A healing birth: Elective Caesarean story

It’s the strangest feeling being given an exact date in advance of when your baby is going to arrive. I quite liked the feeling of knowing when our bump would be born, but I slightly missed the anticipation of everything kicking off and having the ‘is this it?!’ moments. I didn’t want to reveal the date to many people prior to the arrival of Tiny because I still wanted the surprise and excitement of sharing our news without everyone sitting round and waiting on the day we went in.

The day started with an early rise of 5am!! Exhausting I must admit, but we had to be at the hospital which is an hour away for 7.15am (and on true form we were a tad late haha!) I really didn’t want to leave Little overnight for more than necessary so we dropped him off to my mums house at around 6.15am ish and set off on our way.

On arrival to hospital we were shown to our room on the postnatal ward, I feel like we were spoiled at this hospital – all the rooms are private with ensuite and I think it really helps give some special bonding time as a family. Shortly after we arrived one of the staff members came to our room to talk us through what was going to happen. I’m not quite sure what her position was as she wasn’t a midwife but regardless she was lovely. She told me we were third on the list and the theatre team would be down to see me shortly as they like to get the first Woman in around 8.30 and being third would mean we would roughly go down approx 11.30.

After the we had met the team I got changed into my really gorgeous (not!) gown and stockings and climbed into bed for a little nap while the opportunity arose. I was woken up when we had a knock on the door to tell us it’s looking likely I’m going down second now and to check I’m ready, I wasn’t quite ready mentally at this point as it was only 10am, and I was quite enjoying my peaceful sleep haha! While the staff member was in the room she got the call saying to bring me down and off we went! Sat waiting outside theatre for them to finish up was really nerve wracking, I couldn’t believe we were about to meet this teeny tiny little squish that I’d been growing for the last 9 months, and I couldn’t help but think just how different this birth was about to be. After my cannula was finally inserted (after three attempts and a bit of pain! 😦 ) we went into theatre, I was reassured this was ‘the calm theatre’ (they have two; one for electives and one for emergencies) and all would be well. While the anaesthetist was inserting my spinal I was asked if there was any particular song I wanted baby to be born to as they will find it on YouTube for me if I wanted. I wasn’t fussed though and I can’t even remember what song happened to be playing at the time, my mind was frankly elsewhere!

I laid down and waited for the spinal to take effect. Slowly my legs started to feel warm and tingly… such an odd sensation a bit like pins and needles but obviously it got to the point where I couldn’t feel a thing. I was pretty anxious though that actually it hadn’t worked and I was terrified I would be in agony when they started but I hadn’t even noticed when the team began which was reassuring.

From when they started to baby being born was pretty quick, maybe a few minutes. I asked for the screen to be dropped so I could see better, Hubby looked away! As soon as they said ‘that’s your waters broken’ we heard that amazing first cry! Admittedly laying down even with the screen dropped I couldn’t really see much but they held baby up to us so we could see the sex…

I couldn’t get over my disbelief that we had a GIRL!!! A gorgeous baby girl! One of the team asked if I managed to see the sex of the baby, I had to ask him ‘yeah, it is a girl isn’t it?’ I was just in so much shock, I cried! Looked over to Hubby, asked him if he saw what we had an he replied no! He wasn’t looking! I cried more while I told him we had a baby girl, and as he leant over to me he said ‘I told you so!’ He said all along he was sure we were having a girl!

We had delayed cord clamping for around 1minute before the cord was cut. Had I had a vaginal birth I would have wanted to wait longer than 1 minute but we can’t have it all! The cord was cut long so we could shorten it ourselves later and use our umbilical cord tie.

Baby was given to me for skin to skin after they had wiped her off slightly, we had lovely cuddles while I was being sewn up. The midwife then came and asked if she could take her to weigh baby, everyone commented on what a good size she looked. I guessed around 8lb 7oz but to our surprise she was a average 7lb 13oz much smaller than Little, and much smaller than I thought she would be. I felt like a had a little doll and remember telling the nurse none of her clothes were going to fit as I had bought mostly 0-3 oops!!

We were moved into recovery where baby had her first breastfeed, latched on like a champ. At this point everything still felt odd because I couldn’t feel my legs! Husband had to help me move baby around, latch her on etc because I couldn’t move properly. After around 30 minutes we were taken back up to our room on postnatal where we just sat and stared at this little beauty we had made.

I was very nervous about having a c section, despite the fact no one had actually said anything I felt like people would think I had taken the ‘easy’ route. I was worried that I would really regret my choice. But honestly I can say hand on heart I made the right choice and to hear some of the health care professionals who cared for me agree I did the right thing really helped.

All in all this has been such a positive experience for me. I genuinely feel like a new person, the change in myself really is incredible. I couldn’t have wanted anything more than a perfect baby, a brilliant, healing birth and all the support we had from family and friends.

Our baby girl Bella Grace 💖

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