My Caesarian Section Birth Story – The birth of my son December 2017.
My daughters birth almost 2 years ago was horrendous and for a few reasons I wanted an elective Caesarian. It took a while for the consultant to agree to one but I finally signed the consent form a few weeks before my due date and a date was set for when I was between 39 and 40 weeks pregnant.
The day before the surgery I visited maternity triage for a pre op appointment – where they took blood to check my blood type and blood counts, did my blood pressure and I spoke with the anaesthetist and surgeons team to discuss the surgery. I was given a tablet to take the night before and two to take on the morning of surgery which would decrease the amount of acid in my stomach and was told to be nil by mouth from midnight.
The day of the c section I arrived at 7am to the delivery suite and after giving the midwife my notes she put me into the same delivery room as my daughter was born! Not what you want when you have PTSD but surprisingly nothing triggered my panic and I felt calm – hypnobirthing and grounding techniques worked to keep me relaxed.
My midwife came back in and told me I was third on the list and checked my urine and blood pressure and had a listen to babies heart beat. She gave me a gown and a lovely pair of stockings and told me to expect to go in at about midday.
My husband went off to smoke his e cigarette while the surgeon came in to see me and check on the details. She told me I would now be going in first due to the first ladies mrsa screen not coming back so to get prepared. Cue a lot of panic! As my husband came back he was given a pair of scrubs to change into while my midwife walked me to theatre, he would meet me in surgery once I’d had the spinal.
Walking to theatre is a very strange feeling and the room doesn’t look anything like you would think. Yes it is sterile but looks a bit like a normal delivery room just with more machines and sinks. I did forget to take my knickers off so they did get thrown into the bin, which was fine with me as they were ginormous Bridget Jones styles what I would rather not fit into again.
I was made to sit on the table and bend over like an angry prawn as another midwife put it – not sure why the prawn was angry though. Everyone introduced themselves at this point but I was too hyped up to take any of it in. Administering a cannula into my hand and the local and spinal anaesthetic into my back was scary as they kept telling me not to move and to bend over more (not easy with a massive bump) but a midwife nicely held my hand which did really help.
Once administered I was helped to lie down and the warm feeling spread down my legs as they went numb. I started to feel dizzy and my vision started to go dark and I noticed the anaesthetist squeezing my IV line as my blood pressure had dropped. The table I was on was moving back wards so my head was low and slightly to the left. She kept injecting something directly into the cannula she said would make me feel better and after a while I felt less dizzy but my heart was still racing. A midwife tried to distract me by asking what I had got my kids for Christmas but I was panicking that I could still wiggle my toes but no one seemed worried. They used a cold spray to gauge how numb I was and I was still panicking that I could wiggle toes despite them telling me I was good to go.
At this point my husband came in and they lifted the screen up and washed my belly area. He was asking me how I was and if I was okay but I really didn’t want to talk to him. I was panicking and feeling sick so I just wanted to use some of the hypnobirthing scenarios I had practised so I shut my eyes and tried to calm myself. The machine behind me monitoring my heart rate and blood pressure kept alarming which made it hard to focus but my heart rate was too fast and my blood pressure too low so the anaesthetist asked for a minute before they started to squeeze more fluids into me and then they started.
It is strange feeling yourself being cut open but feeling no pain and I heard the surgeon say to hurry up as there was a baby waiting. I opened my eyes and watched a doctor putting his scrubs on and walk behind the screen. I felt a lot of pulling inside me and tugging and it was then that I heard the surgeon ask for forceps. This set me off panicking as I thought my baby was stuck which is what happened when my daughter was born. My husband asked me what was happening and I shook my head as I didn’t want to scare him. The anaesthetist peeked over the screen and told me I had a head with lots of hair and after an awful lot of pulling and pushing on my bump I felt him lifted out and he was crying instantly.
40 minutes from walking into theatre at 9:08am his screams filled the theatre and I started to cry with relief that he was okay. He screamed the entire time the midwives checked him over and weighed him. My husband declined to cut the cord but he did peek over the screen and told me he had loads of hair.
After two minutes our gorgeous boy was placed onto my chest under my gown and I had a peek to check he was definitely a boy. They told me he was 8lb5oz, he was just perfect. I had skin to skin while they stitched me up which didn’t take long at all.
The midwife took my baby while they cleaned me up, inserted a catheter, inserted a pain medication into my bum, placed me onto a bed, gave me a clean gown and wheeled me into recovery where my husband and baby waited.
The midwife tried to help the baby to latch on for a feed while a recovery nurse checked my blood pressure was rising and after 5 minutes my baby latched on for a feed. I was given a drink of water and then taken to the ward all while my baby had a lovely long first feed. Being wheeled to the ward made me feel very sick and I was terrified of vomiting incase I ruptured my stitches but I wasn’t actually sick luckily.
My blood pressure remained low for another 12 hours and I felt very spaced out but I could manage some toast after a few hours and that evening I was up and out of bed pottering about. It took 3 attempts and 8 hours after having the catheter out before I could pass urine but that was most likely due to not drinking enough due to nausea.
I was home the day after my c section and the recovery is a whole other story I will share one day but I do not regret my decision at all. Both myself and my baby came out in whole pieces (except small forcep marks which only lasted a few days until healed) and the whole birth was such a healing experience. I know I made the right decision and I would not hesitate to have another c section if I had the choice. It was definitely not the easy option but the safest one for me.
If anyone is reading this because they are due a c section my best advice would be to keep on top of your pain medication for the first week or two and don’t be a hero!
It has now been 7 weeks so I am late in posting this but the newborn fog descended! I’ve left this birth story in the form I wrote it in my sleep deprived state but I think it’s best left in it’s unedited raw form. So now I have 2 under 2 – anyone have any tips for dealing with that? I’d love to hear from you.