Hey! I’m excited to write about my wonderful birth experience. Yes, it was a cesarean birth, yes, it wasn’t what I’ve ever envisioned or planned for. But it was absolutely perfect and I want to celebrate it with you, and to explain in detail what happens before, during and after the surgery, as that’s what I was very interested in when doing my research 😊
I am truly grateful for the PBC course, hypnobirthing, my midwife and our antenatal classes, as otherwise I don’t know I would have had the tools to understand what was best for our baby and us, and I might not have made the most of the situation.
Pregnancy and Breech baby: My pregnancy has been super smooth, I really enjoyed being pregnant and I’m very lucky that it’s been quite a breeze – no worries whatsoever, from me or my midwife. Until when, at around 34 weeks, my midwife suspected that our baby boy was breech. While waiting for my 36 week appointment, I did everything imaginable to encourage him to turn by himself – bounced and swayed on the birth ball, tried the frozen peas + hot water bottle method, and many tips I got from spinning babies, but I never felt him turn, and by then, I learned to feel where his head and back were, and the head definitely stayed under my ribs. So when 36 week appointment came, I wasn’t at all surprised when the midwife still suspected breech and booked us a presentation scan right away, which confirmed it, and so I opted to try the ECV in hopes of turning the baby. It was unsuccessful, and I shed quite a few tears there. Going to the ECV, I discussed about the birth options with my midwife, did lots of research and used BRAIN to decide that elective cesarean birth was our chosen option. Still, following the unsuccessful ECV and knowing that cesarean birth was now reality, I really needed time to come to terms with it, and hypnobirthing helped so much! Once the big day came, I was so happy and excited!
Birth: Our cesarean was booked for Friday, 12th June 2020, a day before my due date. We told our parents and a few friends, but kept the majority of our family and friends not knowing it, and I let everyone come to me with ‘oooh any day now!’ ‘baby will come when baby will want to come’ ‘who knows, he might be as lazy as mine was and stay there for another 2 weeks’ etc etc. 😊 On Tuesday that week, I got a call from the hospital, asking if we were keen to come on Thursday instead as it was much quieter, so I took up that option. The day was now even closer than we initially planned for, oh the excitement! And we didn’t tell anyone that the day had been moved forward, not even our mums! 😊
On the morning of the 11th June 2020, we got ready for what felt like going on a holiday (you know that excitement and nerves you feel before catching an early flight!) we came to the hospital just before 7am and settled in the recovery room (where I’d eventually come back with the baby), where I was given the gown and socks, my husband was given a mask to wear, one by one everyone had come to introduce themselves and confirm my details, scan the baby to see if he’s still breech, the obstetrician went through my birth preferences which I really appreciated, the anesthetist explained her role and after realising that I had something to eat (porridge with strawberries to be precise) in the middle of the night, told us we’ ll be second in line that morning as I had to wait a couple more hours for my surgery (my pre-op notes said I couldn’t eat after 4am, and I ate at 3.30am, so that was a bit of a misunderstanding, that now makes me laugh every time I eat porridge with strawberries). At that point, I still could not believe there was a baby in my tummy, let alone, that we’ll be meeting him so soon!!
We then went to the operating theater. On the way, my husband stopped to get changed into raspberry pink scrubs, put our valuables into a locker, he took our phones for music and photos in the theater, and a little hat and a nappy for the baby. In the meantime, I was given the spinal anesthetic which stung a little but not for long. As per my birth preferences, I had my cannula on my non dominant hand, and all the monitoring was placed on my back for easy skin-to-skin. Once I started feeling totally numb everywhere below my chest, they inserted the catheter (which I was worried about but at that point I really couldn’t care less and I obviously didn’t feel anything, and was oblivious that I was so exposed! ) My husband came in in his scrubs looking fabulous, and started playing our music, everyone in the theater commented that they were liking our music taste, it was overall such a happy and relaxed atmosphere. The surgery went perfectly well, and very soon our son was welcomed into the world! I will always remember the anesthetist’s kind eyes looking at me and explaining it all – ‘ohh I can see the foot, ohhh he’s definitely a boy!!’ And then I turned to look at my husband’s eyes as they were getting bigger and bigger as he was seeing our baby boy being born. It was such a magical moment, even before I got to see the baby myself! After just a few moments, the baby was in my eyesight, too, and oh my, he was so perfect and gorgeous and his guggly cry was the most beautiful sound, I started sobbing with happiness! They delayed to cut the cord, and then asked if my husband wanted to trim it (when I asked him if he wanted to cut the cord, he said he didn’t but he jumped at the chance to trim it!), he also monitored when the baby was weighed. All of this took no time at all and I could see my baby at all times, then he was placed on my chest which was just the best. In the meantime, I was stitched up. Once I was ready to be cleaned and moved onto the bed, my husband was encouraged to get changed into his clothes again in a different room, so he wasn’t in the operating theater to see me all exposed, which I really appreciated, too . We were then wheeled into enhanced recovery room, where all of us enjoyed the golden hour and lots of skin to skin with me and daddy, until when I regained the feeling in my legs. So after 3 hours or so, my husband was asked to leave and I was wheeled into the recovery room (where we first started) with our brand new baby– we stayed there a few more hours enjoying the cuddles, this is where the baby got all his initial checks by the midwife. I was then helped to get up and walk around the room to see if I was fine, and as I was strong enough, the midwife removed my catheter and helped me wash a little and get changed from the hospital gown into my nightdress. We then walked into the post-natal ward where I spent the next two nights in, recovering, bonding and learning to breastfeed. Just imagine how surprised and overjoyed our mums were when we told them the news 😊