Today I wanted to share my birth story of my baby girl, Chloe Sophia. She was born on Tuesday 13 January 2015, 9 days earlier than her due date via a planned c-section. This was not my "ideal birth" but nevertheless I am so happy and grateful that she is finally here!
Why a planned c-section?
Even before I was pregnant, I wanted to have a completely natural birth - no drugs, no intervention and doing things "naturally". I was terrified of needles, let alone epidurals/spinal blocks or c-sections. Giving birth via c-section would have been the worse outcome for me!
I did prenatal yoga, was drinking raspberry leaf tea and was walking laps in the park to help with labour in the third trimester. I even did a calmbirth course to prepare myself for the labour - I was determind on having a natural birth. In the 35 week ultrasound scan, my OB advised that the baby was looking quite big! She was estimated to be 2.8kg at 35 weeks which would have forecasted her to be approx 3.8kg at 40 weeks. The OB said to have another ultrasound scan at 38 weeks to see whether she would continue on this growth spurt.
At 38 weeks, the ultrasound showed she was 3.3-3.4kg which the OB said was in the normal range, but they also saw that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice. He laid out the risks of going through a natural birth and that the threshold for an emergency c-section would have been very low. I actually got teary during that consultation, and balled my eyes out when we left the hospital. After discussions with the hubs and our parents, we decided to go forward with a planned c-section. So we went back to the OB the following day and advised him of our decision. And just like that, he booked me in for a c-section on Tuesday 13 Jan at 8am, first cab off the rank! It also happened to be his last day in the office before he went on leave so it worked out quite well.
Knowing when Chloe would be born gave Charlie and I some quality time together as a couple before we became parents and to really let it sink in. We were going to meet Chloe in 4 days!!
What happened on B-Day?
On the day of the c-section, we both got up at 5.30am and headed to the hospital. I was shown into my room and got prepped for surgery (shave, compression tights and dressing gown). I waited for the porter to bring me down to the OT. I also met the anaethetist who was super calm and lovely and went through the whole procedure with me. As he put in the needle for my IV, he explained exactly how the spinal block was going to work - local anaethesia in first to numb and then the needle will go in. And that's exactly how it played out - I only felt the local prick and the actual spinal block I did not feel a thing. Soon I couldnt feel my lower half.
I was lying on the operating table and could see the big light above me and it reflected everything on the OT (i.e., me). I could see the nurses prepping my belly for the operation and putting antiseptic on me. Lucky they drew up a screen so I couldn't see anything or any reflections. This was about the time that Charlie came into the OT in his scrubs. He started taking photos and the nurses also took some photos for us. In a matter of minutes, I could hear the baby crying and a nurse said, Charlie you better get ready with that camera!
She was all purple and they brought her over to the side to wipe her up and do the APGAR test. Charlie was also able to cut the umbilical cord (shorten it as they had to cut it as she came out of me). They put her on my chest after that and she was such a cutie pie - all swollen and bundled up cos it was soo cold in the OT. It felt surreal!! I was a mum!
They then wheeled her off with Daddy upstairs to the nursery to weigh and measure her while I remained in OT to be stitched up. I was wheeled into recover for another half hr to check my vitals. Within an hr of Chloe being born, I was back up in my room and doing skin-to-skin and feeding Chloe. It was the most amazing experience ever :)
Overall, I had a very positive birth experience and I have put down all my judgement on having a c-section as the preferred way to birth your baby. It was very calm and because it was planned, things went quite smoothly! I could not have had a better birth experience :)
Stay tuned for my next post on Recovering from a C-section!