“The birth of my first baby was meticulously planned. I had my yoga ball and essential oils packed in my hospital bag, and a relaxing playlist ready to go, but things didn’t quite go to plan. He wasn’t moving much after my waters broke, and it was decided that he should be delivered via an emergency C-section.
Afterwards, I got a real shock. I had no idea how painful it was going to be once the medication had started to wear off. I had learned about C-sections a little bit on the antenatal course I did, but I actually skipped that section in my pregnancy book because I had always thought I was going to have a vaginal birth. In hindsight, I was really quite naïve!
Once my son was born, I felt angry and emotional, emotions that were only heightened by my ever-changing hormones. It was very overwhelming, and I can actually remember thinking “who’s body is this? This isn’t my body!”
For the first two weeks I camped out in my bedroom as I couldn’t make it downstairs. Looking back now it almost seems unbelievable. The highest point was having my baby with me. Despite all the pain, I can remember thinking that I’d do it all again just to have him. He was worth it all!
When I found out I was pregnant the second time round, I was more mentally prepared for what could potentially happen during birth. I was able to understand what life postpartum would entail, what I was going to be able to do – and what I wasn’t – if I had another C-section.
With my second baby, I went into labour at home and my contractions were progressing normally. When I got to the hospital, I decided to have an epidural, and that’s when things started to change. Administering the epidural took quite a while, then my baby’s heart rate dropped, and I was taken into theatre where my little girl was delivered by emergency C-section.
She spent the first two nights in NICU which meant that I couldn’t feed her as I’d planned. On the third night she was able to come with me into a room and we ended up staying in hospital for a week to be monitored before heading home.
I recovered a lot quicker the second time round, I was more mobile and able to do things around the house faster, probably because my body had already been through one C-section before, and also because I was in a stronger place mentally.
Both my pregnancies were straightforward, but both births ended up being by emergency C-section. That’s something that’s taken me quite some time to get over and make peace with. In the end, I am grateful that my babies are here, and that they’re safe and healthy!”