(WARNING: This is a long post that starts with Lulu's birth and then covers my out of body experience when my spinal anaesthesia wore off. I might sound a little crazy, but felt the need to blog about it.)
Before I begin, you can read all about my journey from 5 consecutive miscarriages to finally falling pregnant with my miracle baby. We called our soul baby into reality with every magical power within our souls. We nearly gave up, nearly broke up (but not really) and never thought it would happen for us, until it did…
This is the birth story of Lulu Dawn Prout-Simpson…
March 23rd, 2015: Sean and I woke up before dawn knowing that it was the day our daughter was going to arrive into the world. We went down to the beach to watch the sunrise over the ocean for the last time before we would share our beautiful miracle daughter.
We ate breakfast before 7am, and then my mother came over to look after Thomas and Olivia for the day. She would meet us at the hospital later in order for the kids and her to meet baby Lulu.
I chose to have an elective c-section this time because it felt like the path of least resistance. My son was a forceps delivery back in 2001 (over 34 hours in labour!) and with my daughter Olivia (born in 2006) I chose to have a c-section in order not to go through the same ordeal. However, this time I was open to the possibility of having a natural birth until it was discovered that I had a low-lying placenta which meant that I couldn’t have a vaginal delivery. Therefore, the decision was made for me.
I am a big believer that every birth story is empowering and unique no matter how you manage to extract the bubba from your belly.
10:15 AM: Sean and I drove to Nambour reflecting on how surreal it felt that the next time we would be in the car together would be with our newborn. We finally arrived and parked at Nambour Hospital and went up to level 2 to check in.
The woman behind the desk noted down my paperwork and showed us to bed number 12-1 where we waited for hours for our surgery time. I was apparently third in line.
Hours passed and I got dressed into my hospital gown. Thankfully I wasn’t too large (even though I was, oh boy) so that it could wrap around me a couple of times and cover my bum.
The team came to wheel me down into the pre-op room to get ready for the c-section. At this stage I had to say goodbye to Sean for at least 40 minutes while they administered the spinal block and put the IV in my arm.
Because I had been fasting all day (no food, no water) my veins weren’t easy to work with. The anaesthesiologist first went right through my vein on my forearm, and then tried one in my left hand. Gosh, it left a horrific bruise! She then had to call in her boss to place it in my right hand which he managed to do successfully.
Then it was time for the spinal block. I was so scared. I’d had two epidurals before when I gave birth to Thomas and Olivia, but this was scary because I knew what I was in for.
A male nurse held me down so I could remain still. After all, if you move then it can damage your spine forever. Apparently my spine was too boney and they weren’t able to find a good entry point. Each time they attempted to puncture my skin, the more it made me more and more anxious. After the 17th or so try I was feeling like a bit of a pin cushion, but they finally had everything prepared and in place to be wheeled in to start the operation.
Sean was ready and waiting in his scrubs and we were ready for the birth! The curtain was up so we couldn’t see any of the grizzly stuff as they made the incisions. Sean was also filming us with his iPhone.
There was a lot of pulling and tugging as they started to pull her out. One of the nurses said that we’d be very close to seeing our baby after we heard the ‘cappuchino noise’ (the suction). Sean had his hand on me the whole time, kissing me and giving me reassurance.
FOR OVER 18 MONTHS WE WAITED FOR THIS MOMENT
After 5 consecutive miscarriages our miracle baby was nearly earth side.
At exactly 5:45pm Lulu Dawn entered the world. We heard the first little cry and both exhaled with such intense joy and relief to hear her finally.
She had a full head of hair, and no eye brows. She was perfect.
They took her to be weighed and covered up before I could have my first cuddle. It was love at first sight. Sean and I were over the moon to finally have her with us. And just think, we were a couple of complete strangers that met on Twitter back in 2009 from opposite ends of the planet!
By this stage I still had to be stitched, up which I knew would take a while.
The spinal block lasted well up until Lulu was born. I could still feel pulling and pressure, but it wasn’t painful…yet.
MY OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE
After Lulu was born and over to the right side of the room with Sean, the process to stitch me was commencing. This was when I was able to feel EVERYTHING. I could feel the coolness of the blades, every little cut and incision. I could feel the air on my open abdomen.
“I can feel that! I can feel that!” I began to say in a mad panic.
The medical team did tests to see if I was really in pain and told me the spinal had worn off. They whisked Sean out of the room and just as he left I began to scream and get really distressed. One of the guys told me that he would be giving me some drugs that would make me go to sleep and I would wake up soon. The fun and high-level energy in the room dropped and I could see everyone in the room was trying to prepare. The room was really quiet. It turned from a miracle into a horror movie within minutes.
I remember drifting and not feeling like I was asleep but being aware that I was somewhere else, up high, above everything. Almost like on another level of the hospital where I could see everything that was going on.
The pain left me. I could hear the beeping. In fact, sounds became almost deafening. I could hear voices. Kind of like being on acid, it was like everything was vibrant and buzzing.
I could see the colour pink everywhere. I was in a large corridor that had rooms and doors, just like the hospital, but different. Behind each door I could simultaneously see different scenes. I could see Sean sitting with Lulu, I could see my body being stitched up, I could see the nurses, I could see Thomas and Olivia, I felt as if I was one with Lulu and I was peering out into the world from her new perspective. I could see my stuff in the hospital bed I was going o go back to. It was like I was flying around this corridor, this weird realm and not sure how to get back to myself, to my consciousness. I was floating around hearing every minuscule sound, seeing bright vibrant flashes of the current reality and then I saw vivid images of everything that I loved, from orchids, ornate frames, floral patterns etc. Everything that I found visually appealing was behind my eyes in this realm with me.
EVERYTHING WAS IN VIBRANT HYPERDRIVE
I was aware of my own thoughts and being able to observe the process like I was on some kind of weird ride at Disneyland. You know you’re safe, you know the ride will be over soon and you’ll feel the post-ride buzz and thrill. However, then my sense of self began to fade altogether and I didn’t have any idea who I was. I had no control over waking up and it became a little scary. I loved this place I was in, it felt peaceful. But the more at peace I felt, the more the memory of who I was and what my purpose was started to fade.
It felt timeless, like days were passing and I was confused.
I distinctly remember asking myself: ‘AM I DEAD?’
There was a mild sense of sadness that I was away from my body but I didn’t really remember who I was anyway.
If I had to liken it to anything it was like The Matrix and also that scene in Interstellar where he’s behind the bookcase observing the timelessness of his past present and future.
I had no control over the scenes I was shown, but it was just a witnessing experience. Then I heard a voice say very clearly: Thomas, Olivia, Lulu, Sean. I don’t know who the voice was. It wasn’t mine and it wasn’t clear. It was like an anchor of love to return me to who I was.
Now here’s the weird part (as if it wasn't already) – the names all were recognisable to me, but I still didn’t know who I was. So I headed (or was guided) in the direction of the feeling behind the names and felt as though I was then being landed back into my body.
The nurse inspected my name band and said: Sarah Prout, 1/11/79 (my birthdate).
“I have a daughter called Sarah and her birthday is also on the 1st of November.”
I was so groggy and looked at the clock it was 7:11 – less than 2 hours since Lulu was born but it felt like weeks.
The thing is, for the last few months I had been waking up at exactly 7:11 thinking that it was a sign that perhaps Lulu would be born at 7:11 or that she weighed 7lb 11 oz. Was it was coincidence?
My take on this experience is that it’s like there is a weird in-between world, like a waiting room between here and death where we have a choice to stay or leave. This holding space is a bridge between all the love we feel on Earth and all of the love we feel when we ‘let go’ of who we are and flow with the energy of everything.
Even though I was frightened and slightly panicked, I knew I had a choice to find my way to where I needed to be. I’m just so grateful that I made it back to my body.
BACK TO EARTH TO BE WITH MY BABY
Being with my baby was so blissful. I was in hospital for four days and couldn't wait to take Lulu home and be back with Sean and the kids.
THE FIRST MONTH
So far life with Lulu has been amazing. The kids love her so much as well. She is such an easy baby, only really crying when she's hungry, wet or has trapped wind. I love the night feeds too and treasure the time I get to nurse and snuggle with my precious angel.
Each and every day Lulu is growing a little more and becoming more aware. At 4 weeks old tomorrow, she's now officially out of newborn nappies and into the infant size. There are newborn clothes she didn't even get to wear now that she's hit the 4 kilo mark. It all happens so fast and I'm well aware that these moments are all so precious and to enjoy them as much as possible.
If you've read this far (thank you!), I hope you enjoyed this post even if it was a little nutty. You might like to follow my hashtag #LuluDawn on Instagram to see how quickly she's changing. xo