. That’s what’s up.