Updated: Apr 30
My caesarean experience
As we come to the end of April and #CaesareanAwarenessMonth I have been thinking a lot about my own caesarean birth experience.
As someone who is a bit squeamish about operations, including my caesarean, I chose to not think too much about how the experience made me feel but it has been nice to slowly start remembering more and more bits and reflecting on what happened.
I’ve written for Maternal Circle this month about my nutrition recovery tips after a caesarean and I’m always in my Nutrition Practitioner mode of how can I functionally help a mother after birth but thinking about my own birth experience is very different.
Here’s my story
Fairly late on into my pregnancy my baby was still legs down. The whole pregnancy I had felt her kicking me down in my groin not knowing that it was her feet. This was my first baby after all and she was wriggling around constantly. It was hard to decipher where she was positioned. The midwifes hadn’t noticed until at one of my last check-ups a midwife recommended I go for a scan that same day as she thought my baby was breech. I cried as I left the healthcare centre, as I’m sure many other mothers have cried before me.
Until then I was coming at birth from the approach that I wanted to do everything as naturally as possible and that meant no medication, no needles, very little intervention and a nice room up in the midlife led unit at my local hospital. I had completed a hypnobirthing course and was chanting out affirmations that I kept on pieces of paper at my bedside table. Being in an operating theatre high as a kite on medication and being cut open on a table was literally my worst fear! I hadn’t had a single operation in my 33 years of life and I liked it that way!
So, I went for the scan and sure enough the scan showed that my baby was lying transverse and that I would need a caesarean delivery. My heart sank but my mind raced with ideas of what I could do next.
During the time between the scan and my caesarean date I tried everything possible to turn my daughter. I even tried an ECV – where the specially qualified doctor tries to turn your baby with their hands from the outside. After 3 attempts it was not successful and I experienced a lot of pain at the third attempt. I later tried staying active on my gym ball, lying upside down on a board, regular acupuncture, moxibustion (I will never be able to stomach the smell of moxibustion sticks ever again!), you name it I tried it but alas my little bundle did not want to get into position. I came to the conclusion there had to be a reason why she wouldn’t turn and that it was meant to be.
The morning of the birth came and I actually found I was quite calm because I knew what time to go to hospital, I knew what would happen, I knew when my daughter would be born (roughly) and so actually the natural organiser in me felt quite calm that everything was planned and organised.