Guest blog by Amy Watts from 'Pregnancy and Motherhood Diaries' pregnancyandmotherhooddiaries.wordpress.com
Looking back, 14 weeks post partum, I can finally see the beauty in what I did. At the time I was a wreck. I blamed the c section for EVERYTHING! To be honest I don’t think it was entirely to blame…
At our 20 week morphology scan we were told Kai was measuring ahead. When I went to my hospital appointment after this all the Dr said was ‘We could be looking at a caesarean. Have another scan at 30 weeks. ’ and walked out. I had another scan at 30 weeks and again at 36. They told me he was measuring 4 weeks ahead at both scans, the technician actually asked me if we had our dates right. 🤔 ‘Hmm yeah pretty sure’. That’s one of the beauties of PCOS and tracking everything.
People would always ask me how I was going to give birth. From 20 weeks my answer stayed the same. ‘I’m not sure! But he has to come out one way or another’. Everyone had an opinion. A lot of people said just go straight for a caesarean. They had one or their wife or sister or cousins best friends auntie.
I told myself I was ok with either. As long as he was safe and healthy. And I believed that. Right up until 38+4 at an antenatal appointment. A decision was finally made.
I was induced at 38+5 due to early signs of pre eclampsia and macrosomia thanks to PCOS. I was told by doing this I wouldn’t need a caesarean. Ha!
Not to bore you with details but the induction process was started Wednesday 12th July at 4pm. Kai was born Friday 14th July at 7:34pm via an emergency caesarean.
I remember saying to my husband that night that I wish we just opted straight away for a caesarean. I was angry and I was sad (not to mention totally drugged up and tired from a day of labour and surgery). After everything we did to avoid a caesarean it still ended with one.
I spent the first week crying. I blamed it all on the c section. How it wasn’t what I wanted. But looking back this is actually what I was upset about:
1. It took an hour before I was able to hold and meet Kai.
2. I was hurting. Which meant I was drugged up at all times.
3. My parents and younger sister live an hour outside of Sydney.
4. First time mum! Hello! The hospital just let us walk out with this tiny new human.
5. Baby blues. The day we were let out of hospital was day 3.
6. A week without my anxiety meds. Stopping medication cold turkey is not advisable.
7. Being dependent on other people. Quillan wouldn’t even let me shower with the door closed. He watched me like a hawk for the first 2 weeks.
8. Being dependent meant I couldn’t clean. Pregnancy made me a little OCD when it comes to cleaning. Something that has stuck postpartum. 🙃
14 weeks later and I’m not angry. If anything I’m now grateful. Having to recover from surgery meant I had to slow down. It meant I could enjoy my time and focus everything on myself and Kai. On our little family and our bond.
I’m a little sad that I have to make sure I say ‘emergency’ c section when telling my birth story. People automatically assume you elected to have major abdominal surgery for some selfish vain reason. So much judgement!
But I would do it all again in a heart beat.
Recovering from major surgery and looking after a new born is no easy thing. Hell my pregnancy was plagued with HG so I don’t know why I thought I could have an easy labour and post partum experience. 🙄
But in the end I have Kai and he is simply the best thing that Quillan and I have ever done.
A caesarean is not the easy way out, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing. It may not be what you had planned or hoped for but it’s still beautiful. Even that potentially messy looking scar you now get to keep. (It does heal and your insides won’t fall out when you walk).
Without a caesarean I wouldn’t have Kai. It’s that simple.
I’d choose his life every time, no hesitation.
Guest blog by Jessica Hulse Dillon aka @lolaroaming
I was NOT going to have a c-section, not because I had some ideal way my baby had to be born or because I was against them (I worked in public health and saw he ability of c-sections to save lives) but just because I didn’t want to have surgery, something I had avoided my entire life.
My pregnancy was totally normal, if not a little dull. Things happened when they were supposed to, I threw up, got heartburn, and all the usual stuff but otherwise just skated along. Until week 35 when after 12 hours of contractions I ended up in the hospital until they. just. stopped. As my doula ushered me out the door “quick before they try to induce you” she said don’t worry, you’ll be back in a few days to have the baby. Instead I had HOURS of contractions for another five weeks.
Finally, three days before they were going to induce me I went into labor. Cervix dialating, painful as all get out, Labor. And it moved right along, from 4 to 8 centimeters in a few hours. And then the dialation stopped and in a flurry of doctors running in and out (15 other women were simultaneously in labor) he tossed out “she’ll need a c-section”. And I sobbed.
Then I got really stoned on an epidural and got over myself.
As soon as we got back into the OR something tipped off the doctor and without waiting for the good drugs to kick in he starts cutting. While I’m screaming for drugs, and my husband, the doctor manages to pop out the baby (my husband made it with 30 seconds to spare), she started crying, and the whole room took a collective deep breath.
After that, other then some light puking, it all went back to being totally normal and boring. We went home two days later and settled into a new routine with an eight pound dictator who cuddled and nursed and is now an insane toddler dictator in a princess dress.
It was not the way I wanted to have a baby but it’s the way it happened and the details on how she got here seem rather unimportant as we give each other fish kisses and have dinner while building LEGO pirate ships.
"The real challenge comes after. Being able to raise happy, healthy, well balanced little humans..."
Guest blog by Rachelle Bingham from 'The Mummy Code' www.themummycode.com.au
The Dreaded C word.
When you talk to anyone or read books/internet about birth, c-sections are painted as the last resort probably most horrifying thing that could happen ever. There are a million terrible stories that include staples, infections and excrutiating pain.
Even though most women would love to experience childbirth in the most natural way. Reality is that c-sections are very common and often necessary for the birth of a healthy baby.
I would like to firstly note that this is my experience and opinion and I am not speaking on behalf of all mothers. I understand that it is major surgery and involves risk, but all childbirth has risks.
Both of my children were born via c-section. One emergency and one elective. All I can say is that they were both very uncomplicated and quite simple procedures. I had minimal pain (thanks to our little pal painkillers), I was able to breastfeed and was up and walking about the next day. I understand this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but after hearing and reading so many bad things I just wanted to share a more positive experience.
Honestly, the worst part was when they put the spinal block in and waiting to be taken into the operating theatre. Otherwise it was a lovely experience where I got to meet my little babies for the first time.
The midwives were on hand to assist with anything I needed and the pain management was really good. I left the hospital taking only Panadol and Voltaren. While heavy lifting and vacuuming were restricted in the following weeks (who wants to do that stuff anyway), I was able to drive after two weeks, after checking with my obstetrician.
My scar isn't accross my entire stomach or vertical as some people told me may happen?? I had a small bandage on it when I left the hospital that I removed a week later. My internal stitches dissoved and I didn't even notice. Looking at my scar now, it's actually minimal and very low so I am still able to wear a bikini if I want to. The only thing I advise is that you pack some high wasted nanna knickers in your hospital bag. They don't rub on the scar and are super comfortable.
I don’t feel I was robbed of anything by having children this way and I don’t believe I am any less of a mother than someone who experienced 40 plus hours of labour and a drug free birth.
My point is, that as women we are faced with many things and we always overcome them. I have heard people are often ashamed of having a c-section or are incredibly disappointed. For me, I am just happy to have two healthy children. We should support each other and decisions made rather than putting each other down.
Plus, the birth isn’t really important. The real challenge comes after. Being able to raise happy, healthy, well balanced little humans.
Guest blog by Brooke Massy aka @theflyingmummy
Four years on from Noah’s birth and it is still hard to talk about. I didn’t have a birth plan as such, just that I would take things as they came. It ended in a rather traumatic virginal birth with a lot of intervention. I didn’t let anyone know exactly how scared I was through Noah’s birth experience, and didn’t allow myself to think about it at all until I was pregnant with my second child. My initial reaction to the second pregnancy was not a good one. The thought of birthing again was absolutely terrifying.
Guest blog by Vicki Cregan from "Mumbun Mondays" www.mumbunmondays.com
The day I was told that I would have to give birth via caesarean, I was devastated. This was not part of my plan, well I didn’t have a plan, but you know what I mean?
I wanted to give birth “naturally” I had watched One Born Every Minute, cried every time the baby came out and was put on its mums chest; what a beautiful ending to all that hard work. I still watched the caesarean births but with much less attentiveness. I imagined the day that they would put my baby on my chest like that.
My pregnancy went along like any normal pregnancy, with one differing factor. My baby was completely, directionally challenged. Yep, she was of the 3% that was breech at full term. She was not moving, she didn’t move, she had her favourite spot right under my ribs, the fact that she didn’t have a rib-dent on her forehead when she was born was surprising to me!!
Whilst I know that you can give birth virginally with a breech baby, I was also made aware of the risks and possible outcomes.
I couldn’t believe that I was going to miss out on having a natural birth! I was pretty devastated, I cried, and I grieved the loss of what I thought was my right as a woman. I was so clouded by this natural birth ideal that I failed to see the amazing, positive impact that my caesarean birth would have on me, and how ultimately proud I would be of myself.
One thing that I was totally terrified of was epidurals. The thought of them sticking a needle into my spine made me a little sick every time that I thought of it.
As my date approached, I have to say that knowing the date I was going to give birth was like the shiniest light at the end of a whale sized tunnel, I was so ready to give birth!
The day before the caesarean, my husband called me from work to tell me how anxious he was, he never gets anxious, that sits firmly on my side of the fence, so I was a little surprised by his sudden realisation that everything was happening tomorrow and I was also extremely surprised at my reaction to him, I was calm, I was in control and I had accepted my delivery style!
My birth experience was so positive. I was originally booked in for 5:20pm, but thankfully they brought it forward to 2:30pm; much less time to get anxious! The morning was spent having a coffee date (clear fluids for me!). It was so relaxed! We went to the hospital and were shown to our room and waited to be prepped and meet our baby.
I am not really sure what happens to a woman when she gives birth, there is something that switches on inside her, something that takes control and makes her able to do amazing things. Like I said, I was terrified of epidurals, an elective caesarean meant I was having a spinal. That thing that switches on in women, it happened, I was anxious, but I owned it, I was able to make it through something that truly terrified me.
The feeling of being numb is a weird one, but I felt nothing – no tugging or pulling, it was so surreal. I cant really remember my baby being held over the sheet, but what I do remember vividly is my husband saying “did you hear babe, your got your girl” with the most loving and awed smile on his face. At my request, she was placed on me for skin to skin after she was checked and okayed. It was surreal. She was a little gooey mess, but she was mine.
I had some complications with my recovery in hospital, and I was still a little disappointed that I didn’t have a natural birth. One this that was so truly beautiful, was the time my husband spent with our new baby whilst I was in recovery, the nurses set him up for skin on skin, and he was able to bond with her without me there, without me overshadowing his time.
One day, about 6 months after my baby was born, I was watching One Born Every Minute, and there was a breech birth on it. I watched every minute of the scenes, taking it all in, absorbing it and remembering moments that I was sad I thought I couldn’t remember. It was mesmerising. And it hit me. I was so so proud of myself and I loved my birth. I faced my fears and I owned it. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I was that mother roaring through her birth, just in a different way. It was beautiful, it was a birth and it made me stronger and more fearless and I am, strangely so thankful that I got to experience the birth of my little directionally challenged baby in this way, and I am so thankful that she is healthy and happy.
"Cooper arrived, healthy, with ten fingers and ten toes, and our world has never been the same since"
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version