I love reading birth stories! After sharing my own two very different birth experiences [emergency c-section and natural VBAC] I decided to ask other mums and dads to share their wonderful birth stories with me too. I’m absolutely delighted that so many people want to share with me! If you’d like to share your birth story, send me an email or get in touch via Twitter or Facebook.
This week Sarah is sharing the beautiful birth story of her daughter who was born by natural caesarean section. She had previously had an emergency c-section with her first baby, Edward, and you can read about that here.
Tell me your beautiful birth story…
The birth of our daughter, Florrie Rose, could not have been much different to the birth of our son, Edward. The only similarity being that they were both caesarean babies. Edwards was an emergency, he was born in August 2012. They got him out just in time.
When I fell pregnant with Florrie, in May 2014, I was undecided whether to have an elective caesarean, or to try for a natural birth. My pregnancy progressed well, but as I started measuring bigger than average (as I did with Edward) from 12 weeks, I had extra scans, every 3-4 weeks. This I didn’t mind, I loved seeing our baby! Everything seemed great (apart from the usual pregnancy aches and pains and dealing with a toddler!) until my 36 week appointment, I had polyhydramnios (again!) and I was also dealing with gestational diabetes, which had been missed, so baby was measuring big. Again I was incredibly uncomfortable carrying a big baby and excess fluid, and terrified I may end up with another emergency, I decided I just couldn’t risk it, so I opted for an elective caesarean at 38 weeks.
We tried to prepare ourselves that baby would now be arriving early, and the hospital were great in providing equipment so that I could express prenatally, so that baby could have my colostrum if she had to go to special care after the birth. I ensured I researched ‘natural caesareans’ so that I could have as much control as possible, but most of my requests are now pretty standard at our local hospital, which is brilliant.
On the day of the birth we drove through snow (January 2015) and I think I cried most of the way there, through fear, excitement and relief. I was rested, but hungry, having not been allowed to eat since midnight the night before, which for a lady with gestational diabetes is quite a difficult challenge. The morning passed, lunchtime passed, we were waiting in the room reading every poster on the wall. My Braxton hicks were incredibly powerful with the hunger! I was told I was top of the list, but the ward was busy, and there were emergency caesareans occurring. I was happy to give them my place, I’d been in their situation before. About 2pm a lady came in and put in my canular and told us I would be next.
We walked (yay!) into the surgery room. The atmosphere was light and happy, the doctors and nurses laughing amongst each other, it was lovely. It was a Monday morning, so they were talking about their weekends. We had chosen a cd to have playing during surgery. My surgery prep started, my legs were numbed, I laid on the bed, the staff took their time (in a good way). Everyone seemed to sympathise that I had been in that room before. The staff introduced themselves, and I tried to remember their faces and names this time! The anaesthetist stayed by me, topping things up when I needed, and when I felt sick he helped me. I was relieved that I hadn’t eaten.
I was told the surgery had begun. I started to cry again, overwhelmed by the situation. Just before the last incision the surgeon asked if we wanted a particular track played for the birth, but it was already playing! (Planets, by Kate Rusby). Before our girl was born the surgeon dropped the drape (we had requested this) so that we could see her born, this was incredible. She was lifted up onto my tummy, (surgeon side) and the surgeon delayed the cord clamping until it had stopped pulsing (another of our requests).
The surgeon then invited Dan round to put gloves on and to cut the actual cord, normally with a caesarean the surgeon cuts it and the Father trims it. Baby was then put directly onto my chest while the surgeon began to stitch everything up. Florrie was here! That cuddle felt awkward, with all of my wires, but amazing. I had to hand Florrie over to Dan while they finished the surgery, but as soon as I was back in the room we had skin to skin and started breastfeeding. I immediately put my own nighty on, not wanting to wear an unfamiliar gown.
Florrie was weighed as 8lb12oz, the same as her big brother, but seemed tiny. Not at any stage did she need to have anything done to her. She was perfectly healthy. After some recovery time and some much needed tea and toast we were taken to the ward. I had lost a bit too much blood in surgery so was feeling pretty woozy. Over the next few hours I needed a lot of pain relief. Dan left at bedtime and I spent most the night establishing feeding and staring at Florrie, we didn’t get much sleep. Florrie stayed inside my nighty having skin to skin for 24 hours, only emerging to have her 24 hour test (so we could be discharged) and to have Daddy cuddles.
I missed Edward terribly (he was at Nanny’s house) and was desperate for my own bed, despite being the only one on the ward, thankfully we were finally discharged at 7pm, incredibly tired and sore, but elated. Dan went to get the car while I stood with Florrie at the entrance, looking down a quiet corridor as staff made their way home. I saw a ghost of myself exactly a year to the day earlier, walking that same corridor having just discovered that I had had a missed miscarriage. How different I felt that evening, than the year before. It was time to take our beautiful rainbow baby to meet her big brother Edward.
I absolutely loved reading this! Until reading Sarah’s story I hadn’t read a natural c-section birth story. How wonderful that she was able to see Florrie being born, and have skin-to-skin, delayed cord clamping and cut the cord – all the things that usually c-section mums miss out on. Just wonderful!
You can read more beautiful birth stories here.