As April has been National Caesarean Section Awareness month, I thought I’d share with you my experience of having two C-Sections. While each one had the same, wonderful, outcome – the getting there was in each case very different!
While pregnant with Big D, I adopted an holistic approach to my pregnancy. I went to yoga religiously, where I learned how to bring my baby into the world by breathing ‘a long pink ribbon of serenity‘ – I honestly believed this was the experience I’d be getting. Every women in my entire family had brought babies into the world with little or no fuss or pain-relieving drugs…”what pain?”. As I belonged to this strong child-bearing lineage of birthing goddesses, I never really doubted my own ability to give birth naturally.
However, 10 days overdue, the big event started to unfold. At 6.00am I woke with mild pain, excitedly jumped out of bed and began pacing around my home. The yoga mat and exercise ball came out, candles were at the ready and the Sonos system was playing some soothing Ibiza chill-out. A veritable apothecary of Neal’s Yard lotions, potions and spritzes were at the ready to ease my dreamy labor. Or so I thought…
An hour later my waters broke but it didn’t look the right colour (too dark). Thankfully, I’d learned at NCT class that this wasn’t normal (in my case it meant there was meconium – a sign that Big D was in distress). My labor suddenly went from 20mph to 200mph in seconds! I felt like a mooing cow on acid – not a pretty sight. The hospital told me to come straight in as I was contracting every 2-3 minutes and they were worried about the meconium. So I forced on some clothes and we were off – me in the foetal position in the back of the car!
On arrival, I was very quickly given an epidural and stabilized, but poor Big D was in distress and I was out of control (how could I be handling this so badly?). After laboring in vain for 12 hours straight, the doctors decided to prep me for an emergency C-Section.
Once in the operating theatre everything was very calm. As the screen went up the surgeons were chatting about skiing (one of my favorite subjects), Beyonce’s “Love on Top” was playing on the radio and Big D came in to the world. The whole ordeal was forgotten in a blur of tears, exhaustion, happiness and love. I had my baby girl in my arms and she was healthy and safe – that was all that mattered.
At least I thought it was, until I fell pregnant again. I had no idea how much the experience had affected me. I spent a large part of my second pregnancy suffering with anxiety, questioning myself and feeling generally upset (a total waste of time and negative energy). I was in a sense disappointed at myself for not giving birth naturally and serenely and also anxious at the prospect of going through another round of major abdominal surgery.
After much consideration, I decided for medical reasons to go for a planned C-Section for what turned out to be Little D. It wasn’t until the night before the op that I had a moment of acceptance and a beautiful wave of calm set in.
The next morning off we went in a taxi (no mooing), fully prepared to enjoy the birth of Little D. What a difference it made knowing what was ahead. I was in control, I was calm, I wasn’t shaking uncontrollably with fear. I was able to sit back and enjoy the miracle that was unfolding before my eyes. I watched my daughter being born which was incredible in a David Attenborough kind of way and I was able to be mentally present. Recovery was speedy and I felt great physically and mentally. I had no guilt or issues, I loved every second of it.
My point is don’t be like me and not prepare for every birthing outcome. With a little mental preparation and education, you’ll be strong in any situation. I wasn’t so much a beautiful birthing goddess, more a battling, birthing warrior who earned her scars bringing two little lovelies into the World!
Every birth is unique in its way, a lucky few are textbook, some not so much. My emergency C-Section was not what I had planned, but the doctors were amazing – and the outcome was everything I had wished for and more.
Whichever way your baby chooses to arrive, good luck.
Love Mummy B