Birth Story: Planned Caesarean Section

As is typical for me, things didn’t turn out exactly as I planned but the end result was wonderful.  This is the story of my Caesarean birth.

Although it was called a “planned” or “elective” Caesarean Section, it was actually anything but.  I had hoped for a water birth with as little medical intervention as possible, but alas it wasn’t to be.  My baby was breech and, with my hospital having very little experience of delivering breech babies vaginally and a great deal of experience doing Caesarean Sections, I decided that the safest birth for my baby would be to go ahead with the doctors’ recommendation and have the section.

After fasting from midnight, I arrived in hospital on the appointed day at 7.30am, feeling very nervous.  I had been told what would happen but I was still terrified, mainly of handing over control of my baby’s birth to doctors, and having no control myself.  To make matters worse I was told on arrival that my section was the last one scheduled for the day, so I would have a pretty long wait.  

Once we were called, my husband changed into scrubs and we were taken into the theatre.  I was allowed to put on the CD I had prepared, my cannula (IV) was put in (which didn’t hurt), and the anaesthetist talked to me about the position I would need to assume in order for my spinal to go in properly.  She took her time and answered all my questions.  We did a few practice runs before she put the needle in, first the local anaesthetic and then the spinal.  I am terrified of injections and I can tell you now that neither of these hurt at all.  The hardest thing was making sure I didn’t move.  Almost immediately the lower half of my body felt warm and tingly and they laid me down.  They tested that I was numb by using a cold spray and when they were sure I was properly numb they put the screen up and began.

First a catheter was inserted, which I didn’t feel at all.  I had been worried about it but it honestly didn’t hurt.  However I am glad they did the catheter after the spinal, not before.  Next I felt, as I was told I would, some tugging and pulling.  It felt just like my baby was moving around but a little more actively than normal.  Literally three minutes later, I was told the bum was out, the legs, then the body and head.  I heard my baby cough and then cry.  She was given to my husband, weighed and then brought to me.  She was absolutely beautiful.  The midwife took some lovely photos of the three of us before I was moved onto a comfortable bed and taken to recovery.  Here we were allowed to have skin to skin contact and a midwife helped me latch my baby on, because I was very keen to breastfeed.

The next morning I was up and out of bed, my catheter was removed and I was allowed to have a shower and take the dressing off my scar.  I was allowed home the following morning and I can honestly say, from someone who was petrified of having a Caesarean, it was one of the most positive, calm experiences of my life.  I know not everybody is as lucky as me, and some Caesareans are emergency ones, but I wanted to share my own experience for anyone else who may find themselves in a similar position of facing a planned Caesarean. 

Image: Newborn via shutterstock

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