Guest blog by Jessica Stevens aka @jessicastevns
My birth story should be traumatic, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Except one thing, the main thing. At the end of it all, a healthy baby boy was placed on my chest.
I was so desperate for a natural, drug free birth with my first. I had the easiest pregnancy. He was engaged from 28 weeks, and my midwife said I wouldn't make it to 38 weeks with how everything was looking. I ended up 4 days over. I went into labour at home at 4am, thinking things would go smoothly, but they didn't. Nothing worked to get my body to labour, not even the synto drip on full bore. I had a midwife who was determined to give me my natural birth, but it wasn't going to happen. The Ob placed a monitoring clip on the baby's head at 12.30am and said I had 2 hours to get to 9cm or she was doing a section. I'd had no dilation from 3pm. 20 minutes later I was being prepped for surgery - the baby wasn't moving and she wanted him out. I was relieved to have an end in sight at this point, but also so scared after all the horror stories I'd heard about cesareans, and especially emergency cesareans.
I'd already had an epidural a few hours earlier (thanks to the second midwife who took over at 10pm), so things were relatively smooth from here on in. I had the midwife and anaesthetist with me the entire time reassuring me, making me laugh and ensuring my husband and I knew exactly what was going on. Just as they were about to start the surgery she told me I hadn't had a single contraction since they took the drip out. My body wasn't doing what it was supposed to do.
They got Ollie out fast - within half an hour of making the decision. Through it all I had someone telling me what step they were up to and holding my hand (hubby had the other one). My midwife made sure Ollie was ok, and gave us skin to skin as soon as possible. She made sure my husband got to hold him, and he got to stay with us the entire time. She brought our camera into theatre, and had managed to sneak a few photos over the curtain, these are my favourite photos.
I felt so safe, and so calm, in such a stressful situation, it didn't feel like an emergency. I can't thank those doctors and nurses enough. My husband was told to keep an eye on me, and that I may start to show signs of feeling like a failure over what happened, but I was reassured over and again that I wasn't, that I did what I needed to in order to get my baby, and myself, out alive.
I did have moments of feeling like I wasn't worthy of my son because I couldn't give birth to him naturally, but only briefly. I carried him for 9 months, I laboured for almost 18 hours and I ended up needing help to get him out, but he was healthy, and that's the main thing.
I recovered well, I prepared myself to be bedridden for 6 weeks, but I had stopped all pain meds by day 4, I was given permission to drive after 2 weeks, and my scar healed to a thin white line that I can barely see.
I have never looked back on his birth and considered it traumatic, and I am determined not to spread fear about a labour that didn't go to plan. I remember all the negative things I had been told during my pregnancy, and I was even asked if I had a c-section because I 'couldn't handle labour'. There are so many scary stories and misinformation out there, and I hope by telling my story, I can reassure even one new mum. I feel unbelievably lucky to have had access to all those amazing doctors and nurses.
I'm the mum to two healthy babies, one born by emergency, and one by a planned c-section, and I have absolutely no regrets.
If you would like to follow Jessica's journey on Instagram click, here.
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