This month’s birth story comes from Ruth from Pea Fritters, she shares her birth story with me. Read the original here. Thank you so much! If you would like to submit your own story to be featured you can contact me on my Birth Stories page.
This is the story of how my son came into the world, by c section.
This was our second birth, our second pregnancy. The two could not have been more different! Our first was textbook. No complications during pregnancy and then a drug free, intervention free birth. This pregnancy, I had placenta previa and spent the last 5 weeks of pregnancy in hospital after having multiple bleeds. Those 5 weeks were really tough on my whole family as everyone tried to juggle family life, work life and hospital visits (the hospital was an hour away from our home). It was the longest time I had had away from our 2 year old daughter. It was also a month of no alone time with my husband. In discussions with the doctors, a date was made to deliver our belly bub via c section at 37+4 weeks.
The lead up to the birth was such a crazy roller coaster of emotions for me. I grieved the lost opportunity to birth naturally. I was worried we wouldn’t make it to our booked date and have an emergency delivery due to a bleed. I was grateful for the time to rest and process. I was frustrated by the time and distance separating me and my family. Many tears were shed but as the date got closer I started to relax and actually look forward to the birth with excitement. I approached the day with the mantra calm and proud.
I had never had surgery prior to the birth, and the whole idea of surgery really freaked me out. I asked a lot of questions from the staff and friends so that I would know as much as possible about the logistics of what would happen. This helped ease the fear somewhat. I also focused on the fact that that was the day our baby was being born. Nothing more special than that!
The morning of the birth arrived, I actually manged to sleep and my hubby (Legoman) arrived early in the morning as we were expecting an 8am delivery. 8am came. Then 9. Then 10. My excitement turned to pure nervousness as we waited. Thank goodness for Brooklyn Nine Nine! It was actually really lovely to just spend time alone with my husband before bub arrived. It was so nice to just hang out like a normal couple. Then the nurse popped her head in and said “ready?”. I think I spent the next 2 minutes just saying “holy crap holy crap” over and over again. This was it!!! Time to meet our baby!!
In my gorgeous surgical gown and compression stockings, I said goodbye to the ward that had been my home for 5 weeks. 5 weeks. Such a long time. A burly wardsman wheeled my bed from bed #15 antenatal ward to operating room #8. Legoman looking handsome as ever in his scrubs, camera over his shoulder.
We met “the team” that would be bringing our little bundle into the world. I have no idea what their names were, except for the midwife, Ping.
First job was to cannulate me. 5 attempts later we had success. Thank goodness they use local anaesthetic each time! But I was already looking like a human pin cushion with what the anaesthetic doctors called “green blobs of shame” spotted up and down my arms.
I then said a little goodbye to Legoman as I walked into the operating room, leaving him in the anaesthetics bay. That was hard. I so wanted him by my side, holding my hand. Bare bummed and bare backed I sat up on the edge of the operating table. I asked to hold someone’s hands. I was freaking out. They painted my back pink, ready for the spinal anaesthetic. I did my best/worst slump I could with a big belly, repeating out loud “I’m going to meet my baby. I’m going to meet my baby” to help block out what was happening and focus my mind on the purpose of it all.
What felt like an eternity later, the spinal was done. Once again, thank goodness they use local anaesthetics! My legs started to feel really strange as they swivelled me onto my back on the operating table. I could jiggle my legs at that point but in no way could I lift them up. The most intense feeling of numbness right down both legs. Very very strange. A catheter was inserted and the show continued on. Until a moment later when the cannula tissued in my left hand. A sudden intense burn shooting into my hand, causing me to cry out in pain. Poor Legoman in the other room could hear this but didn’t know what was going on.
A new cannula went in, the screen went up (much closer than I expected) and Legoman could then come in. They started to wash my belly which worried me as I could feel everything. They all reassured me that was normal. I lay there with both arms outstretched on boards, keeping my eyes fixed on Legoman’s face, gripping his hand so tightly. My conversation consisted of “this is weird. This feels really weird. Are you finding this weird?”. Then after some intense pushing and tugging came the question “Do you want to know what you’ve got?”.
Our baby was here!! Our baby had been born! Just like that!
The screen came down a little and instead of meeting our baby face to face, we were greeted by a swollen set of testicles! A boy! A loud, healthy, screaming baby boy. Our baby boy.
I felt a huge wave of relief. They took our little guy to the warmer and Legoman went over too. I asked to hold someone’s hand while I waited. When they were ready, I asked to do skin to skin. And so, with the assistance of staff, my newborn son nestled in against me. Calm, he brought me such calm. I awkwardly held him there until we were ready to head to recovery. My placenta had come away easily and with minimal blood loss. More relief, more calm. The worst of the pregnancy was over and with it came the arrival of our beautiful son.
Once I could sit up in the recovery bed, our little guy knew exactly what to do and latched on for a feed. I was so happy and calm, I was oblivious to the fact alarms were pinging behind me and nurses calmly popped oxygen on me.
Here we were! On the other side. All together. So very grateful.
Would I choose to have a C section? No chance. Was it a memorable experience? Yes. Am I proud? Heck yes! I am so grateful I live in a place where I have access to modern medical care, where both myself and our son can be kept safe. I am glad I will have a physical scar too. After everything my family has gone through this pregnancy and birth, my scar will be a reminder of our strength, resilience and love.
To all C Section mummas out there, my hat goes off to you. It ain’t no easy option. Wear your scars with pride xxx