I really thought the birth would be the worst, in fact the aftermath was a thousand times worse. With the baby born and looking healthy it was now trying to help Em recover, she was weak after the birth and the midwife needed to check for any bleeding. You think that the birth would be the worst and you watch films and read of that perfect scene where a tired mum holds the baby in her arms, no blood, just some sweat and tears. It wasn’t like that, what followed was 8 hours of unknown.
Initially the midwife looked to stitch some of the internal damage caused by the baby exiting so quickly. Sofia was born quickly, the official birth was timed as being just 30 minutes of labour. I mean she just zipped out and left me in shock as was settling in for a much longer ride. She obviously used Em as a water slide scraping the sides as she exited trying to slow herself down. While this was being done another midwife took Sofia weight (7lbs) and ensured she was generally healthy, which she was thankfully.
The midwife thought she had repaired much of the damage, it was 40 minutes of agony for Em and something I hope she doesn’t have to go through again. Gas and air and some local anesthetic. I don’t know now whether the midwife should have done more. She was really very nice during the birth and really confident in what she was doing. It was only after that it became difficult. As the night wore on Em remained in pain. I stayed with her sleeping on the chair. The doctor was called twice but the first two times didn’t spot anything and one time asked Em whether she was serious about the pain. It was only the third time that the doctor noted that the stitching missed some of the bleeding resulting in a Hematoma and internal bleeding. Sofia was born at 11.46, they took Em for theatre just before 6.
I was left in another room on my own with the baby, Sofia. Initially i thought this was all ok, I hadn’t got worked up and didn’t realise how serious it was. It was a surreal experience, for Em high on gas, she said it felt like the scene from Trainspotting, an out of body experience. For me I was so tired, had a new little being in my arms, it was mixed emotion. It was over an hour before i knew that Em was ok. There had been nothing more I could have done, staying calm was really the only thing I could do. The tiredness and calmness combined to make the whole night feel dazed and confused.
Seeing her in the recovery ward afterwards was actually quite hard, it reminded me of my dad after his heart attack, wired up to several machines with a IV, there was a realisation that it had been a serious operation to correct the bleeding. The consultant who performed the operation gave me the details. It is times like these when you are thankful for the modern world we live in and the NHS that we all take for granted, in many other countries Em could have died who suffered much worse pain. I saw the midwife who delivered the baby afterwards, although she had probably made a mistake (and had been told so by the consultant), had been amazing throughout and was visibly shaken by the night. I thanked her for her work and she gave me a hug. It had been a difficult night for everyone.