I will never forget when I was pregnant with keira and we were attending our antenatal classes at the hospital. They showed a video on a c/section and I was just sitting there thinking why would anyone want this, oh this is terrible, not me, so glad I won’t be having one. But anyone who has had a baby will tell you that delivery can end up very differently to how you planned or expected. And here I am just a week out from my 4th c/section. And each of the c/sections I’ve had have been a very different experience.
finn arrives in the world
With my first we decided on a c/section upon the dr’s advice. Keira was a week overdue and her head kept hitting my pelvis and moving up again. She was shaping up to be a big baby and ended up coming out at 3.9kgs, 54cms long and a 37cm head. We breed ’em big here (and I know some of you make them bigger!). My OB was happy to induce me and let me try labour but it was unlikely baby was going to come out herself. I was quite calm on the day of the c/section but as soon as I was in the little waiting bay outside the OR I was having a total panic. I could hear all the instruments being lined up and clanking together, there seemed to be so many people in there (my OB, his assistant, anaesthetist and an assistant and 2 midwifes) and I was starting to get scared of the big needle for the spinal block. And the bright lights, it was all so bright and out of my comfort zone. My first operation.
Something else I was totally unprepared for was the pulling and tugging as they tried to get keira out. I thought a c/section and spinal block meant you felt nothing but I was letting out a few groans and as they finally got keira out I let out the biggest groan ever because she must have been tucked up under my ribs. Ouch. Of course all is forgotten when you see your baby but it was a total shock. The next hardest part was being wheeled to recovery while my beautiful baby was in the nursery with her daddy, This is probably the hardest part of a c/section for me but time flies and I generally doze off. I lost a lot of blood with keira so they monitored me while I slept and before I knew it I was back up in my room with retro daddy and our new baby.
Fast forward 2 years and 2 months and I was back in the same OR but with twins. I was 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Another c/section since I had a history of a c/section and was delivering twins. This time there were more people in the room mainly because I was having 2 babies. The delivery was very smooth. I was worried the babies might need special care but they were great. I recovered well and it was so much easier 2nd time around
Fast forward another 2 years and 2 months (I swear these dates aren’t planned just worked out that way), and I was in there with Elodie. Slightly different feelings since I was having some pretty painful (ok, really painful) contractions as they were trying to do an epidural. It took 5 or 6 goes for the epidural to go in and I had a sore back and was a bit over it. I was also in shock that I’d gone into labour so I wasn’t as relaxed as I had been before but it was soon over. Unfortunately little elodie had an erratic heartrate as we didn’t realise she had a little heart condition so after a quick cuddle they needed to take her to the nursery to monitor her. I then spent the next hour in recovery terrified there was something really wrong with her. She was fine. My uterus which had housed 4 babies by this stage was causing the nurses in recovery a little bit of worry as it wasn’t shrinking as fast as they would have liked but my Dr wasn’t too worried and everything was fine. I recovered well but thought that was my last c/section.
labour with elodie! I always get my hair done before each baby btw.
Fast forward 21 months (I know, we broke the 2 year 2 month rule) and I’m getting ready for my 4th. I don’t have nerves about the operation or recovery. Just the usual worry that baby arrives safely and everything goes smoothly. People are often surprised that I’m allowed to have a 4th c/section and my dr has always checked my scar tissue and everything ‘down there’ after each c/section. There is a part of me that wishes I’d been able to deliver my babies the good old fashioned way but then I’d probably be hassling retro daddy to have baby 6 (or more). But seriously, it’s not how I expected I’d have my family but they are here, this is how things turned out and I’m so lucky to have a large and growing family.
So my top tips if you’re having a c/section – just try to relax. Tell the anaesthetist and your OB of any fears, squeeze your partner’s hand really really tight when they do the needle in your back and trust me it doesn’t hurt too much (I’m a huge sook when it comes to needles), make sure your partner has the camera charged and ready for the moment baby appears, wear your support stockings after the operation like the nurses tell you to, don’t overdo it after your operation, don’t bring too many nighties to the hospital because you’ll be wearing your support stockings and it’s not a good look, if you can watch a c/section before the day it might make it a bit easier and remind your partner to take lots of pics in the nursery when you’re not there.
8 sleeps and counting……………………and I still don’t have the basinette up!