Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

A stitch in time… (Or grim labour tale part II)

on June 2, 2013

So, here is the second instalment of my labour story….

If you recall, at the end of the last blog I had some serious internal embroidery issues….

The feeling in the room was a little fraught and it is absolutely no surprise to me that partners can suffer from ‘post traumatic stress’ after seeing their other half in labour if it is not a totally straight forward affair.
People were counting swabs in and out of my muff like a teacher on a coach trip.
I wasn’t looking my best what with the drips, the stirrups, the regulation gown and the vomit but other than that it was fine.
I spent the night on the HDU with baba B and moved to the ward the following day where I had a 3 pint blood transfusion. I am practically a vampire.

Anywho- we settle in nicely and the staff at Arrowe Park are really excellent. Not the midwife who told me off for ringing my bell- I wouldn’t say she was an asset –

Me– hi there, sorry, I can’t get up to pick up my baby what with the wound and the stitches and the pain and everything so could you pass her to me please.

Her– You can’t just ring your bell for that, it’s for something serious.

Me– oh, sorry.

Her- I’ll do it now I’m here but don’t ring again for that.

Me– ok, sorry.

Me in my head– I’m sorry what?! WHAT?! I was under the impression that you rang the bell if you needed help.
I’m drugged up to the eye balls, my insides look like a patchwork quilt and my baby is bawling her head off. I can’t sit up to pick her up and feed her so what part of that isn’t serious. You tool.

Me– (again) Thank you. (?!?)

I am in hospital for 3 nights and it is fab to finally get home and be all together as a family.
It is less lovely to be in so much pain that I can’t sit down without a tyre but, I presume that this is what it feels like when they don’t come out the sunroof.

I decide to have a bath once the girls are in bed and Mr L has gone to footy.

The next bit is not for the squeamish….

I am feeling pretty tender in the undercarriage region and so decide to have a little feel about (I realise that this is not an attractive image but I am nothing if not honest).
The experience goes something like this…
Ow. Poke. Ow…poke… Ow. Ow. OW. That feels like I’m actually inside myself-and not in a nice way- Shit, I AM inside myself. OW.

Emergency call- There is only one person to call in a situation such as this…

Me

Hello…Sister??

Sister

Are you ok? Are you stuck in the bath?

Me

Yes actually I am but the problem runs a little deeper than that I think. Could you pop round if you get chance…

My sister arrives in record timing and for what happens next deserves the George Cross…

1) Helps me out of the bath as I flail around like an upside down tortoise.
2) Has a look at the undercarriage. BLESS HER.
3) Takes some photos on her phone so I can see the damage.
4) Emails pics to midwife friend to make absolutely sure that it is not the norm for a stitched up episiotomy wound to look like something from Shreks swamp (and I do not mean a fairytale creature). Grim.

Next day a midwife calls round and checks me over, she sends me straight back to hospital calling ahead to let them know I am on my way- I over hear her saying that she could smell the infection from the front door. This is basically medical speak for ‘she smells like a rotting corpse’. I am so mortified. Closer inspection reveals that…
*My stitches have burst open
*The skin is too weak for it to be re-stitched
*So it is left as a gaping open wound. Yummy.
I have three weeks of antibiotics to clear the infection which one midwife tells me is the worst she has seen in 22yrs. In a way I am glad- I don’t like to make a fuss over something trivial!

So, time passes and I go back to see the consultant. He is a lovely man, mid fifties I reckon and I have total confidence in what he is saying. Come back in six weeks and we will discuss what to do. I have three meetings with him but the fourth time I go disaster strikes.
The clinic is very busy and a different doctor comes to see me.
NOOOOOOO.
He is a handsome doctor. I am now recalling him as a young George Clooney but in actual fact he was probably just a young, average looking doctor that I wasn’t expecting.
I did not handle it well.

The exchange went something like this..,

Me

Who the hell are you??

Handsome Doctor

I am doctor Clooney, because the clinic is busy today I am helping out. Is that ok?

Me

NO.
No it is not.
I was expecting the other man.
I know you don’t care but I just need to tell you that because of the wound I am too frightened to do any maintenance. I don’t look the way I’d like to, I am so embarrassed.

(I am quite literally puce with embarrassment). Awkward is not the word.

Clooney is rightly freaked out by the mentalist in the examination room and goes to get the other guy.

Comes back with him and a midwife and I assume the position that I am now far too familiar with, basically an interrogation lamp shining where my Bridget jones pants should be. Perfect way to spend a Tuesday morning.

Older man draws a diagram.
A DIAGRAM.

I have been over stitched. I now have the tuppence of a teen! (A lovely, church going teen, not a sort of slack, anything goes, round the back of the library type!)

So, the final straw comes when the consultant sits me down with Clooney.
He gives me a device.
It is a tuppence stretching device.
I am so shocked that I spit out my coke. I can not speak through laughing.
I did not expect that when I arrived this morning.

A few days later Baby A and I are in our bedroom whilst I get dressed.
I turn around and see her playing with the device. This is either going to be comedy gold or something that she needs therapy for in years to come!!

Phew- glad that’s all out in the open, I bet you feel better for reading don’t you. XxxX

PS- serious point to note- every time I now log in to FB I see an advert saying ‘injured in childbirth?’ Pointing me, and others in a similar position, towards seeking compensation. I am absolutely not going to do that. Giving birth is a tricky business. Women die in labour.
I now have something that many women pay top dollar for (I’m being glass half full here!) 😉 I’m too bloody scared to do anything with it yet but hey ho, that’s what the device is for!!! Ha ha.

I absolutely felt that the staff who looked after me in the run up, during labour and in the aftermath, have been absolutely amazing. (Not the one stupid lady who I think was just having a crap day) they have been honest, open- some might say a little too much- and have really supported me in feeling better.
Shit happens and, thank God it happened here, in the UK where the NHS exists to provide free medical care for all.
I am very happy with the care I was given under the difficult circumstances and will be forever grateful for the safe delivery of my two happy, healthy, beautiful, beautiful baby girls.
Particular thanks to the lovely Kirsty A-C and Audrey. Amazing ladies. And obviously my sister who is now seriously scarred (but has a lovely screensaver for her phone!)

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7 responses to “A stitch in time… (Or grim labour tale part II)

  1. Clare Collins says:

    Totally reminded me of myself post labour…!

    LOVE your blogs! You should combine them into a book!

  2. twinny says:

    Absolutely fabulous read before bedtime. Love that you told this story to the internet world (which is practically everyone bar grannies)
    Your an inspiration as always twinny X x x

  3. […] The one about the undercarriage […]

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