Content Warning - The following story contains some poor treatment of a birthing person so if you'd prefer to avoid reading that, maybe skip this story.
I discovered I was pregnant in August 2014, became increasingly tired and big almost immediately! First scan was in Torrevieja Hospital, Alicante. I was visibly nervous as it was my first pregnancy, so the midwife manoeuvred the monitor so I couldn’t actually see it, incase there was a problem I suppose.
So she and my husband watched the screen together…. She had a concerned look which made me worry even more. When I asked if “it” was ok, she shook her head and said… “Not IT, THEY!” I asked her to repeat it and she held up two fingers and then pointed to the screen to show my husband two heart beats.
Because I was carrying twins my check ups were frequent, every four weeks I was seen. I was actually told to watch my diet and not be tempted to eat for three. I lost weight in my first trimester as I was eating well and cutting out all the lovely Spanish red wine!
At 20 weeks we went for a private 4D scan to determine the sexes, where we discovered we were having identical girls.
Pregnancy went smoothly and at about 32 weeks I was enormous! I was invited to a hospital tour so I could see where I would be going and what I’d be doing. It was slightly different for me as I was always told that it was highly likely I’d need a C section. There was no choice there.
At 36 weeks one of the girls was pushing on my gall bladder and I was starting to be poisoned by a secretion from the gall bladder into my system, which made my entire body itch uncontrollably. By this point I was extremely uncomfortable, feet the size of footballs and was desperate to have the girls. I was told it HAD to be done when nature wanted it to happen, just as long as the girls were not in distress. So I had to push through with the itchiness until they wanted to come out themselves.
At 37 weeks my heart rate soared and there was too much pressure on my heart and that was making the girls distressed, so they said I needed a C section the next day.
My husband faints easily, so I was allowed to choose another partner to be there with me. I had an exam when I got there the next day, and was taken through for monitoring, (or so I thought!). They leant me forward, epidural went in, gown and cap went on, and I knew it was time for the C section.
I tried to explain I needed my birthing partner there but unfortunately they did ignore me. I was in a lot of distress by this point, as I was alone and under the impression I was only being monitored at this stage. I had a panic attack, heart rate soared and I had to be given a sedative to calm me down.
Before I knew it the girls were here! They were both taken away straight away to meet my family whilst I recovered. I did find it weird that everyone else got to hold the girls before me.
I was put into a recovery room, and when the epidural wore off I was in agony from the surgery, understandably.
After 12 hours of unsuccessful and highly painful breastfeeding, and a nap, a nurse came to my room and told me to get up and out of bed. I explained I couldn’t as I had just had surgery, and he pulled me to a sitting position, whipped out my catheter, and pulled me to standing. I was screaming, my eyes rolled to the back of my head because of the pain, and I begged him to let me lay down but he was extremely unkind. In the end, my surgeon came in to see what the noise was about and saw me in a chair screaming. The nurse was apparently unaware I’d had a C section and assumed it was a natural birth. We have since complained about this man.
Breastfeeding didn’t work for me, the girls didn’t take to it, and I hated it. I opted to bottle feed, which I was told I couldn’t do without signing a disclaimer, which I did. I took meds to stop producing milk and promptly bottle-fed the girls, which was 100% better for us. I was discharged within 48 hours and VERY glad to be home.
Whilst I will always be glad I had two very healthy girls delivered here, I will never recommend a C section in Torrevieja hospital, because of my treatment by the staff.
Thanks for sharing your story, Rachel!
If you'd like to share your birth story in Spain (hospital or home birth!), please do so here.
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