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.
At my first obstetric appointment the decision was made for a planned caesarean, reasons being; difficult virginal birth, narrow pelvis and the fact that I make big babies. I now feared major surgery, an even longer recovery and a whopping big scar. My anxiety was getting worse at each appointment, Noah was born at 39 weeks and the caesarean for this next baby was going to be at 39 weeks. I was terrified this baby was going to come early, that I wouldn’t make it to hospital in time, that the same thing was going to happen with this next baby.
At 13 weeks the varicose veins in my legs began to be an issue. They were sore, and after a scan we discovered I had a clot in a superficial vein (Superficial Vein Thrombosis). I was doing daily clexane injections and wearing full-length compression pants during summer. My iron levels were at 10 and I had to have a transfusion. This by no means was a comfortable pregnancy.
I decided to tell people that this time it would be a caesarean birth. Most were accepting of this, but there were a few that gave a response I wasn’t expecting. “Why would you do this to yourself?” and “easy way out” were a few comments thrown around. I had seen other women judged for their choices but I never expected it to happen to myself. Caesarean was my only choice, I felt like my body was failing me.
The issues with my veins however had managed to distract my anxiety, right up until 35 weeks. I was almost unable to walk, it was terribly painful to be on my feet for too long and having an active toddler made it extremely difficult to “rest” or “stay off my feet” as my obstetrician and everyone kept saying. The caesarean was brought forward to 37+2.
We arrived at the hospital at 6am. My caesarean was booked for 8am. As we were moved from one room to the next, slowly making our way down to theatre I was petrified. I was in tears as we finally rolled into the theatre, I was met by such a warm and welcoming team of people, all busy doing their job but also making sure I was comfortable and telling me everything is fine and I will be meeting my baby soon.
The lovely anaesthetist was chatting away, asking questions and offering to take our camera and snap some shots as soon as bub was born, everything was a blur until she said “baby will be here in a second”, I didn’t even know they had started! I felt a slight bit of pressure, nothing painful at all, next moment Marlon’s head popped over the curtain, he was wrapped up and on my chest so quickly. We were through recovery and back up in our room within 45 minutes.
Unlike my first birth experience where I didn’t leave the bed for 4 days, I was up and showered that same afternoon. With painkillers I was in little to no discomfort at all. My recovery this time around was unbelievable. The day we left hospital we went straight to Southbank for a walk around. My scar healed extremely well.
I doubted myself about going through with the caesarean up until the day Marlon was born. So many women strangely felt compelled to tell me their scary C-section story leading up to mine, I’m still unsure why people do that. I wanted to tell my story so those mums that are about to have a planned caesarean after a traumatic first birth like mine, to not to be scared. Its an unfamiliar situation, and will bring back some difficult memories, but this controlled environment will help redeem what happened the first time.
If you would like to follow Brooke'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