In honour of ‘throw back thursday’ I thought I would share my mine and Evie’s birth story. My first was a rather traumatic experience to be honest, I was all prepared for a water birth – I didn’t want any pain relief and said I would never have a c section… I ended up having an epidural and an emergency c section so it wasn’t quite the well laid out plan I had! I was nervous about the birth of Evie almost as soon as I fell pregnant and as I had a c section previously I had choices to make this time around…
Vbac or c section?
I had the choice with Evie whether to have either a vbac or a planned c section. It’s a very individual and personal choice and can sometimes be decided for you.
One thing I felt with Amelie after having an emergency c section was an element of regret and sadness that I didn’t have the birth that I wanted. At first I felt like I hadn’t actually given birth because everyone talks about vaginal births being the ‘natural’ way, but after some soul searching I realised that I HAD given birth. My baby was in my arms, we were both alive and healthy (which we quite possibly might not have been without the quick intervention from the hospital) and I had still done a marathon – I definitely couldn’t move for a while! Now I really believe it doesn’t matter how we give birth as long as everyone concerned is OK at the end of it and in this modern day and age with all the medical advancements surely we should do the best for ourselves and our babies?
I was lucky enough to have a great midwife and consultant this time around who gave me all the facts around a VBAC or an elective c section so I could make a considered choice about what to do.
I won’t go into the pros and cons as anyone making this decision will have those facts but for me my decision was fairly easy, I wanted my baby out safely, I didn’t want to go through the trauma of the emergency c section again and if anything was wrong internally after my emergency c section I thought that with a planned c section they could sort anything out calmly without it being a critical situation for me or the baby again. So I planned c section it was.
I found making the decision very difficult, so I saw a birth reflections counsellor and that was one of the best things I could have done for my mental well being. It meant I could discuss all of my concerns in a less rushed environment than my midwife appointments.
I went into my first labour very naive about labour and the risks but second time around you know more, you hear all of your NCT friends birth stories and you feel the weight of the decision because you have a child who depends on you and needs you there so even though I thought I had made the right decision for our family I still had these nervous niggles leading up to the day.
The morning of my planned c section
It’s very odd having a planned c section, I remember with Amelie waiting and waiting for those contractions and not knowing when she’d arrive but with Evie we called the hospital the night before and were told to be in by 11am and that we’d almost certainly have her by the afternoon (emergencies permitting) so a very different experience.
Having Evie planned did mean we could drop Amelie at pre school and have a few moments to ourselves before the operation. Saying goodbye to Amelie was the hardest thing I’ve had to do, I was so nervous about what was going to happen she must have thought I was crazy hugging her all morning. I cried like a baby when I left her at preschool but I was lucky to have my amazing Mum with me who gave me lots of supportive words.
I was nil by mouth from the night before so no food or drink which I was worried about but actually with the anticipation of the event I didn’t even think about it.
Getting ready to meet our baby
The hospital staff were absolutely amazing when we arrived and made me feel so at ease. I had a number of conversations with the midwives, consultants and then the anesthetists and before we knew it we were walking down to theatre.
The actual operation was so much more calm and controlled than with Amelie, they took their time and the anesthetist spoke to me throughout and answered every question I had. I now know I react badly to the spinal block, so one thing I learnt from Amelie was to speak up if you didn’t feel something was right and I’m glad I did as I needed more drugs to control my blood pressure.
Evie arrived and we had some amazing pictures taken by the anesthetist, some I’ve never shared before so if you’re nervous about a c section at all look away now…
I loved that Nick got to hold Evie and cut the cord, there was something special about him having the first cuddle as I had carried her for 9 months and although I hadn’t done anything I was fairly tired from the operation.
Soon after we were in recovery and were getting some great help from the midwives with breast feeding. You think you’ll be a pro second time around but every baby is different and when you finish feeding your first they’re usually pretty well established feeders so you forget this little baby hasn’t had to do it before. There were tears again this time around as I struggled with feeding – but not the the extent I did with Amelie.
Amelie came to visit me that afternoon and it was a really odd feeling seeing your first – they seem so big in comparison to your baby. I was really sad to see her go but I’d had advice from friends saying to enjoy the one on one time with Evie as once you’re home the toddler needs your time also. I’m glad I did this as when you’re home you definitely start to feel torn between the two. More on life in the early days with two here
And now we’re a family of four, nearly five months in ?????