Thank you Laura and Chris for sharing your positive caesarean birth story! You smashed it :)
From around 35 weeks I had to go in for twice weekly monitoring as our little monkey wasn’t kicking as much so we just wanted to make sure everything was all okay. During one of those visits to the hospital one of the student midwives felt like the baby was either transverse or breech, so called for a senior midwife to come in and confirm. They believed the baby was breech and I would need a presentation scan the following week to confirm. At this scan it was confirmed that baby was in fact breech and the consultant I meet with afterwards (with Chris on the phone due to COVID) explained all of our options. We took information home with us and decided to talk about it home and make our decision. At home we used our B.R.A.I.N and decided that a planned CSection was the best option for us. I went to the maternity unit the following day for monitoring and discussed our decision and a planned csection was booked in for us for when I was 39+5. This was giving us enough time for if the baby wanted to turn it could.
At home, I spoke to Meg about things I could do to prepare myself for csection and not the water birth I had originally wanted. I started listening to a different relaxation track of an evening to prepare my body and mind for this. I had tried some of the turning babies exercises too in the off chance it would work and using my ball during the day to create space in my hips to allow the baby space to turn and come down when they were ready.
I finished work on Wednesday 13th January and started my maternity leave, I started to feel like I needed to slow down and rest. On Saturday we had to run some bits around, and I felt like I was having a severe back ache and was in a lot of pain; but didn’t think anything of it really. On Sunday we were meant to go for a walk with some family members; we turned up at their house and my back was spasming again, this time it was on and off. I couldn’t face the walk, and just tried to focus on my up breathing to control the pain. Again I didn’t think anything of it, and just thought I’d pulled my back. When we got home I didn’t feel like eating much, so just had a little snack and we went to get an early night, when my mucus plug went. It was different to what I expected it to be; I called the hospital they said it was nothing to worry about and it could be a while until we would meet our baby.
On Monday morning I had a lay in, went downstairs and felt like I fancied a day watching films and chilling out and letting the oxytocin flow. So that’s what I did, pure bliss watching romcoms and having a hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. All day I had a dull lower back ache and a pressure in my pelvis area so laying down felt like it was helping. At about 4:30pm I felt like I needed a bath as my back ache was getting stronger; I text Chris and told him that I was having a bath so that’s where I would be when he got home. He came home and sat with me on edge of the bath and started timing my back aches; we then realised that I was in labour; as my back aches were my surges. We called the hospital and they asked me to take a paracetamol and wait an hour to see if it eases. It didn’t, I tried rocking on my ball for a bit, holding Chris’ hand and still using my breathing and in the end decided to make a move to the hospital.
I had to go in alone, and Chris had to wait in the car like all the other times I had been before. I was feeling nervous about him being outside as I thought today is the day he needs to be here with me. I got plugged up to the machine to monitor and was left for a while, after about 10mins or so a midwife came in and had a look and said to me ‘oh wow you must be in pain huh?! Let me get someone in to talk to you’ the next midwife came in and had a look and said it does look like you are in labour, let’s see how far you are; are you happy to be examined? I said yes, but also reminded them that the baby was breech and I needed to have a csection as this was my decision. She came back in the room and examined me and told me that I was already 4cm and asked if I was sure on my decision; I said yes and she said that she would ring for the consultant to come and check that the baby was still breech; and she would be back in a second. I called Chris and told him he needed to park the car and make his way in, we were about to have a baby!! Whilst sitting on the bed waiting for the consultant and midwife to come back, I felt a little gush of water and realised that my waters had broken. When the midwife came back I explained to her that and she checked and confirmed they had, and they were bulging when she examined me. The consultant came and confirmed the baby was breech and we can go ahead with the section if things haven’t gone too far by time I got there. The midwife then said to me ‘I’m going to press this button and there is going to be a lot of people around you please don’t panic but we need to act quickly and get you ready for theatre’. The next thing I knew I was having a cannula put in my hand, my earrings taken out, my rings strapped up (as my fingers had swollen), my clothes taken off and a gown put on me. I was prepped and ready. I got put in a wheelchair and wheeled round to theatre meeting Chris in the corridor on the way. He was given scrubs to wear and advised to meet me in there. I was put on the bed and spoken to about the epidural; Chris then joined me and the process started. A sharp scratch in my back by the anaesthetist; whilst the other one hold my shoulders down whilst hunched over a pillow to try and keep me still from the surges. I tried to just breathe, even though this was being classed as an emergency csection, it all felt so calm and in control.
I then laid down and waited for it to take affect; the anaesthetist started spraying parts of my body to see how it was working. At 9pm everything was ready, I was asked if there was anything in particular that I wanted; I gave my preferences and the screen was put up, they confirmed that I was now 7cm dilated and ready to start the operation. After a little of a pulling (but not much) at 9:15 our baby was born. The drapes were lowered and they lifted the baby in the air and their legs were wide open; Chris then told me it was a girl (one of my preferences for Chris to announce the sex). We were both in shock as we had started to listen to people who had said it would be a boy. They whisked her over the side to check her over and wrap her up. Chris left my side briefly to go see her and cut her cord (another preference). She was then brought over to me; for her to be laid on me for our first cuddle. This was the most surreal feeling; I was shaking from the adrenaline and epidural but she was here, she was safe and she was absolutely gorgeous! Chris took her from me and held her for a bit and he took her out with him whilst I was cleaned up and moved onto another bed ready for recovery. I met Chris and our baby girl in recovery where we got to have the most magical couple of hours having skin to skin; cuddles, and the most amazing first few hours as a family. We tried feeding for the first time and that was a strange feeling but so wonderful. Chris got to dress her in her first outfit, and put her first nappy on. We FaceTime our families briefly so that they could see her but this wasn’t for long as we knew we didn’t have much time left together before Chris had to leave us both until home time. We decided that we would call her Ivy very early in this evening but kept that to ourselves as we wanted to share that news when I was home with her. At about half past midnight, I was moved up to the ward and we had to say goodbye to Chris one corridor. This was heartbreaking for both of us. For me knowing he was going to miss out on the first couple of days of Ivy’s life and not be able to see either of us until I was home.
It was a rough couple of days, trying to feed which was very tough and having to top her up on the bottle, having to express, and missing Chris terribly. But on Wednesday at 6pm both Ivy and I were discharged from hospital and Chris came to collect us and take us home to start out lives as our little family.