At 8.30pm Wednesday, I started getting fairly intense back pain. I put the heat pack on it and didn’t think much about the potential of the feelings being early labour but attributed them to aches of late pregnancy!
By 9.30pm I realised that the pain was on and off and that it was actually rather frequent. I decided to pack the final items in my hospital bag and call my neighbour in to watch my little girl, who would not leave my side for love nor money!
My husband and I left for the hospital at 11pm and when I arrived was examined and although my birth plan had stipulated that I did not want to hear my dilation, the midwife accidently reported that I was 5cms! It was highly encouraging to hear. This was the most I got to with my daughter.
I laboured exactly as I wanted for the next 8 hours – in the shower, using gas occasionally, massage and had some saline injections. I squatted, rocked, kneeled over a waterproof beanbag and breathed through all contractions.
Sadly when checked again at 8am, baby was still posterior and I was still 5cms! Totally deflating.
I was offered augmentation in the form of syntocinon. With a heavy heart, but a feeling of control and peace, I simply said “No thank you”. It was this drug that caused me such trauma last time and I couldn’t do it to myself or to our baby.
I have always struggled with the concept that we steer clear of soft cheese and alcohol during pregnancy and then allow our bodies to be pumped full of serious drugs at the time of birth!
So I signed the consent form for a Cesarean. I signed it with a clear mind and positivity. I did not feel forced, coerced or disempowered. Although my surgery is still called an Emergency Cesarean (as it was not elective) it was certainly not an urgent Cesarean. I held my husbands hand and reinforced my wishes for the delivery.
Baby Levi was raised up Lion King style at 12.15pm. After a quick wipe, he was placed on me and did his own breast crawl. It was beautiful. He was left there for at least 6 minutes with the midwife taking photos.
My husband had skin-to-skin contact while I was in recovery and I joined them soon after.
My birth – my choice.
A Special Note to all Mothers About to have an unwanted but necessary caesarian birth:
It seems so obvious but focus on all the positive aspects. Embrace the fact that you have had the experience of delivering once before and articulate your gratitude. Try to accept that this time, through no fault of your own, the birth will be different but know it can still be beautiful. Choose some music to be played in theatre, so powerful as its the first sounds your baby will hear! Know that you will not be exhausted before surgery and ready to receive the baby with a clear mind, open heart and a rested body. Hold hands with your husband. Ask for immediate skin contact and to breast feed if possible. Thank the universe for a body that can conceive, nourish and carry your baby to term.
Love and light Cara