During my pregnancy I knew I wanted to try for a natural vaginal birth, using the birthing pool and hypnobirthing techniques. I read a hypnobirthing book, attended an evening class with my husband and practiced the relaxation techniques every night. I was feeling calm and prepared for my natural vaginal birth.
At 37 weeks, I had a scan to check the location of the placenta as it had been low-lying at my 20 week scan. It was during this scan that my baby boy was identified as being breech. It was recommended I had a planned Caesarean section. This threw a bit of a spanner in the works and I must admit I was upset, worried and disappointed at first.
We tried various methods to try and turn our baby. This included forward leaning inversions, bouncing on the exercise ball and moxibustion. We also tried an ECV at the hospital, which was not successful.
However after speaking to my husband, carrying out our own research, speaking to our private midwives (Sarah and Cheryl) and reading positive caesarean birth stories, I soon came round to the idea and was once again feeling excited about the birth. It ended up feeling quite reassuring knowing when his birthday was going to be!
We were also really pleased to find out that we could still do many of the things in theatre that were on our initial birth plan – this included immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and listening to our own music.
We had also been reading about the benefits of the bacteria that the baby picks up when passing through the birth canal and how this can help the baby develop a strong immune system and to reduce the risk of certain diseases. As our baby would be missing out on this bacteria during the c-section, our private midwife (Cheryl) suggested we could carry out something called ‘seeding’. This can help pass on some of the good bacteria to help mimic the passing through the birth canal. This is something that we chose to do, and are really pleased that we did!
So, to the day of the c section! It was great being able to go out for a slap up meal the night before, get a half decent nights sleep and to walk into hospital feeling excited for our baby’s birthday! The team at Stoke Mandeville were fantastic from start to finish. They explained everything and there were lots of opportunities for us to ask questions. I am very nervous about needles, so was more apprehensive about the cannula going into my hand than being cut open! But everyone in the theatre was smiley and chatty, which put me completely at ease. I couldn’t believe how quickly it all happened and before I knew it I had my beautiful baby boy in my arms (He was born to Champagne Supernova by Oasis!) and we were wheeled into recovery. Cheryl helped our baby, Marley, to latch on and he started feeding straight away. It has been just that easy ever since. I haven’t had any pain, cracked nipples or struggles with Marley latching on whatsoever. My first day as a new family of three was absolute bliss and I wish I could relive it all over again!
My recovery has been amazing. I was advised to take arnica pills after the surgery to help with the bruising and swelling. I also stayed quite active – hobbling around the house and then the garden a few days later. I showered daily with shower gel, tea tree oil and lavender oil to help the healing process (recommended by Cheryl) and bathed to remove the steri strips after 10 days. One week after the surgery I spent nearly the whole day out of the house. I couldn’t believe how well I was feeling! I stopped taking painkillers after about 10 days and the bleeding was on and off for about 4 weeks after.
All that is left as I write this 4 weeks after the surgery is just a neat red line about the length of my hand. Amazing after such a short space of time!
So overall, my birth story with a planned c section is hugely positive and I will look back on the 24th March with a lot of happiness and know that I felt calm, in control and ready to meet my baby.